Social Policy


UNICEF in action: Strategy & priorities

Child poverty

Cash transfers

Social budgeting

Social protection

Results for children


Results for children

© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-1419/Hofer
Children perform at the opening ceremony of the African Youth Forum (AYF) in the city of Entebbe, Uganda.

In 2007, UNICEF initiated a Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities. The Study uses a multiple deprivations approach to look into the needs of children in health, education and protection. The aim of the Global Study is to strengthen the profile of children at the national policy table, influencing the economic and social policies that affect resource allocations, and to make children a priority in national programmes.

It has been carried out in 52 countries around the world, including seven countries in Eastern and Southern Africa: Burundi, a group of Indian Ocean islands including Comoros, as well as Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

By the end of 2010, 20 countries had finalized their reports, including Burundi, the Indian Ocean islands and Tanzania. The studies are providing comparable analyses on child poverty and disparities in nutrition, health, education and child and social protection. The results will be used as leverage to influence national development plans, and to inspire and feed into poverty reduction strategies or sector-wide approaches, common country assessments and other development instruments.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-1381/Pirozzi
A thirteen-year-old and her cousins in their house where she, her cousins, and her aunt and uncle live, in the town of Gisenyi, Rwanda.

As part of its Social Protection programme, UNICEF supports cash transfers initiatives in a number of countries. Thanks to the small, but predictable amounts of money they receive, poor families have been able to improve the nutritional status of their children and to invest in their education.

Social budgeting, public finance or public expenditure reviews have been carried out in a number of countries including Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique. These exercises have served to build the capacity of government officials, legislators, and civil society to understand and influence public spending for children. UNICEF Kenya assisted the Government in establishing and implementing a national social budgeting framework.

UNICEF Mozambique played a vital role in the Civil Society Budget Monitoring Forum that enhances the transparency and public participation of the Government’s budgeting process. UNICEF South Africa supported the Government in the implementation and finalization of a public expenditure tracking survey on publically financed early childhood development programmes, while UNICEF in Tanzania is supporting the Government to review and analyze the public finance management system and its impact on children.



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