The Country Programme, 2008-2012
Government of India – UNICEF Programme of Co-operationOver the last five years, India has seen impressive economic growth as well as progress in terms of human development. The economy has gone from strength to strength, with growth rates as high as nine per cent in 2006-07, while the population below the poverty line has been gradually falling.
However, in its approach paper for the 11th Five Year Plan, the Government of India (GOI) recognises that even these remarkable growth rates are not fast or equitable enough to reach disadvantaged populations.
Key achievements of the UNICEF Country Programme (2003-2007)The previous Country Programme focussed on the fulfilment of rights of all children and women, and the promotion of an enabling environment to ensure equity and to strengthen accountabilities towards children..
In collaboration with government schemes, key achievements over the last five years include
The Country Programme, 2008-2012
Goal and objectivesThe overall goal of the 2008-2012 Country Programme is to advance the fulfilment of the rights of all women and children in India to survival, development, participation and protection by reducing social inequalities based on gender, caste, ethnicity or region.
UNICEF’s work is centred on children from neonatal stages to adolescence. There is also a special focus on social inclusion in all these programmes, keeping in mind the fact that the Eleventh-Five-Year Plan emphasises on ‘inclusive growth’ and recognises social exclusion and inequality as a constraint to the achievement of MDG goals.
In addition to reducing infant mortality rates (IMR), the Reproductive and Child Health programme will also aim to reduce maternal mortality rates (MMR) from 301 to 100 per 100,000 live births. The main interventions will revolve around enhancing child survival and maternal care.
The Child Development and Nutrition programme will stress on the nutritional status of the mother along with the child. UNICEF will focus on providing technical know-how to enhance ICDS functioning and delivery by supporting training of the field-level workers on the one hand and by conducting a nationwide awareness campaign on the issue with the purpose of influencing policy. Anticipated results include:
Child Environment improving freshwater availability, its management, conservation and equitable allocation, as well as access to sanitation and adoption of critical hygiene practices.
The Child Protection will seek to protect children from violence, exploitation and abuse. The programme will seek to create a protective environment for children through the improvement and expansion of services to children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with the law under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, child labour laws and other related legislation.
The Education programme will endeavour to fine-tune policies and strategies to increase the enrolment, retention, achievement and completion rates in elementary education. In particular, the programme seeks to improve learning outcomes, completion rates and literacy levels amongst disadvantaged groups.
The Children and AIDS Programme will seek to reduce vulnerabilities, slow down the rate of new infections and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS among children 0-18 years old; in addition, the emphasis in the area of prevention will be on the most at risk and especially vulnerable young people up to the age of 24.
The Social Policy, Advocacy and Behaviour Change Communication programmes will focus on influencing national policies and schemes with respect to rights of children and women through advocacy, and on reaching families and communities on a number of inter-related behaviours and social/cultural norms that cut across programmes.
In view of the fact that almost 80 per cent of India is vulnerable of natural disasters, which cause extensive damage to lives and livelihoods every year, the Emergency Preparedness and Response programme will ensure the fulfilment of rights of children and women in humanitarian crises.
At a national level, UNICEF will work closely with the central government in ensuring that children’s rights are reflected and resourced in policies and programmes. In the disadvantaged states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, the emphasis will be on focusing resources in terms of programming, policy and advocacy.
PartnershipsUNICEF will work in close partnership with other United Nations agencies as outlined in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, the World Bank, bilateral partners such as the UK’s Department for International Development, the private sector, and international and national non-governmental organisations.