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Young Lives is an international study of childhood poverty following the lives of 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India (in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana), Peru and Vietnam over 15 years.

Its aim is to shed light on the drivers and impacts of child poverty, and generate evidence to help policymakers design programmes that make a real difference to poor children and their families. The research team is following two groups of children – a cohort born in 2001-02, and an older cohort born in 1994-95. This means that we can compare the same children at different ages to see how their lives are changing, as well as different children at the same age, to see how their communities have changed over time.

Conducting the study simultaneously in four countries enables Young Lives to report on trends, explore how patterns are similar or different across those countries, and make comparisons that are relevant for other countries with similar circumstances. Cross-country evidence gives us greater confidence that findings from one country are applicable to others, but also shows how norms vary between countries, and what this means for children.