Beyond averages: Child well-being in Kazakhstan

Keetie Roelen, F. Gassmann

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With the majority of poor people now living in middle-income countries and the post-millennium development goals framework taking shape, the issue of inequality has gained prominence in many policy debates. Although detailed assessments of poverty and well-being are crucial for formulating adequate policies, all too often such assessments focus on average outcomes. In this paper we present an analysis of child well-being for Kazakhstan that moves beyond averages in two ways: first, it explicitly reports on the situations of different socioeconomic groups of children in society; second, it applies a method that is diversified by age group and thereby accounts for differences among children across stages of childhood. Kazakhstan illustrates the need for more nuanced and in-depth analyses, given the significant but far from universal economic growth within the country. We find that there are large discrepancies in child well-being outcomes between different regions and that high levels of economic output do not necessarily go hand in hand with improved outcomes in terms of poverty and well-being. We argue that child well-being studies need to be more in depth, thereby ensuring that levels of inequity across socioeconomic groups and between children in different age groups are given due consideration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-110
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Children and Poverty
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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