An autonomous research institute under the Ministry of Finance


Estimating Child Development Index in India at the District Level – A Methodology

Publication date

Feb, 2022


NIPFP Working Paper No. 370


Ritu Mathur, Namrata Jaitli and Amarnath H.K.


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for transforming our world and working towards the future we want. The future we want will, to a large extent, be driven by the youth and the children of today. The survival and development of children to their full potential is essential for building a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable planet. Sustainable development starts with investing in each child. The rights of the child to survival and development, non-discrimination and freedom from all forms of violence are critical for building strong and harmonious communities.
For India, it is particularly important to invest in children now. As per the Economic Survey 2018-191, India’s demographic dividend will peak around 2041, when the population share of working-age (20-59 years) is expected to hit 59 per cent. The Government of India has been focussing on building human capital through investing in education for all, healthcare and skilling. Any slip-up will lead to sub-optimal leveraging of the demographic dividend with severe socio-economic consequences.
There are vast inter-State and intra-State differentials in the status of children. It is important to be aware of regions and districts that do not fare as well as others to facilitate appropriate prioritisation of resources. A first step in this direction is to be able to assess the status of children for all the districts of the country on the basis of globally accepted methodology.
This paper uses the methodologies adopted by Save the Children for two of its global indices for ranking countries on the status of children, adapts it to the India context proposing an India Child Development Index (ICDI).
Key Words – Children, Child Development Index, district level estimation, district level data, SDG, Save the Children
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