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While this broad-scale review represents a modest first step, its findings provide the basis for further investigation.The review compares literature from across disciplines and geographical locations to look at the effect on children of growing up in a mountainous environment.
The full search plan for the review is included as an “”.
Eligibility criteria for inclusion in the review were broad.
The significance is in the finding of common themes across the literature, which tend to confirm the broad applicability of Ives’ description of a “mountain problematique” [: Geographic specificity is important in understanding mountain poverty and most of the literature reviewed here focuses on specific geographic areas and the local determinants of poverty.
However this review takes a comparative perspective in order to examine whether mountainous environments also have a general effect on child poverty.] two decades ago is intensifying.
The selection was limited to studies in English written since 2000, both to provide a contemporary view and because of limited resources.
Documents which met the eligibility criteria were selected for review by reading the abstract and, where necessary, scanning the entire document.However, this literature does contribute analyses of the broader context and variety of factors impacting on human development in mountainous areas.The literature on other areas of children’s lives—health, nutrition, child mortality, education, and child labour—focuses more specifically on children’s particular vulnerabilities or experiences.The initial web searches identified 165 documents, from which 68 were selected for the review by reference to the eligibility criteria.The table below gives a breakdown of documents which were selected, according to topic and type of document (Table Given the diverse sources, analysis or comparison of empirical data was not relevant; instead, the discussion is based on the authors’ conclusions and observations.The aim of this review was to test whether the existing literature confirms Ives’ view that children in mountainous environments in low- and middle-income countries are disadvantaged compared with lowland children in the same country or region.Based on his description of the “mountain problematique”, a wide variety of interconnected factors impacting on mountain children was anticipated.Any article or report, published or unpublished, which revealed anything about a relationship between mountainous environments and the condition of children was included.Documents that simply mentioned that the study took place in a mountainous environment or did not engage with the question of how the mountainous context impacted on children’s wellbeing were excluded from the review.For each document, notes were made and brief summaries written, drawing out any evidence or discussion which addressed the impact of mountainous environments on children.A spreadsheet was then used to categorise documents into broad topics (see table above) and themes (driving forces).