The purpose of this report is to present a general context for the Young Lives qualitative research being undertaken in Andhra Pradesh on the key themes of child well-being, childhood transitions and children’s experiences of services and programmes. Children’s well-being is understood in multi-dimensional terms and includes aspects relating to health, economic conditions, educational opportunities, and relationships with family members, peers and others. Other definitions of well-being have highlighted children’s freedom from risks such as trafficking, addiction and discrimination, and access to the basic things that one needs to live healthily, safely and happily (UNICEF 2007). The concept of ‘transitions’ points to critical life-course changes. In childhood, these may include changes related to schooling, work, residence and relationships, among many others. Managing transitions in contexts of poverty and inequality may be a challenge for children and their families.
The report provides an overview of existing literature on a selection of topics relating to services for the welfare of children in India and in Andhra Pradesh in particular. It also explores some of the issues affecting children, including access to and quality of education; transitions, such as beginning school and the onset of puberty; the factors driving child labour as well as the impact it has and attempts to regulate it; nutrition; discrimination and social exclusion, especially in relation to gender and scheduled caste or tribe membership; and migration. Policies implemented to address these issues are also examined. Rather than a detailed policy analysis, this report provides a broad overview of some of the issues which are key to improving our understanding of child poverty in this context and for guiding possible research questions.