Methods and sample

Young Lives is investigating the changing nature of children’s lives over 15 years from 2000 to 2015, which is the timeframe set by the UN to assess progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

We are following two groups of children in each of the four countries: 2,000 children who were born in 2001-02 and 1,000 children who were born in 1994-95. These groups provide insights into every phase of childhood. The younger children are being tracked from infancy to their mid-teens, and the older children through into adulthood, when some will become parents themselves.

When this is matched with information gathered about their parents, we will be able to reveal much about the intergenerational transfer of poverty, how families on the margins move in and out of poverty, and the policies that can make a concrete difference to their lives.

Our research is designed to cover three broad areas:

  • What are the factors that shape children’s lives to either increase or reduce poverty and its effects?
  • What effects does poverty have on children’s lives and experiences during childhood and into adulthood?
  • To what extent are current international and national policies effective in reducing childhood poverty in the study countries?