Social Protection


Research and analysis

Policy advocacy

Building social protection skills


Policy advocacy

Strengthening child-sensitive
© UNICEF Cambodia/Nicolas Axelrod

While capacity levels of the Cambodian Government to deal with poverty reduction have increased over the past decade, the structural causes of poverty are not being adequately addressed through policies and development interventions. Among others, there is limited coverage and coherence in approaches to social protection and limited negotiation and harmonisation of budgets to meet social needs. Furthermore, national data management systems in Cambodia are not properly resourced and data is not consistently used to inform decision-making in poverty reduction and sectoral policies. This includes the recommendations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which are not adequately responded to, such as adequate resourcing of the social sectors and child-focused programmes.

In recent years, Cambodia has seen a decline in investments in the social sectors compared to overall investments, as well as a decline in budget allocation for the social sectors within the overall budget. Declining shares of social sector budgets – at a low of less than 0.5 per cent of GDP in 2010 – need to be reprioritised in favour of human and social development in order to strengthen the human capital base towards a sustained recovery and development.

UNICEF works with the government to ensure that national policy dialogue and formulation in areas relevant to children’s rights are based on policy impact and budget analysis, and backed by adequate resources. Our work supports country-led monitoring, research and evaluation to inform strategic decisionmaking, and periodic analysis of the situation of children and women’s rights. Strategic communication for achieving sustainable social change is an important strategy for this work.

What we do

  • Support the development and implementation of a child and gender-sensitive approach to social budget analysis to achieve more equitable outcomes for children and families.
  • Assist with regular monitoring of social budgets and analyse how they relate to child outcomes, for example their health, educational levels, access and participation in decision-making.
  • Support strategic and programmatic choices for designing, implementing and resourcing child-sensitive social protection programmes and packages.
  • Support the analysis of laws and economic and social policies to assess their impact on children’s well-being in order to inform national policy, budget formulation and monitoring and reporting on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
  • Support child-centred social protection programmes towards promoting resilience and coping strategies and reducing child poverty and deprivation.

Strengthening child-sensitive
© UNICEF Cambodia/Nicolas Axelrod


In coordination and partnership with the Cambodia National Council for Children, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and UNICEF, a Child Budgeting Initiative has set a strategic departure point to develop and implement a framework for national capacity development in child responsive budgeting. UNICEF has supported
the Cambodia National Council for Children to publish a quarterly Child Tracker Bulletin as an advocacy tool to monitor and report on the current situation of children in order to better inform the timely development of responsive national and sub-national policies to address issues faced by children in realising their rights.

Moreover, implementation of the Child Budgeting Initiative is helping to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and other key social ministries, in budget planning and budget expenditure review and analysis of children’s issues, as well as enhancing awareness about the relevance of child responsive budgeting among key stakeholders at both the national and sub-national levels. Through participation and dialogue among policymakers and various stakeholders, this child rights approach to budgeting will lead to the adequate and effective allocation of financial resources, in turn, improving the situation of children in Cambodia.



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