Social partnership to address children’s needs with equity
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 3 August 2012. - The country has acknowledged the increasing role of civil society organizations in ongoing reforms and initiated a new law on social partnership. This provides a momentum to expand UNICEF’s partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) so that they are engaged in solving children’s issues and support activities on the ground.
In Fergana, Karakalpakstan, Khorezm, Namangan and Surkhandarya, NGOs worked with governments to develop regional plans of actions (RPAs) for child wellbeing. This process was led by the Intersectoral Working Groups (IWG), bringing together representatives of NGOs with regional governments, departments of health, education, finance, statistics, labour and social protection, emergency situations, internal affairs, Prosecutor’s Office.
The IWGs reviewed the problems related to the wellbeing of children in their regions and developed a plan of action to address these issues in a comprehensive way. UNICEF provided technical support to the data collection and analysis by involving research agencies. UNICEF also worked with members of the groups to improve their knowledge and competence to effectively respond to children’s needs.
The Association to Support Children and Families, a national NGO, was closely involved in developing RPAs in these regions. “We partnered with UNICEF to build the capacity of local NGOs to monitor child wellbeing issues. They understand now the importance of situation analysis and try to align their work with regional priorities for children. They are also better prepared to cooperate with governments,” says Ms. Inqilob Yusupova, Chairperson of the NGO.
The broad scale capacity building of NGOs to ensure for their constructive participation in RPA implementation is yet to come but this NGO has already taken a proactive approach. A concrete example comes from Karakalpakstan, where its regional branch enlisted the support of the Council of Ministers to set up a joint training centre for socially vulnerable children. The government has provided the renovated premises in the regional capital. The NGO will develop appropriate extra-curricular activities to support children’s learning and development. The Commission for Minors, a regional intersectoral body on child protection, also offered its support.