Since 2013, Equity for Children has been working in partnership with various other organizations to develop an initiative on measuring and monitoring wellbeing and quality of life among children in several Latin American cities. As part of this project, we carried out a series of assessments in Recife, Brazil and Lima, Peru during the first half of 2016.
This initiative reflects our continued commitment to highlighting the need for up-to-date, relevant and reliable data, so that the difficulties and inequalities faced by children living in cities can be addressed.
Our work in Lima and Recife is the first step towards developing a local monitoring system that will support the replication of advocacy and social accountability projects similar to those carried out by Equity for Children alongside our partners in Colombia.
Our assessment findings show that there is still work to be done in raising awareness for the need to collect and monitor local, disaggregated and up-to-date information to improve programs aimed at children. In this context, reliable evidence is essential if we are to effectively tackle the acute problems affecting children in cities.
In both cities, most openly accessible information derives from national studies, which quickly become outdated and are limited in the level of disaggregation they offer:
– Openly accessible studies that are repeated on a regular basis and offer more scope for local disaggregation are generally based on censuses carried out every five or ten years
– Data compiled by official (generally administrative) bodies at the local level could potentially provide a greater degree of spatial disaggregation, however, such data is not made openly available on a regular basis
– Previous efforts to measure quality of life, rights and wellbeing in early childhood have not made significant advances in analyzing and monitoring local, disaggregated and up-to-date information. Such efforts have restricted themselves to examining publicly available data from surveys and national censuses — limiting both their potential to offer insights into the living standards of urban children and their effectiveness in advocating for improvements.
This situation leads to significant knowledge gaps in our understanding of current early childhood living standards at the local level. However, it also opens up a window of opportunity for new approaches in this area.
What is needed is a strategy that includes protocols for collecting disaggregated data about the living conditions of urban children. The methodology developed by Equity for Children in other Latin American cities can provide the basis for this type of approach.
Download the Executive Summary of the Equity for Children local assessment for Lima, Peru and Recife, Brazil here.
Find out more about related work on measuring and monitoring child inequities in cities here.
 The appraisals were carried out with the support of the Bernard van Leer Foundation within the framework of the Urban95 initiative, which aims to create better living conditions for children under the age of three in urban areas.