Lumos is working to end the institutionalization of children around the world by 2050. We work with international donors, governments, and communities, helping them redirect funds from orphanages to provide health, education, and social services, so children can be raised in loving families.
We train professionals to deliver better care and support. We transform the conditions that leave children at risk of trafficking and abuse. We help families to bring their children home.
Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
As many as 224 million children around the world are not counted by the monitoring systems used to measure country-level progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If these children are not included in the data, they are statistically invisible and at serious risk of being left behind. When children are counted, they are more likely to be included in government programs which help to ensure they grow up healthy, safe, and better-prepared to contribute positively to their societies. These children, whether they are in orphanages or other institutions, on the streets, or on the move, are among the most vulnerable in the world. The international community has long recognized the shortcomings of global measurement tools that lead to these children being uncounted.
Shortly after ratifying the SDGs, the United Nations (UN) promised that the Agenda’s Goals and Targets should be met for all segments of society. If the UN is to meet this promise to “Leave No One Behind” then there must be a concerted and focused effort to ensure that children outside family care are counted and their health, education, and safety be considered paramount.
Millions of vulnerable children are living on the streets, unaccompanied and separated in emergencies or migratory situations, in forced or hazardous domestic labor, and in institutional care. Because they do not live in a ‘household’, they are systematically left out of mainstream data collection processes that tend to rely on ‘household-based’ surveys.
In a ‘household based’ survey, such as the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), a paid researcher goes door-to-door to a pre-defined sample of households to gather information on the composition and needs of residents living inside the household. It has been estimated that as many as 200 million children are missed by these surveys worldwide.
Now Lumos, together with partners, has convened a data collaborative of experts and key stakeholders to tackle the issue of uncounted children. Three country demonstration pilots will begin to count children in Haiti, Uruguay, and Kenya.