Social Protection


Research and analysis

Policy advocacy

Building social protection skills


Research and analysis

Supporting quality research
© UNICEF Cambodia/Nicolas Axelrod

There is currently a lack of reliable information on key child rights indicators in the social sectors and child-relevant programmes in Cambodia. Data analysis and planning that focuses on equity is used insufficiently in public sector policies, plans and budgets and in poverty reduction strategies and plans. There is also limited participation of women and children in research and local and national decision making.

With Cambodia’s children of today turning into a large labour force, investments in their health, education, protection, lifeskills and employability are a prerequisite for the country’s sustainable and equitably shared development. As such, child, adolescent and youth participation should also be factored into decision-making processes.

Recording evidence from experiences in the field is vital to influencing policy and planning at the national level, as well as promoting appropriate knowledge, attitudes and behaviour at the community level. UNICEF works to strengthen the capacity of the Government to generate and use child-relevant data and evidence to inform socio-economic development policy to improve outcomes for children from investments and interventions in basic social services.

What we do

  • Support innovative and participatory approaches to generate evidence from field experiences.
  • Strengthen national data management and evaluation systems to be child sensitive with a focus on equity.
  • Strengthen national knowledge management systems which keep track of the situation of children and the attainment of children’s rights.
  • Support the dissemination of relevant child-focused information to inform national policy formulation, planning and decision-making processes.
  • Strengthen national capacity in participatory research to increase the level and quality of participation as a process, a principle and a right.

Supporting quality research
© UNICEF Cambodia/Nicolas Axelrod


Improved government capacity at the national and subnational levels to engage in quality research and analysis, together with rights-holders, is leading to an increase in evidence-based policy-making and reforms. Meanwhile, publication of the Child Tracker Bulletin, which aims to monitor the current situation of children, is helping to promote the development of timely, responsive national policies and measures to address hindrances to a full realization of children’s rights.

Better coordination of data collection activities and analyses is leading to greater efficiency and improved quality of statistics. The National Institute of Statistics has further established its role as the national provider of statistics, creating a comprehensive management information system covering key indicators on children’s rights.

Moreover, the Social Protection Research Fund is helping to promote relevant, strategic and cost-effective research practices on social protection issues. This is stimulating a climate to attract and motivate quality researchers to bring evidence of chronic, transient and emerging vulnerabilities to the attention of the government so that appropriate national and sub-national responses can be formed.





Child disparities in achieving Cambodia's millennium development goals

Child health: Children under five and in the poorest 20 per cent of the population are three times more likely to die than children of the same age in the richest 20 per cent.

Child nutrition: Children born to mothers in the poorest households are more than twice as likely (35 per cent) to be underweight than children born to mothers in the richest households (16 per cent).

Maternal health: Children born in urban areas (86 per cent) are twice as likely to be delivered in a health facility as children born in rural areas (48 per cent). Only 34 per cent of women with no education deliver in a health facility, as compared with 75 per cent of women with a secondary education or higher.

Basic education: Transition rates for children entering lower secondary education are higher in urban areas (94.5 per cent) than in rural areas (77.4 per cent). This
disparity increases in higher secondary education, with 92.9 per cent and 65.7 per cent respectively. Dropout rates for lower secondary school are almost twice as high in rural areas than urban areas.

Water and sanitation: Only 25 per cent of the rural population has access to sanitation, compared to 78 per cent in urban areas.

Social protection: Social protection coverage in Cambodia is roughly 44 per cent of all eligible poor. Children, pregnant women and the elderly in particular remain largely untargeted by social protection interventions, yet they are the most vulnerable.

Sources: Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey, 2010; Education Management Information System, 2009/2010; Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey, 2009.


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