Policy, evidence & social protection
UNICEF believes every child deserves an improved policy environment and a strengthened social protection system to have his/her rights fulfilled and develop to his/her full potential
Sudan has made significant development gains over the past few decades. The country rose to lower-middle income status and has witnessed improvements in a wide array of socioeconomic indicators, including reduction in under-five mortality from 128 to 68 per 1,000 live birth between 1990 and 2014, and increase in net attendance rate from 68 per cent in 2006 to 76 per cent in 2014, and in gender parity in primary school from 0.94 in 2010 to 0.98 in 2014. Sudan’s Human Development Index increased from 52 percent from 0.331 to 0.502 between 1990 and 2017.
At the same time, Sudan has many outstanding challenges, including one of the highest rates of stunting in the region with around one million children affected by global acute malnutrition, 3.1 million or 39 per cent of children aged 5-13 years out of school, with a difference of more than 10 percentage points in primary school completion rates between boys (85 per cent) and girls (74 per cent). Some 36 per cent of the population living in poverty, with 25 percent in extreme poverty. Sudan ranked 167th out of 189 countries and territories in the 2017 Human Development Index.
There is high inequity in child survival, development and protection in Sudan: Children from poorest families have 2.1 times risk to death or to be stunted in comparison to children from non-poor families; children living in poorest families are 0.6 less chance to be treated for pneumonia in comparison to children from non-poorest families; the same inequality occurs for access of children to primary school.
The goal of the Policy, Evidence and Social Protection programme component for the next five years is to support Sudan’s efforts to effectively address inequity, child poverty and deprivation at the national and state levels. The programme focuses on generation of evidence, strengthening the capacities of national and state level government agencies to analyse and use evidence and data for planning and ensure adequate and efficient budget allocations for children, including in health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and social protection.
UNICEF mobilizes strategic partnerships and Government support in order to develop integrated social protection system with needed evidence-based policies that can be scaled up nationally with the view to universal coverage and inclusive programmes. The social protection system contributes to reduction in inequality and vulnerability of children by ensuring access to service delivery through social protection instruments such as social transfers, social support and care services, and legislation and policy reform.
The ‘whole child approach’ that integrates all phases of the child’s life cycle is central to the programme. Evidence generation, child-sensitive budgeting, public financing and policy advocacy and child participation are supported for all stages of the lifecycle of the child, starting from investment in early childhood development to adolescent and youth-related policies.
The most disadvantaged and excluded children are the key focus of the programme, including children and adolescents from the poorest families, children affected by various risks and vulnerabilities (climate change, natural hazards and conflict), internally displaced and refugee children as well as children living with disability.
As a cross-cutting strategy, timely and updated evidence is generated and collated, and national and regional information systems are strengthened to ensure adequate monitoring of the situation of children and inform policies, including those in support of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals targets.