Child Development Index
The Child Development Index (CDI) is an index combining three performance measures specific to children: education, health and nutrition. They are equally weighted and produce a score on a scale of 0 to 100. With the score increasing, the children are faring worse.
The Child Development Index was developed by the non-governmental organisation Save the Children UK in 2008 through the contributions of Terry McKinley, Director of the Centre for Development Policy and Research at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
The indicators which make up the index were chosen because they are easily available, commonly understood, and clearly indicative of child well-being. The three indicators are:
- Health: the Under-Five Mortality Rate
- Nutrition: the percentage of under fives who are moderately or severely underweight. The common definition of moderately or severely underweight, which is used here, is being below two standard deviations of the median weight for age of the reference population.
- Education: the percentage of primary school-age children who are not enrolled in school.
The index measures child well-being over three periods from 1990. The Index is constructed in a way similar to the Human Development Index, with all three dimensions weighted equally.
In the period 2000-2006, Japan was in first place, scoring just 0.4. Niger in Africa was in 137th place, with the highest score, 58. Overall, child well-being has improved by 34% since 1990, but progress is slow.
The 2012 edition of the Child Development Index highlights the significant progress made throughout the world in reducing child mortality and ensuring millions more children go to school.
The report shows that on average, the lives of children around the world -based on the indicators used - improved by more than 30%: the chances of a child going to school were one-third higher, and the chances of an infant dying before their fifth birthday were one-third lower at the end of the 2000s compared to a decade before. During this period child well-being improved in 90% of the countries surveyed.
At the same time the report warns of the impact failure to tackle child undernutrition will have on overall well-being. Undernutrition consistently lagged behind and remains a major factor obstructing further progress on children’s well-being. Although health and education improved well above the average of the Index, when progress accelerated in the second half of the 2000s (at a rate of 23% and 32% respectively), in comparison child undernutrition performed very poorly, improving at the much lower rate of 13%. In the world’s poorest countries, progress was even weaker, at just below 10%.
The report presents a series of recommendations to developing-country governments and to donors on tackling hunger and undernutrition.
The five highest ranking countries in the 2012 edition were: Japan, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.
The five lowest ranking countries in the 2012 edition were: Somalia, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Child well-being
- Human Development Index
- Blog: The Child Development Index 2012
- Child Development Index in Wikistat
- Save the Children