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FHI 360 releases three papers on orphans and vulnerable children

July 15, 2013

A decade after the term “orphans and vulnerable children” (OVC) gained traction in human development circles, FHI 360’s experts are reflecting on the orphan crisis, the policy response and how vulnerability has shaped the educational outcomes and experiences of African children, through the release of three papers.

The first paper in the series, Orphans and Vulnerable Children: Trends in School Access and Experience in Eastern and Southern Africa examines access to schooling and educational experiences of orphaned youth, moving from a macro lens — analyses of household survey data from Lesotho, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia through demographic health surveys — to a micro lens — an in-depth secondary school survey and ethnographic study from Lesotho.

Two follow-up papers, Child Vulnerability and Educational Disadvantage in Uganda: Patterns of School Attendance and Performance and Most Vulnerable Children in Tanzania focus on the cases of Tanzania and Uganda, examining the extent to which child vulnerability indicators identified by the government are associated with lower educational access and what additional indicators predict educational disadvantage. In Uganda, the analysis was taken a step further by examining sixth grade learning outcomes among groups that were labeled as vulnerable.

FHI 360 experts have been presenting the three papers at events across the country. One such presentation, titled Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Analysis of School Experience and Learning Environments, was named “Best Symposium” by the International Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) at their annual conference in San Francisco this year.

To learn more about FHI 360’s OVC work, please visit

About FHI 360: FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Our staff includes experts in health, education, nutrition, environment, economic development, civil society, gender equality, youth, research, technology, communication and social marketing — creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today’s interrelated development challenges. FHI 360 serves more than 60 countries and all U.S. states and territories.