Social policy and advocacy

Overview

Monitoring the situation of children and women

Social policy analysis

 

Monitoring the situation of children and women

© UNICEF Thailand/2012/Athit Perawongmetha
A staff of the National Statiscal Office interviewed a mother in Ranong Province in order to collect data for the Survey on the Situation of Children and Women in Thailand.

The key to the effective promotion and protection of the rights of children and women is a thorough understanding of their current situation. Regular monitoring of the health, nutrition, development, education and protection of children helps identify where government services and programmes are successfully reaching their objectives, as well as highlighting gaps and shortfalls.

UNICEF works with partners to help ensure that national monitoring systems use the most up to date techniques and meet international standards. In 2012, UNICEF supported the National Statistical Office of Thailand to carry out a comprehensive national Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) of 27,000 households, examining all aspects of children’s wellbeing. The new MICS survey is a follow-up to a MICS carried out in 2005-2006. Analysis of these two surveys illustrates the significant achievements Thailand has made in advancing children’s rights to health and education; at the same time they indicate where insufficient progress has been made such as in child nutrition. The surveys highlight that there are still many poor and marginalized children in Thailand who are not benefitting from national economic development.

The detailed analysis of MICS data by policy makers and researchers helps identify areas where greater effort is needed to reduce disparities in children’s health, nutrition and education. In addition to national surveys such as the MICS, UNICEF also supports research projects to explore in more depth particular aspects of children’s wellbeing and increase understanding of the root causes leading to the violation of their rights. In recent years, UNICEF has supported innovative studies to examine violence against children; the views of children on the response and preparedness for the 2011 floods (including survival swimming ability); and the impact on children of living amid the unrest in the Southern border provinces. UNICEF is also supporting research into the impact of internal migration on children who are left behind by their parents. This is a major phenomenon in Thailand and there has been little attention as yet given to the medium and long-term impact of extended separation of children from their parents caused by migration.

Increasingly, UNICEF’s cooperation involves support to evaluation and review of national programmes and systems for monitoring children’s rights. High quality evaluations highlight where these systems need to be strengthened to provide regular and reliable information on the status of children’s health, education and protection. In 2012, UNICEF supported an evaluation of the child protection monitoring system, and in 2013 is providing technical support to the development of a monitoring and evaluation system for National Child and Youth Development plan. An evaluation of Thailand’s birth registration system in 2013 is also under discussion. A key strategy of this programme component is to strengthen national evaluation capacity. UNICEF has been working in partnership with the Knowledge Network Institute of Thailand and other partners to establish a Thailand Evaluation Network (TEN) to enhance the professionalization of evaluation. The TEN is a channel to develop knowledge, raise standards, and exchange good practice nationally and internationally in evaluation to increase its contributing to decision-making and policy formulation.

 

 
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