Local governments play a key role providing essential services to children. Whether in urban or rural settings, they help connect girls and boys to nutritious food, safe water, quality education, sanitation, and other services that reduce the burden of poverty.
Yet, in many countries, local governments are not fully equipped to meet children’s needs. Lack of information and resources can prevent them from reaching every child – especially those vulnerable to discrimination and exclusion – with education, health care and other forms of social protection.
Without data on children’s well-being, local governments may struggle to understand who’s being left behind and why. Insufficient resources can also hinder their efforts to plan, budget for and monitor social services. And since governments often rely on partners to help improve the quality and reach of services, coordination may create additional challenges that cut children off from care.
Through it all, children and adolescents have little opportunity to voice their needs, influence decisions and hold leaders to account.