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child poverty in East Asia and the Pacific

December 13, 2011


Last month, UNICEF published a regional report on child poverty in East Asia and the Pacific, including analysis of 7 countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, Vanuatu and Viet Nam. The regional report is part of UNICEF global study on child poverty and disparities, and provides cross-country comparisons as well as country-specific analyses of child poverty where available.

One of the countries for which country-specific analysis is included is Viet Nam. The particular findings that are presented in the regional report spring from the national report that was prepared by Franziska Gassmann, Chris de Neubourg and myself for UNICEF Viet Nam in 2009. Rather than using those findings to analyse child poverty in Viet Nam from a more country-specific perspectie, the report uses them to illustrate the pros and cons of comparative versus country-specific studies. It argues that a country-specific study, incorporating indicators and thresholds that are deemed relevant and appropriate to capture child poverty within the country-context, can be helpful in tailoring development policies and programmes to the national context, and also support cooperation amongst local stakeholders. In a report that is focused on cross-country comparisons across a region as a whole, it is encouraging to see the value-added of such country-specific studies being highlighted.

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