UNICEF introduces N-MODA initiative to address child poverty and deprivation in Fiji

UNICEF introduces N-MODA initiative to address child poverty and deprivation in Fiji

By Rashika Kumar
Tuesday 20/02/2024
[Image: Supplied]

A new approach to identify and address the needs of children has been introduced to the policymakers in Fiji through an inception workshop.

The National Multi-Dimensional Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (N-MODA) is a new initiative from UNICEF Pacific and the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Protection to assist in identifying and quantifying multi-dimensional child poverty.

The Ministry says N-MODA is a flexible methodology that will bring a new perspective to policymakers in understanding child poverty in Fiji with respect to the cultural and social context of the country.

They say it will provide evidence to inform government policies and programmes including critical social services affecting children and their families, particularly those most vulnerable.

The Ministry says the inception workshop saw government and non-government partners gather for a day to define multi-dimensional child poverty for Fiji by discussing and identifying the dimensions, indicators, thresholds, and age groups that are most relevant to the country’s context.

They say the analysis that will follow at the workshop will use data from the Fiji Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey which was carried out by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics with support from UNICEF in 2021.

They say N-MODA will enable policy makers to determine and address child deprivations and identify those suffering multiple and overlapping deprivations, as a basis to develop, adjust, or streamline policies and programmes.

Minister, Lynda Tabuya says understanding the nature of child poverty and child deprivation is critical to address the needs of children, this in turn will assist to develop suitable programmes and policies.

She says they are grateful to UNICEF for this partnership at such an important time.

UNICEF Pacific Representative Jonathan Veitch says over the past few weeks, they have noted several concerns related to children published in the media, and addressing them requires a deep understanding of the cultural and social context.

He says N-MODA gives all stakeholders an opportunity to take into account the country context in defining and measuring multidimensional child poverty for Fiji so that the evidence informs policies and programmes.

The N-MODA initiative is a collaboration between UNICEF and the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Protection.

The final research findings based on the methodology defined at the workshop are expected to be launched later this year.

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