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The Innocenti Report Card series on child poverty and well-being

©UNICEF IRC - Innocenti Report Card 7 <a href="/publications/pdf/rc7_eng.pdf" >Child well-being in rich nations</a>

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre has since 2000 published a series of comparative studies on key aspects of child well-being in economically advanced countries, under the Innocenti Report Card Series. The aim of the series is to stimulate debate and policy initiative at the national and international level in important areas of child well-being. The Report Card series represents a critical tool for advocacy and policy dialogue on children in economically advanced countries and had a key role in advancing the international debate on child indicators.

Drawing on original research co-funded by the UK based Nuffield Foundation, Report Card 6 compares data from different countries and asks what is driving child poverty rates upwards, and why some OECD countries are doing a much better job than others in protecting children at risk.

Report Card 7, released in 2007, proposed a framework of child well-being indicators grouped in six dimensions: poverty and material deprivation, health, education, health behaviours and risk, family and peer relations, and subjective well-being. It compared the living condition of children in these economically advanced countries for each indicator, for the different dimensions and in an overall, multidimensional perspective.

Report Card 8 starts by calling attention to the 'great change' now occurring in the way in which children are being brought up in the world's economically advanced countries: "Today's rising generation in the countries of the OECD is the first in which a majority are spending a large part of their early childhoods not in their own homes with their own families but in some form of childcare."

Report Card 9, launched on 3 December 2010, builds upon the multidimensional approach to understand child well-being proposed in the Report Card 7. Going further, it proposes an analysis beyond the national averages and focuses on disparities in well-being. Report Card 9 pursues a robust research approach in the international comparison of the situation of the most disadvantaged children in the different well-being dimensions, in relation with the average. This represents a measure of the degree of inequality in different indicators of well-being across countries.

The measures of inequality for each indicator and for each country have been standardized and aggregated to produce a meaningful comparison of the different extent of inequalities in child well-being in rich countries.

The report card aims to provide further background to the current upsurge of interest in monitoring child well-being in economically advanced countries and contribute to the debate on inequality and social inclusion, also in the context of the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty.