Child-Friendly Communities

Responding to the needs of children and their communities

UNICEF Malawi/2017/John Estay

The Challenge

Poverty, inequality, natural resource management and climate change affect access to food and social services. The SDG agenda is an opportunity to fight child poverty and give every child a fair chance of living a decent life. Achieving the SDGs requires significant investments in social sectors to support survival, participation, development and protection of all children in Malawi, especially the poor. With the limited resources the country has, Malawi needs to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public spending and service delivery.

UNICEF Malawi/2018/Amos Gumulira
Children sit outside their home after school. They are beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Programme

The Solution

UNICEF Malawi will support district authorities to respond to the needs of children and their communities. UNICEF Malawi will empower national and district structures to strengthen the Government’s ability to implement policies, plan and budget with evidence, and to develop strong institutional frameworks for improved delivery of social services.

In the 2019 to 2023 country programme, the children’s agency will build on successes made through decentralization to provide children with the support of an environment that empowers them to grow and realize their rights. This shall be done by focusing on:

  • Social accountability – to public officials’ and other service provider’s ability to respond to issues concerning children and their families.
  • Social norms, behaviours and practices –  to change harmful beliefs and customs which may lead to child rights violations.
  • Resilience of families and communities- to ensure that families are prepared for climate and economic shocks.

Throughout the country programme, UNICEF will support various activities to achieve its goals. These include the Social Cash Transfer Programme to help the poorest families to improve their livelihoods, supporting one-stop centres and police victim units to end violence and abuse, as well as youth parliament to promote social accountability. UNICEF will also assist children’s corners to provide psychosocial support to children, and work with district health and WASH management committees to ensure access to quality social services.

UNICEF Malawi/2018/Amos Gumulira
A mother waiting to receive her social cash transfer allowance