Children and development assistance: The need to reorient priorities and programmes

This article argues that if children were the focus of more deliberate attention on the part of donors, it could result in more effective use of the resources available for poverty reduction. Instead, development assistance neglects some of children’s most pressing needs, and fails to take advantage of the long-term benefits to be gained by ensuring their physical and psychosocial welfare. The article focuses especially on the living environments of children in poverty, an area which receives little attention, but which is integral to poverty reduction. The annual reports of donor agencies are filled with photographs of children writing on blackboards, trudging down dusty roads, looking out of the page with clear eyes and trusting smiles – symbols of hope for the future. The welfare of children, we hear repeatedly, is a critical indicator of a healthy society, and needs to be taken fully into account in planning for development. And yet the strategies and funding priorities of donor agencies overlook some of the most basic and significant of children’s requirements. The widespread acknowledgement of the importance of responding to children appears to be more an article of faith than a commitment to focused action. This article explains why children should be the target of more deliberate attention on the part of donors, and how this could result in a more effective use of resources to reduce poverty. The article focuses particularly on the living environments of children in poverty, an area of concern which is integral to poverty reduction and which badly needs attention.

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Title:  Children and development assistance: The need to reorient priorities and programmes

Author(s): Sheridan Bartlett

Publication Date: 2001

Publisher: Development in Practice


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