Strengthening Data and Research for Children in Urban Settings

Urban Inequities and Children

Equity for Children joined the international conference on November 26 and 27 in UNICEF's Office of Research-Innocenti, in Florence, Italy.

Equity for Children shared its expertise about urban inequities affecting children at an invitation-only conference and workshop jointly organized by UNICEF and UN-Habitat, entitled “Strengthening Data and Research for Children in Urban Settings”.  Global university and research center experts met in Florence to discuss how to fill data gaps and strengthen available evidence based on children living in urban settings. In particular, the conference opened a dialogue among key stakeholders in the field of urban data and research, which is one of the thematic areas of Equity for Children.

Gabriel Crespo, Equity for Children’s Associate Director, presented about the organization’s work in Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on the many ways Equity’s research contributes to identifying and assessing child well-being and risks. His session, “Monitoring Urban Children’s Inequities: Two complementary Approaches”, focused on a methodology for unpacking data to identify vulnerable children. Equity for Children analyzes available data from national census and household surveys and disaggregates it across multiple dimensions including gender, age, and ethnicity. The resulting diagnoses about socio-economic inequities, particularly in Latin American cities, paves the way for recommendations to address the issues.

Conference attendees expressed interest in Equity for Children’s “simple but effective” methodology for calculating habitat deprivations by analyzing three variables: Housing Conditions, Parents’ Education and National Monetary Poverty threshold (chart below).

Approximately a decade ago, the world officially became an urban planet, with more people living in urban areas than in rural. As of 2018, 55 percent of the world’s population – 4.2 billion inhabitants – lives in urban areas, and nearly a third of them are children. By 2030, approximately  60 percent of the global population – 5.2 billion people – is expected to live in urban areas. Around 95 percent of urban expansion in the coming decades will take place in the developing world.

Currently, almost half of the world’s children are estimated to live in urban areas. Many of these children reside in informal settlements, and an estimated 300 million are living in slums. It is crucial that data capture these children living in urban settings, particularly the most impoverished and marginalized. Below are statistics on children in Latin America and the Caribbean, of whom more than half are living in households with deprivations.

To better understand the vulnerabilities and risks children in urban settings face and help realize their rights, it is important to strengthen urban data and research to guide evidence-based decision making, programming and policies.

Click to download the concept note

Click to download UNICEF 11:27:2019 Presentation

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