Much of the work done by governments and donors to help children living in poverty either focuses only on health and education or considers children as a 'special interest group'. A holistic approach to children's well-being, however, requires multi-sectoral and inter-generational strategies to address childhood poverty. Understanding the cumulative nature of disadvantage and the benefits of multi-sectoral approaches is crucial for any strategy aiming to combat poverty.
The paper explores patterns in access to basic services among children living in poverty. Drawing on Young Lives research, the authors argue that children denied access to education or health services are more likely to live in households without access to basic infrastructures, and are therefore more likely to suffer from cumulative disadvantage. Examining this question in four countries at very different stages of development, the authors contribute to debates on the relationship between access to services and breaking poverty cycles.
Keywords: access to services, environment, living conditions