The Child Development Index (CDI) is published each year by Save the Children and offers a fascinating insight into the situations of children around the world with comparative statistics and qualitative commentary.
Key findings of the 2012 edition are:
• Overall improvement rates in child well-being almost doubled in the first decade of the 21st century.
• Developing countries experienced faster rates of progress than developed countries in the same period.
• Undernutrution remains one of the main factors holding back progress on children’s well-being as shown by the Index.
• The proportion of children suffering from wasting – or acute weight loss – actually rose in the second half of the 2000s.
The CDI monitors child well-being in 141 countries, aggregating data on child mortality, primary-school enrolment and underweight. Case studies on Tanzania – the highest climber on the CDI – Indonesia and South Africa are also included.
This new edition highlights the impressive progress the world has made. At the same time it warns of the impact of the failure to tackle child undernutrition on children’s overall well-being. Drawing on data on stunting and wasting, it looks at the disastrous effects of the food and financial crises on children.
Finally, it makes a series of recommendations to developing country governments. Read the report here.