In India, we are following 3,000 children (2,000 born in 2001-02 and 1,000 born in 1994-95) in 20 sentinel sites across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The study uses a pro-poor sample that includes nearly an equal number of boys and girls, located in both rural and urban communities. Our research provides insights into every phase of childhood and facets of child development across generations. There are three main components in our study:

  • Quantitative longitudinal research: five rounds of in person surveys of all 3,000 children, their caregivers, and community leaders
  • A five call telephone survey between 2020-22 (Round 6).
  • Qualitative longitudinal research: in-depth interviews with a smaller group of 48 children, their peers, and parents
  • Two school surveys, at primary- and secondary levels, conducted in private and government schools
  • A phone survey with 218 school principals of government and private secondary schools to investigate educational institutes' response to the needs of students while schools were closed during the pandemic. 
  • Policy and Communications: sharing our findings with relevant stakeholders like policymakers.

Our approach

Our innovative approach to poverty research is enabling us to collect a wealth of information not only about children’s material and social circumstances but also their perspectives on their lives and aspirations for their futures, set against the social and environmental realities of their communities. 

Our study aims are to build knowledge on how early childhood experiences impact later life outcomes, and the part played by intersecting inequalities such as wealth, gender, age, and ethnicity, and significant external shocks including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change and inform national policies and programmes that improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people, and that are central to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


“Young Lives is the only longitudinal study in India that adopts a life course perspective and has provided us evidence of how policies, programmes, and shocks such as the pandemic have impacted the lives of young people growing up in the poorest households. The fact that the Young Lives study covers various domains such as nutrition, health, education, relationships, psycho-social well-being as well as labour market transitions also sets it apart from other studies.”

Young Lives India Country Director - Dr. Renu Singh
Young group cleaning plates in India