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Decentralized Action for Children and Women (DACAW)

Child Protection


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Social Policy


Communication for Development


Decentralized Action for Children and Women (DACAW)

© UNICEF/NEP3204/SaShrestha

Following the conflict in Nepal and the prolonged absence of locally elected bodies, local governance and the delivery of services have been severely weakened. Despite this, strong community networks have continued to function. To build on this solid community base, service providers and local bodies need to strengthen their capacity to be more responsive and accountable to the increasing demands of individuals and communities, particularly the most disadvantaged. It is important that decentralisation policies support local governance in favour of children and women. The use of decentralisation strategies empowers communities and other stakeholders, and augments the delivery of programmatic results in education, health, protection, HIV/AIDS prevention, and water and sanitation. Approximately half of UNICEF’s programme resources are channelled through DACAW.


DACAW aims to strengthen the capacities of responsive service delivery institutions and community-based mechanisms (paralegal committees, women federations, child clubs, etc.)  to deliver results in the following areas:
• Protect children and women against violence, exploitation and abuse.
• Increase access to quality basic education, especially for girls and disadvantaged groups, and improve psychosocial and cognitive development of children.
• Improve maternal health; reduce childhood morbidity through improved   management of childhood illnesses due to acute respiratory infection (ARI), diarrhoea and vaccine-preventable diseases; and improve care for reduction in child and maternal malnutrition.
• Increase awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention.
• Reduce incidence of diseases from inadequate sanitation and water supply.
• Strengthen Community Action Process (CAP) and decentralised governance to support DACAW results.
• Support decentralised polices and provide technical support, especially for the most disadvantaged communities.

Expected results

By 2010, DACAW will have contributed to the achievement of sectoral programme results for education, health, protection, HIV/AIDS prevention, and water and sanitation, as detailed in the remaining sections of this booklet.
In 23 UNICEF-supported districts, DACAW, in collaboration with other UN agencies, will be operating in the most disadvantaged VDCs and 80 per cent of the most disadvantaged households will be using CAP. Community groups (e.g., child clubs and community organisations) will form sustainable federations and networks to
advocate on the rights of children and women.

Decentralisation policies will be updated and will be firmly based on the CRC, the CEDAW and CRC Committee Concluding Observations. They will reflect the needs of the most disadvantaged. Local bodies, district line agencies, civil society, and other duty bearers will undertak inclusive and evidence-based planning and monitoring in favour of children and women. Child-friendly local governance will be piloted in selected DACAW districts.



For every child
Health, Education, Equality, Protection