Advocacy, Public Policy and Partnerships
Jamaica ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in May 1991, committing the country to ensuring that the full range of child rights outlined in this agreement are met and protected for every Jamaican child.
The capacity of government institutions (at national and parish levels) and civil society organizations needs to be strengthened for them to fully meet their obligations related to the fulfillment of children's rights. This includes enhancing capacities related to ensuring accurate information gathering and data analysis for effective decision making, design and implementation of social and economic policies, legislative measures and budgetary allocations to improve the conditions and well-being of children and women.
Partnerships and coalitions need to be built and strengthened to amplify the voices and efforts to ensure that children's rights are increasingly respected and protected. The media and other groups need to raise and sustain awareness of children's rights and spotlight those rights which continue to be violated.
Children need to have more opportunities for meaningful participation at all levels of society, particularly in decision-making on issues affecting them. Targeted, evidence-based advocacy on behalf of children will help to achieve consistency between policy priorities and resource allocations for children, and challenge established cultural practices that conflict with the the principles of the CRC.
Programme ObjectivesThe overall programme’s objective is to strengthen national capacities in promoting and protecting child rights through partnership, data driven advocacy, interventions geared at improving the national social statistics system, and institutionalized participation of children.
Supporting the Jamaican Government’s commitment to child rights, poverty reduction and participation and transparency, the Advocacy, Public Policy and Partnerships programme will further generate knowledge on children’s rights, promote data use and participation in planning, advocate for commensurate allocation of resources, build critical partnerships in support of children’s rights, promote children’s participation at national and community levels, and strengthen national monitoring systems on children’s rights.
The programme will build on existing partnerships with media, the private sector, the Children’s Advocate and Statistical Institute, as well as work undertaken under the Social Investment for Children Initiative.
Programme StrategiesThe results will be achieved through a combination of national and community-level interventions with inputs of technical and financial assistance and advocacy. As part of the Social Investment for Children Initiative, increased focus will be given to building community capacity to participate in the budgeting process. Similarly, a two-pronged approach will ensure that national public policies reflect children as a priority but also systematically engage the participation of children.
In addition, the programme will further strengthen JamStats to provide robust data for policy development, strategic planning, budgeting, social investment disparity-reduction and advocacy. Advocacy will focus on achieving consistency between policy priorities and resource allocations for children and will also challenge established cultural practices conflicting with the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF will call for the inclusion of vulnerable groups and for improving the efficiency and user-friendliness of social safety provisions.
Projects1. Public Policy and Planning
By the end of 2011, the project is expected to result in:
2. Advocacy and Partnership
The project will result in children’s rights being increasingly respected and protected within the Jamaican society and opportunities for meaningful child participation in decision making increased. The project will aim at building coalitions and rallying various interests groups around specific issues pertaining to children rights. Media will be key to promote overall awareness on children’s rights and bring to the fore discrimination or harmful practices affecting children. The sports community will be engaged to empower adolescents and help them disseminate life skills in the prevention against violence and HIV and AIDS among adolescents.
In particular, in 2007 and beyond, UNICEF Jamaica will implement the global partnership forged with the International Cricket Council at the end of 2006. UNICEF will also work with the church community, especially the Jamaican Council of Churches to implement the regional memorandum of understanding between UNICEF and the Caribbean Council of Churches to promote positive disciplining of children, eliminate corporal punishment and end stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS.
In specific areas such as early childhood, violence prevention, and adolescents’ empowerment, UNICEF will strengthen the capacity of philanthropies. A particular focus will be given to the alignment of their priorities with those of the national plans, as well as to the development of performance frameworks. UNICEF Jamaica will engage the private sector overall in support of public policies and mobilisation and effective use of private and public resources.
3. Monitoring and Evaluation
This project is national in scope. The overall expected result is one comprehensive data management and dissemination system producing timely data on the MDG and WFFC indicators and the data used to inform advocacy, policy and programme planning. A strengthened social statistics system will contribute significantly to the planning, advocacy and programming for children and this project builds on the work of the previous country programme and the excellent foundation which exists nationally. The strategies of this project are geared towards improving management and dissemination of social statistics; data collection, processing and analysis; and capacity building to improve data quality.
Social Investment for Children Initiative
Investing in Children and Adolescents - Arguments and Approaches for Advocacy
In order to bring about effective change, the rights of children and adolescents must be placed at the centre of public policy, and of