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18 August 2016: The Eclectic: Social policy news from Eastern and Southern Africa (Issue #5)

First two Child Poverty Reports launched in ESAR since the adoption of the SDGs!
Malawi and Tanzania have officially launched their Child Poverty Reports. These serve as a national baseline for measuring future progress against SDG 1.2 on halving child poverty. In both countries, child poverty is very high: 63 per cent of children in Malawi and 74 per cent of children in Tanzania live in non-monetary poverty (or multi-dimensional poverty). In both countries, non-monetary poverty is much higher than monetary poverty, confirming that many children experience multidimensional poverty without being affected by monetary poverty (43 per cent are monetary poor in Malawi while 29 per cent are monetary poor in Tanzania). An excellent policy brief was developed in Tanzania to support dissemination of the report.

ESAR countries show mixed results in quality of policies and institutions
According to the World Bank’s annual Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) for Sub-Saharan Africa, half of the region’s countries posted relatively weak performance in their policy environment supporting development and poverty reduction in 2015. Only Zimbabwe and Comoros improved compared to last year, while six countries saw a deterioration, with Burundi showing the sharpest decline. Rwanda is the continent’s top performer, followed by Kenya.

No more signs of good governance in ESAR?
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has announced that there is no winner of the 2015 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. Potential candidates for the Ibrahim Prize are former African executive Heads of State or Government who have left their office during the past three calendar years, having been democratically elected and served their constitutionally mandated term. Since being launched in 2006, the Ibrahim Prize has been only awarded four times, three of which to former Presidents in ESAR: President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia (2014), President Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008), and President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2007).

Young Africans question their leaders’ response to address conflicts
86,000 people aged 15-30 have answered to the largest mobile survey organized by UNICEF in the continent. Using U-Report, the short survey provided, for the first time, a platform for young people to express their concerns about conflicts and crises in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Central African Republic, Senegal, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon and Guinea. 70 per cent of the respondents think “African leaders are not doing enough to prevent or stop conflict” and, when asked why Africa is more prone to conflict than other regions, 56 per cent consider ‘politicians fighting for power’ as the main reason while 19 per cent said ‘inequality’ and 17 per cent said ‘poverty’.

Great interactive tools launched by AfDB to showcase its work on the continent
The African Development Bank has released MapAfrica 2.0, an interactive online portal that enables anyone in the world to see at a glance how the Bank’s projects are boosting Africa’s economies and help improve people’s life. Developed by the Bank in partnership with Development Gateway, it allows users to track more than 800 of the Bank’s projects throughout Africa and how they relate to its “High 5” development priorities: Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the African people.

Once again ESAR among the Best of UNICEF Research 2016
Recently published results show the “Qualitative study on child marriage in six districts of Zambia” among the top three of the 2016 Best of UNICEF Research competition – UNICEF Innocenti’s annual effort to recognize the best research across the entire organization. Two research projects from South Africa and one from Ethiopia also rank among the twelve ‘finalist’. ESAR was the region with the second highest rate of submissions (19 per cent).

Aiming high to leave no one behind: positive acceleration on SDGs before and after the High Level Political Forum
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network just launched their SDG Index and Dashboards to show where each country stands with regards to the SDGs, with a coverage of 149 of the 193 UN member states. A review of progress made so far was at the center of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), where Madagascar and Uganda presented voluntary national reviews. Together with Somalia, Uganda is also featured in UNDG’s publication The Sustainable Development Goals are Coming to Life – Stories of Country Implementation and UN Support, as examples of early country actions. The importance of early action is also highlighted by the Overseas Development Institute in its flagship report “Leaving no one behind – a critical path for the first 1,000 days of the SDGs”, presented at a HLPF side event. Finally, Save the Children's has conducted an analysis of “The Africa Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Opportunities for Advancing Africa’s Children's Rights And Well-Being”, outlining concerns and opportunities for ensuring progress for children.

Yet another index? UNECA launches the African Social Development Index to boost assessment of inclusive development in Africa
The ASDI is a multidimensional measure of exclusion that follows a life-cycle approach and aims at assessing progress in six dimensions of wellbeing, including health, education, employment, and income. It allows comparisons across different locations and groups of population at the regional, national and sub-national level. The ASDI is currently being piloted in five African countries (Cameroon, Morocco, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal and Zambia), with initial results from Kenya showing that exclusion in health and education in early stages of life remains high.

 

The Eclectic – Issue # 5, 18 August 2016
This news update has been compiled by the UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO). For feedback and/or additional information, please contact the ESARO Social Policy and Research section.

 

 
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