Social Investment for Children Initiative
The Social Investment for Children Initiative was officially launched on 29 March 2006 by the Hon. Donald Rhodd, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Chairman of the Human and Social Development Committee of Parliament.
The Initiative which is being supported by UNICEF, UNDP, the Cabinet Office, the Planning Institute of Jamaica, the Child Development Agency, the Office of the Children's Advocate and the Jamaica Coalition on the Rights of the Child aims to build national capacity to ensure that social investment is consistent with agreed national priorities for children.
The basis for the formation of the Initiative was an analysis of "Fiscal Expenditures on Services for Children in Jamaica 2003-2006" undertaken by Dr. Michael Witter, Head of the Department of Economics, University of the West Indies.
LAUNCH OF SOCIAL INVESTMENT FOR CHILDREN REPORTOn 14 April 2008, the Social Investment for Children Initiative launched its first report, "A Review of Economic and Social Investments for Jamaican Children", which found that total expenditure on children in the Jamaican budget has not increased significantly over the last five years.
The report indicates that Jamaica has maintained relatively high levels of recurrent expenditure on social services - despite slow economic growth and a massive debt burden - but need to focus more on ensuring that resources for children are adequately allocated and efficiently spent.
The report analyzes expenditure on services and programmes for children for the fiscal period 2003/04 (actual), 2004/05 (revised) and 2005/06 (approved), conducted by Dr. Michael Witter, former Professor of Economics at UWI. The SICI group supplemented these findings with an analysis of the 2005/06 (actual), 2006/07 (revised) and 2007/08 (approved) fiscal years.
Recommendations of the Social Investment for Children Initiative Working Group
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 particularly budgetary policy. The volume and use of public resources assigned to ensuring compliance with the rights of children and adolescents are crucial indicators of the priority that states grant to these rights.
WHAT'S IN THE BUDGET FOR CHILDREN?
Social Investment for Children - Concept Paper and Plan of Action
Childhood Concerns - The View not Always Heard