Strategic Information Section
Division of Policy and Planning
Postal Address:Three United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
Fax: 1 212-735-4411
Current school attendance is estimated for both orphans and non-orphans aged 10–14. Orphans are defined as children both of whose biological parents have died. Non-orphans are defined as children both of whose parents are alive and who currently live with at least one biological parent.
Orphan school attendance rate (1)
Numerator: Number of children who have lost both parents and attend school.
Denominator: Number of children who have lost both parents.
Non-orphan school attendance (2)
Numerator: Number of children, both of whose parents are still alive, who live with at least one parent and who attend school.
Denominator: Number of children both of whose parents are still alive and who live with at least one parent.
The household survey data used to produce the indicator are weighted according to the survey design to create a nationally representative indicator. No additional alterations are made to the data.
The intent of this indicator is to compare school attendance among the most vulnerable children (double orphans) to school attendance among the least vulnerable children (those with both parents still alive and who are living with at least one parent).
The definitions of orphan/non-orphan used here—i.e. child aged 10–14 years as of the last birthday both of whose parents have died/are still alive—are chosen so that the maximum effect of disadvantage resulting from orphanhood can be identified and tracked over time. The age-range 10–14 years is used because younger orphans are more likely to have lost their parents recently so any detrimental effect on their education will have had little time to materialize. However, orphaned children are typically older than non-orphaned children (because the parents of younger children have often been HIV-infected for less time) and older children are more likely to have left school.
Typically, the data used to measure this indicator are taken from household-based surveys. Children not recorded in such surveys—e.g. those living in institutions or on the street—generally, are more disadvantaged and are more likely to be orphans. Thus, the indicator will tend to understate the relative disadvantage in educational attendance experienced by orphaned children.
This indicator does not distinguish children who lost their parents due to AIDS from those whose parents died of other causes. In countries with smaller epidemics or in the early stages of epidemics, most orphans will have lost their parents due to non-HIV-related causes. Any differences in the treatment of orphans according to the known or suspected cause of death of their parents could influence trends in the indicator. However, to date there is little evidence that such differences in treatment are common.
The indicator provides no information on actual numbers of orphaned children. The restrictions to double orphans and to 10–14-year-olds mean that estimates may be based on small numbers in countries with small or nascent epidemics.
In principle, there is no discrepancy between global and national figures, as national data are not modified.
These data are collected through household surveys, such as Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), reproductive and health surveys, and behavioural surveillance surveys. The results are reported regularly in the final reports of these surveys. In addition the data are available at : www.measuredhs.com/hivdata.
Nationally representative population-based surveys, such as DHS and MICS, are conducted by national statistical offices or other relevant government offices under the supervision of government or international agencies.
There is no treatment of missing values. When the information needed to calculate the indicator is not available, the indicator is not estimated.
Data are available from approximately 70 countries.
The universe/population interest is comprised of children aged 10-14 years.
The lag between the reference year and actual production of data series depends on the availability and reliability of the survey for each country. Household surveys, such as Demographic and Health Surveys, reproductive and health surveys, and Behavioural Surveillance Surveys, are generally conducted every three to five years.
Household surveys, such as DHS and MICS, are in general implemented every 3-5 years with results published within a year of field data collection. Data from national-level household surveys are compiled in the UNICEF global databases and are published annually by UNICEF in The State of the World’s Children report, and are available at www.childinfo.org.
Regional and global estimates are based on population-weighted averages weighted by the total number of young women and men 10-14 years of age. These estimates are presented only if available data cover at least 50% of total young men and women 10-14 years of age in the regional or global groupings.
Available data are published in annual reports, at the end of the calendar year, by UNICEF in The State of the World’s Children, Children and AIDS Stock Taking Report and are available at www.childinfo.org.