Child Focused Governance
Samira, 10 is living in Bajro, Roma settlement near Bitola. Her birth was never registered so she cannot attend school
Since 2003, the country has made steady progress in economic growth. However wealth generation has been uneven. Recognising that children are among the poorest demographic group, UNICEF has been working with the government and other partners to make sure children are benefiting from these developments.
All poverty measurements show that children experience poverty at higher degrees than do other demographic groups. The latest national statistics highlight that some 37 per cent of children are living under the relative poverty line.
However, making economic growth work for children is hampered by weak linkages among accountabilities, planning and expenditures. All too often, the ability of the country’s policy planners to disperse public resources where they are most needed has been limited by insufficient accurate and disaggregated data and knowledge on best practices.
Through providing technical guidance, generating new studies on best practices and capacity building, UNICEF is helping the government make these linkages.
At the national level UNICEF is working with National Commission on Children’s Rights – an inter-ministerial body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the national action plan for children and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The commission members have been trained by UNICEF in child rights monitoring and reporting. UNICEF is now working with them to improve their efficiency and transparency and is providing technical assistance to develop actions to address the recent recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
UNICEF is also generating evidence and compiling knowledge on global best practices in pro-child and pro-poor economic and social policies. Some of the more recent studies include studies on Child Poverty, Child Focused Public Expenditure and the Child-Well Being in Difficult Economic Times. Not only have these studies shed light on the situation of children in the country, they have also provided policy makers with possible solutions to ensure budget allocations and policies are more equitable.
At the local level UNICEF is working with municipalities to increase the ability of local politicians and officials to put children’s issues at the center of local planning.
Through the Child-Friendly Municipality initiative, UNICEF has helped 11 municipalities create local child rights commissions and provided tools to help them collect and analyze data on the situation of children in their municipalities.
UNICEF has also trained administrators in each town about child rights, how to view local laws through the prism of children and how to monitor indicators like mortality rates and the number of teachers that can help them track their progress. To give children a louder voice, UNICEF has also supported the creation of youth councils in the 11 participating municipalities.