UNICEF in action: Strategy & priorities
Through its Social Policy work, UNICEF aims to influence public policy decisions to enhance children’s survival and development opportunities.
UNICEF’s Social Policy strategy is grounded in human rights and pro-poor development. By attempting to reach the most vulnerable children and their mothers, UNICEF’s Social Policy initiatives are intended to enable the poor to participate in the process of economic and social development, thus reducing disparities.
The initiative is guided by a number of overarching concerns and focuses on:
While an adult may fall into poverty temporarily, for a child poverty can last a lifetime, since he or she rarely will have the opportunity to fully recover from health and nutrition deficits encountered as an infant. UNICEF therefore considers combating child poverty a key component of its Social Policy response. This includes research and analysis aimed at understanding the full extent of child poverty, including deprivations in the areas of health, education, nutrition, participation and protection from harm, exploitation and discrimination.
UNICEF advocates for child-sensitive social protection systems that mitigate the effects of poverty on families, strengthen families in their child care role, enhance access to basic services for the poorest and most marginalized, and provide special services to children who live outside a family environment.
UNICEF has identified key social protection interventions that can have a direct impact on the most vulnerable women and children, including legal and judicial reforms and cash transfers.
To maximize resources for children, UNICEF supports governments in identifying funding sources, institutionalizing public participation in the budgeting process, creating consensus around the need to invest more in children, and using public finance policies to achieve sustainable progress in the fulfillment of children’s rights. UNICEF works with governments and other partners, including civil society, other development agencies, and the donor community to help ensure that budget and policy priorities reflect this commitment.