Sen's capability approach has changed the way we think about population and development.
Poverty and well-being is the biggest problem for developing countries. The impact of poverty is for the most vulnerable population, such as women and children—poverty in children resulting in non-fulfilment of basic needs. Children grow up with limited access to economic, social, educational, health, pleasant environment and participation are the centre of problems to the welfare and development of children—limitations of the vital things that will affect the high possibility of child disability, illness and death. In the long term, it affects physical growth and development of children and ultimately will have an impact on the economic growth of the country. In the long run, the development of children issue is fundamental because they become an essential determinant in the long term development of societies and countries.
Sen's capability approach is repositioning welfare in the context of the fulfilment of individual rights (Sen, 1999). Individuals must have a capacity in achieving a standard of living. Individuals must grow and develop properly, educated, healthy, have a decent home, and be able to take part in public life. Individuals should enjoy a particular basic need to achieve a certain quality of life.
Based on Sen's concept of well being, the survival life level is an essential capability and an indicator of the well-being of children. Sen's capability approach is suggesting that the children well-being should be evaluated not only by the child's ability to earn income in the utility function but the extent to which children can improve their capabilities in carrying out their social functions. Functions can be interpreting as becoming and act like human beings. The capability is defining as the various combinations of functions that can be achieved by them.
For measure, the capabilities, Sen's capability approach needs to be updating with more combination research. For measure the children capabilities, the best way with a combination of primary data (quantitative) and also in-depth interview and focus group discussion (qualitative) (Bigger, Ballet, & Comim, 2011). Qualitative research methodology with the survey can show the map of children capabilities conditions. Moreover, for understanding the reason for the problem, in-depth interview and focus group discussion can support the explanation. UNICEF (2005) make a concept of measurement the poverty and well-being in the multidimensional dimension. The children who live in poverty is the shortage of the resources needed materially, spiritually, and emotionally for their daily lives. Of the various dimensions of poverty, including mortality, hunger, illiteracy, limited to adequate housing, can not be measured only by using traditional measurement methods (single dimension). Based on this, there are two main approaches used to measure child poverty and well-being; there is a monetary and non-monetary approach (Robeyns, 2003). The monetary approach used by the welfarist and utilitarians. Whereas the non-monetary approach used by a group of non-welfarists. The two approaches differ in the viewpoint of analysis and how individuals assess their welfare and some of the factors used in the analysis of each approach.
Accountability and a more comprehensive measuring tool in the analysis of the children well-being and poverty level will help policyholders to classify the poor, to formulate appropriate policies and approaches, as well as the impact of policy interventions, are measurable. Photographing poverty as a social phenomenon can not just be done with the monetary approach, which tends to bias in measuring deprivation of the poor.
Written by Inayah Hidayati - Research Center for Population LIPI
Biggeri, M., Ballet, J., & Comim, F. 2011. The capability approach and research on children: Capability approach and children's issues. In Children and the good life (pp. 75-89). Springer Netherlands.
Robeyns, Ingrid. 2003. The capability approach: an interdisciplinary introduction. Training course preceding the Third International Conference on the Capability Approach, Pavia, Italy.
Sen, Amartya. 1999. Commodities and capabilities. OUP Catalogue.
UNICEF. 2005. The situation of children of the world in 2005. New York.