New partners – University of Sydney and UNICEF Indonesia
Connecting researchers, practitioners and policymakers
15 February 2017 - The University of Sydney and UNICEF Indonesia have established a new knowledge partnership to improve the health and well-being of Indonesian children and young people.
The partnership, which will this week see the university’s Professor Mu Li and Dr Anne Marie Thow head to Indonesia, aims to help Indonesia end poverty, protect the environment, and ensure more widely shared prosperity under its adoption of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
“Sustainable Development Goals are a bold blueprint for action by governments, the private sector and civil society partners to achieve 17 goals of a Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030, said Ms Danielle Somers, the Director of the University of Sydney’s Office for Global Health.
“Initially we will be collaborating on adolescent nutrition, air pollution, water and sanitation, and emergency responses to epidemics such as the Zika virus.
“The partnership is also committed to developing local research capacity, including through partnerships with local research institutes and universities.”
The partnership will also connect researchers, practitioners, policymakers and others to establish baseline data about children's well-being that is aligned to sustainable development goals for Indonesian children.
“Half of Indonesia’s 255 million population is under the age of 30 and around one in three people are below the age of 18, so this is a sizeable group in which to focus our partnership,” said Ms Somers.
Despite significant progress in recent years, many children and adolescents in Indonesia are still excluded from the country’s overall development. Some 14 per cent of children in Indonesia live in extreme poverty and 37 per cent of children under 5 are stunted, an average figure that rises to more than 40 per cent in 15 provinces. Children suffering from stunted growth are severely hampered in their physical and cognitive development, a condition that is mostly irreversible.
Welcoming the announcement, UNICEF Indonesia Representative Gunilla Olsson added: “Indonesia has already incorporated the global goals in its mid and long-term plans, putting children at the heart of the country’s development.
“It has proven that it’s a frontrunner when it comes to implementing the SDGs and UNICEF is happy to support the country in this way.”
The partnership will also benefit University of Sydney students by providing relevant, focused in-country experiences with UNICEF staff, who have been a trusted development partner of the government of Indonesia for over 60 years.