UNICEF unveils the Urban Child Development Index in world premiere in Rabat
By Aniss MAGHRI & Reine Van Holsbeek
RABAT, Morocco, 3 November 2013—How can we measure the well-being of children in cities and ensure that urban development policies integrate the different dimensions of development of tomorrow's citizens: children and adolescents? In response to this question UNICEF, in collaboration with the Global City Indicators Facility, has developed UKID Index, the " Urban Child Development Index". Jeffrey O'Malley, UNICEF Director of Policy and Strategy, introduced the index on Friday October 4th in world premiere on the occasion of the 4th World Summit of the United Cities and Local Governments hosted by the city of Rabat, Morocco, from 1 to 4 October. "This index will allow stakeholders including policy makers at the city level to access strategic data necessary to develop, monitor and evaluate development policies incorporating the well-being of children" said Jeffrey O'Malley.
"This index will allow stakeholders including policy makers at the city level to access strategic data necessary to develop, monitor and evaluate development policies incorporating the well-being of children"
The UKID Index is created to address the complex challenges for children and young people in a rapidly urbanizing world. As the first global metric using detailed standardized data on children in cities, the index is a crucial starting point for tangible progress on child development in cities, and will be an important tool for advocacy, programming and evidence-based policy development. UKID results will inform stories behind the child-friendliness of cities, increasing accountability of local leaders and allowing participating cities to learn from worldwide comparisons.
As a metric for evaluating cities’ progress in creating a child-friendly environment, the UKID Index is developed under the guidance of UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative and embodies the Convention on the Rights of the Child at the local level. It therefore addresses global priorities for achieving human rights, reducing inequalities, and making interventions during the youngest years when they have the strongest impact
The UKID Index is composed of standardized disaggregated data from a number of GCIF indicators that assess four key categories for children: a good start to life; protection from harm; education and knowledge; and standard of living.
According to UNICEF’s World Report on the Situation of Children 2012, the world's urban population will reach 5 billion people by 2030, equivalent to 60% of the world population. With the pace of urbanization, policy makers, economic actors and vulnerable populations will face considerable challenges in terms of quality of basic services, employment, housing, and safety equipment. It may also cause social, economic and environmental malfunction.