Social Policy, Research and Communication

Social Policy, Adolescent Development, Research and Communication (SPARC)


Social Policy, Adolescent Development, Research and Communication (SPARC)

©UNICEF/2016/T. Mutseyekwa

The Social Policy, Research & Communication programme will contribute to the establishment, implementation and monitoring of evidence-based policies and legislative frameworks for the realization of the rights of all children and adolescents, including ensuring that such policies are adequately resourced.

Social policy, knowledge management, programme coordination and communication will provide technical support to the three programme sections as well as direct support to government, working closely with development partners and civil society.

This includes strengthening capacities in knowledge generation and statistics, accountability and international reporting, communication for development to promote positive social norms and safe behaviours, technology for development to promote children’s participation and advocacy to raise the profile of children’s rights in national dialogue. The programme component will also support the mainstreaming of HIV, gender, adolescent development and participation and emergency preparedness into all programme areas. 

Our focus

Data on child and maternal well-being gives important insights into the state of children and women in Namibia. This information, based on solid research, provides the evidence needed to influence popular opinion, mobilise political will and empower civil society, the media and other partners to act on behalf of children. UNICEF, as a global child advocacy agency, aims to keep child issues in Namibia front and central in the minds of decision-makers and the wider public.

Our approach

UNICEF supports the Government in developing social policy and child-sensitive budgets, as well as strengthening capacity in statistics, monitoring, bottleneck analysis, accountability and international reporting. In the area of communication, UNICEF uses communication for development strategies to bring about social and behavioural change in favour of children’s rights. Technology for development is used to promote child participation and UNICEF advocacy helps to raise the profile of children’s rights in national dialogue, using social media, private sector partnerships and media engagement.

Our achievements

Thanks to UNICEF support, the Namibian public and key policy- and decision-makers are becoming better informed of the needs of children and what needs to be done to improve their situation.

  • The newly established Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) is spearheading the process of analysing data on children and making it easily accessible to the public. In 2014, NSA began combining all national surveys into a continuously ongoing multi-topic household survey, which will provide regular data updates on poverty and unemployment. It will also contain a module on child well-being.
  • UNICEF-supported research and advocacy was instrumental in informing social security reform in Namibia, in particular with regard to universalising child grants. A tax-benefit modelling exercise demonstrated that expanding the child grant to all poor and vulnerable children would reduce child poverty significantly and free up social workers to do more case management, rather than grant administration.
  • Discussions on child rights have now become a permanent feature of Parliament as a result of reporting to international child rights bodies such as the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, the debate around the proposed Child Care and Protection Bill and annual sessions of the Children’s Parliament. The 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, together with an analysis of children in Namibia’s last three censuses since 1991, kept the spotlight on children as Namibia prepares to mark 25 years of independence in 2015.
  • UNICEF supported the development of a two-year communication strategy for an Open Defecation Free Namibia 2014–2015. In PMTCT, UNICEF collaborated with the Office of the First Lady to mobilise male involvement in services. UNICEF also uses the platform of commemorative days such as the Day of the African Child, Breastfeeding Week and Global Handwashing Day to disseminate key messages on child well-being and promote positive behaviour change.
  • UNICEF is supporting innovations in adolescent development. The Galz and Goals initiative uses sport to springboard discussions about sexuality, HIV prevention and other issues affecting adolescents girls through SMS clubs. 



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