Children's perceptions of poverty, participation, and local governance in Uganda

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Children under the age of 18 years represent 62 percent of the poor in Uganda. To date, their perspective has not been incorporated in the many poverty analyses that have been conducted. The survey reported in this paper asked children between the ages of 10 and 14 years about their perceptions of poverty, and also about the effectiveness of local government in addressing issues of concern to them. The research was conducted in three clusters: qualitative assessment of childrenÆs perceptions, using child-focussed participative methods (e.g. role play, spider diagrams, discussion groups, individual interviews etc.); secondary source research and semi-structured interviews with adults concerning trends in different categories of vulnerable children (e.g. disabled children, children affected by HIV/AIDS, street children, children affected by war, orphans etc.); structured interviews with children regarding the level of deprivation among children convicted for criminal offences, the characteristics of these children, and how these might link to petty criminal behaviour; and literature review synthesising findings from child poverty studies in Uganda. The survey found that children have a different perspective on poverty from that of the adult key informants consulted in the study sample; they have a positive view of their own potential role in mitigating poverty, and are highly critical of the current performance of local government.

Source publication information
Journal Title: 
Development in practice
Vol. 14, no. 5 (Aug 2004)