Inequalities in Child Survival. Looking at wealth and other Socio-Economic Disparities in Developing Countries

This paper aims to understand the inequalities in child survival in the developing world. It looks at the disparities in under-five mortality in 65 low- and middle-income countries covering the period of 1990 to 2008 using data from the Demographic and Household Surveys (DHS). Measuring inequality in child mortality through the concentration index, the paper analyses the relationship between the rate and inequality in under-five mortality in developing countries. To complement the analysis, the paper presents case studies of child survival outcomes in Bangladesh and India. The case studies examine inequalities in under-five mortality and what drives these disparities in the two countries. Many studies have established the determinants that help improve children’s survival chances, but it is important to analyse inequalities around these determinants, which in turn contribute to uneven progress in reducing under-five deaths. As efforts to meet Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) intensify, it is essential to monitor countries’ progress beyond national averages and examine progress in different household groups. Understanding inequalities in child survival and its wider determinants has important policy implications towards meeting MDG 4. Section 1 of the paper looks at child survival outcomes in developing countries; Section 2 presents the India case study; Section 3 presents the Bangladesh case study, and the last section concludes the study.

Published 2011-02-03