Social Protection, Evaluation and Evidence
We work to protect all girls and boys from poverty in all its dimensions and have an equitable chance in life
Nepal demographic experience is remarkable given that it has achieved significant declines in mortality rates, fertility rates and population growth rates at low levels of economic development. Given this, it has a finite window of opportunity to invest in children and reap benefits associated with a “demographic dividend” before becoming an aged society. Prioritizing investments in young children is critical for ensuring a healthy and productive workforce that can contribute fully to the economy and society. The time left to reap the benefits of this demographic window of opportunity is finite – to attain these gains it is essential for Nepal to invest in children now.
Nepal is at a crucial time in its development, as it undergoes significant demographic changes in the midst of a transition into a federal state. Over the last decades, Nepal experienced rapid declines in mortality and fertility rates, while improving life expectancy at a rapid pace. As today’s children grow up they will join the bulks of a growing workforce, creating the favorable conditions for Nepal to prosper and achieve its development goals.
Every child has the right to a fair chance in life regardless of the circumstances in which they are born, but child poverty continues to deny vulnerable children in Nepal an opportunity to a better future. Nepal has achieved sustained poverty reduction over the last decades, and yet children remain disproportionally affected by poverty and deprivation because of factors beyond their control like their poverty status, gender, location or ethnicity.
Interventions in the early years is crucial to ensuring that children grow up to their full potential and contribute fully to society and the economy. International evidence show that investments in health, education and social protection are essential to give disadvantaged children an opportunity to a better future for themselves, their families and communities.
It is also essential to ensure the current process of decentralization support the delivery of key services for children and resource allocations are equitable and support vulnerable children and their families. Only then, Nepal will be able to realize their vision for a truly inclusive and sustainable development for all children, leaving no one behind.
The Social Protection, Evaluation and Evidence (SPEE) section of UNICEF Nepal works to support children in federal Nepal have an equal chance in life. This begins with improved data, research and knowledge about children and disparities required to address children’s rights and secure adequate investments in children under the new federal context. SPEE section will continue to support the collection of key data through household surveys such as MICS, support robust evidence-based generation and analysis of multidimensional child poverty.
Social protection is a proven mechanism to tackle child poverty and vulnerability. Nepal has a long-stablished set of social protection policies and cash transfers to support vulnerable groups, and these are essential to support vulnerable children and their families cope with poverty and adversity. UNICEF will continue to support access and support various social protection components to expand access and timely delivery to younger children in a federal context. At the same time, UNICEF Nepal will continue to support efforts to ensure the social protection system can respond to future crisis and help build the resilience of vulnerable groups based on the experience of the 2015 Emergency Top-up Cash Transfer Programme.
In this country plan (2018-2022) UNICEF Nepal’s Social Policy, Evaluation and Evidence programme is guided by the Fourteenth Three-Year National Plan (2016-2019) and aiming to support the draft National Framework on Social Protection. We will work to:
- Support the strengthening of Nepal’s social protection system both in development and humanitarian contexts
- Provide technical assistance to scale up the Child Grant programme in the federal set-up until it reaches all children under five years of age
- Improve the delivery and implementation of the Child Grant, through improved enrolment and delivery processes, updated information from beneficiaries using mobile phones, and stronger inter-sectoral linkages with birth registration, health and nutrition services
- Support the Central Bureau of Statistics to collect disaggregated data and generate evidence on the situation and well-being of children and women as part of MICS survey programme and others
- Promote measurement and analysis of multidimensional child poverty at national and sub-national levels, including monetary and multidimensional poverty
- Analyse emerging development issues such as federalism, fiscal space, investment cases for key social interventions to support equitable and quality services in federal context