Policy and Planning - Country Programme 2010-2015
This programme component contributes to Government’s efforts to generate reliable and timely data to better inform policy and decision making. The programme aims to create an enabling social and economic policy environment that promotes child-centred policy as well as partnerships for sustained realisation of child rights.
This programme component complements the other programme and has three projects: Monitoring and Evaluation, Social and Economic Policy and Communication and Partnerships.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation are meant to facilitate more effective decision-making, including decisions to improve, reorient or discontinue the programmes or policies by national and international policy makers and funding agencies. UNICEF uses Monitoring and Evaluation approaches to determine whether the country programmes are responsive, and effectively and efficiently respond to issues that affect the most deprived children, as well as to determine the impact and sustainability of equity-based programmes.
Reliable statistical data are key to policy formulation and planning. The Monitoring and Evaluation component monitors the situation of children and women and generates data that will be used to inform policies and actions. This includes support to situation monitoring using the Situation Analysis of Children and Women, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), TojikInfo database system for monitoring progress toward the Millennium Development Goals and the Poverty Reduction Strategy, and tracking the impact of global crises on vulnerable families in Tajikistan.
The Monitoring and Evaluation project facilitates the national monitoring system and the organisation of a database covering essential indicators on children that will be available for use by decision-makers, public service managers and civil society organisations at national and district levels. UNICEF supports the Agency on Statistics under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to generate country data on economic and social indicators for the regional TransMonee database (www.transmonee.org). TransMonee is proving an increasingly important tool at the national level, bringing together a host of data on child rights indicators that is not centrally held in any other database in the country. The M&E project facilitates collection, analysis and use of data on key social and economic indicators to promote the result-based planning for the needs of children at the district level.
Social and Economic Policy
UNICEF is heavily involved in upstream economic and social policy work and to leverage new partnerships and resources for the fulfilment of children’s rights. The Social and Economic Policy programme concentrates its efforts on: decentralized programme implementation; social policy development; public finance management (PFM) and social budgeting; social protection; child poverty and disparities; migration, including impacts on children and families. The analytical work conducted by the programme has underpinned the advocacy efforts of UNICEF on issues related to poverty, vulnerability, social sector policies and expenditures.
Taking into account the need for localized initiatives , the UNICEF programme strategy in Tajikistan in the current programme cycle emphasizes decentralized programme implementation. In the initial years of implementation of the country programme, a trilateral partnership was established between UNICEF, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and twelve priority districts. The objectives of the decentralized approach to programme implementation are threefold:
· Allocate a larger share of UNICEF resources to the district level, boosting capacity development and service delivery for children and women in the most deprived districts and demonstrating a clear results chain, with tangible benefits for the most vulnerable in those districts
· Strengthen district-level planning for development, based on reliable evidence and realistic target setting, resulting in local development plans and budgets that prioritise services for the most deprived children and women and allocate a growing share of the local budget to these services
· Demonstrate partnerships for design and implementation of child supportive policies that improve quality of services for children which could be replicated to other non-target districts as a model to promote for child rights.
The Social and Economic Policy programme expects by the end of the programme cycle to achieve a demonstrable change in key indicators in the priority districts, brought about by stronger local planning processes, better prioritization of locally raised revenue, and the UNICEF contributions in cash and kind. To this effect, UNICEF is making a significant investment in strengthening data collection and analysis to achieve a systematic approach for child rights’ situation monitoring, both at national and local levels.
Communications and Partnership
The Communication and Partnership programme advocates for children’s rights and is responsible for placing the children’s agenda at the forefront of the national policy dialogue. This section has recently joined a UNICEF Initiative on Child Right Syllabus, a learning resource for journalism educators in universities across the CEE/CIS region, which is recognised as one of the most effective means of supporting a child-friendly media. Through the syllabus materials, comprising student and teacher guides as well as new resources developed by individual universities, the project aims to give Tajik journalists an understanding of children’s rights as articulated in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, and develop among professionals news reporting skills that encompass the rights of the children in all matters relating to children’s participation in the media.
Key strategies of this programme include producing high quality advocacy documents and broad media coverage of child policy, including development and maintenance of the UNICEF Tajikistan website as a knowledge centre on children and research-based development and impact evaluation of IEC materials. It will be a platform for the use of social media and online channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, exploring both traditional and innovative means of communication and capturing the breadth and depth of programme information by using available UNICEF resources, ultimately contributing to building a society friendly to children, where the rights of all children are fulfilled.
The Communications and Partnership section actively contributes to the work of UN Communication Group in Tajikistan to build a strong partnership with the Government, under a One UN image. Jointly the UN promotes eight Millennium Development Goals messages to the population of Tajikistan, to advance the policy agenda and to increase targeted allocations to issues benefiting children.
Last but not least, the Policy and Planning programme is also responsible for leveraging resources for children from the private sector and the general public, as well as external communication for the country programme.
The overall outcome of the programme is to prioritize children and women’s rights in national policies and plans, based on evidence, participatory planning and monitoring, and to encourage media and civil society partners to leverage resources for children.
TransMONEE provides trends against common and comparable benchmarks across the countries since 1989.
Child Rights Syllabus equips professionals to better understanding child rights and to produce stories about children in a responsible and ethical way. This programme is now part of the journalism curriculum at many universities of the CEE/CIS region, including Tajik National University.