Social Policy, Advocacy and Partnerships for Children's rights
In Barbados and in the Eastern Caribbean, UNICEF supports activities encouraging a more adequate policy environment adapted to children’s needs and rights. Some of the type of activities it has supported in this sub-region include:
Social policy mapping for children:
UNICEF advocates for the role of children in public policy. UNICEF has developed an extensive database with over 600 documents to enable policy makers and other stakeholders to access and use relevant policy, legal, financial and monitoring tools to better understand and deal with children’s rights. This database is available on CD-ROM. Future activities will focus on capacity building and analytical research.
Understanding child poverty:
UNICEF has undertaken a child vulnerability study in 2006. Other activities and researches have taken place to identify the level of child poverty in the Eastern Caribbean and the first results were striking: in all countries over 50% of the poor are less than 24 years old. Further efforts will be undertaken to gain more knowledge on child poverty in the Eastern Caribbean and to include this important dimension in existing policy initiatives such as poverty assessments, monitoring and budgeting initiatives.
The promotion of DevInfo:
UNICEF supports the software DevInfo as a national data dissemination tool, in order to ensure that statistical information on key socio-economic trends affecting children is available. This is done mainly through capacity building and technical assistance in collaboration with the CARICOM secretariat and different UN agencies. Currently statistical offices from Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia and St.Vincent and the Grenadines have benefited from direct assistance and are –on their own speed- experimenting with the software.
In the new Multi-Country Programme 2008-2011, Social Policy will be central for all interventions and future activities will involve research and dissemination of key information to decision makers, the involvement of young people in policy making, child budgeting, capacity building and legal reform.