The wellbeing of children with developmental delay in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam: An analysis of data from UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys

EMERSON, Eric
SAVAGE, Amber
LLEWELLYN, Gwynnyth
Publication Date 
December 2016
24 p

This report, produced by the University of Sydney’s Centre for Disability Research and Policy (CDRP),
uses data collected in rounds four and five of UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys programme (MICS) to describe the wellbeing of young children with and without developmental delay in six Asian countries. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were used as a framework for identifying indicators of child wellbeing.

The report, authored by CDRP Disability and Inequity Stream Leader Professor Eric Emerson with Dr Amber Savage of the Family and Disability Studies Initiative, University of Alberta, Canada and CDRP Director Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, found that children with Developmental Delay in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam are more likely than their peers to:
• Be living in poverty (SDG1). In five out the six countries children with developmental delay were more likely to be living in poverty than their peers
• Experience hunger (SDG2). In all six countries children with developmental delay were more likely to have experienced persistent severe hunger than their peers
• Suffer poor health (SDG3). On three indicators (poor peer relationships, diarrhoea and fever) children with developmental delay were more likely to have poor health than their peers. On three indicators (obesity, aggression and acute respiratory infections) there was no systematic difference between children with and without developmental delay.
• Experience barriers to quality education (SDG4). On all four indicators (attendance at early childhood education centre, family support for learning, access to learning materials in the home, maternal level of education) children with developmental delay were more disadvantaged than their peers.
• Experience barriers to clean water and sanitation (SDG6). On two indicators (improved sanitation, place to wash hands) children with developmental delay were more disadvantaged than their peers. On one indicator (improved drinking water) there was no systematic difference between children with and without developmental delay.

The authors noted that “Since the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1998, increased attention has been paid to monitoring the well-being of children. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and UNCRC both contain explicit provisions regarding the rights of children with disabilities. These impose obligations on governments to act to ensure that children with disabilities enjoy the same rights and opportunities as other children. In order to promote the visibility of children with disabilities, enable better policy, and monitor progress, disaggregation of data related to children’s well-being on the basis of disability is needed."

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