UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan outline progress and future directions to reach the results with equity for children and women
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 12 March 2013 – The United Nations Children’s Fund and the Government of Turkmenistan have reached an important milestone in the Mid Term Review (MTR) process of the joint Country Programme of Cooperation for 2010-2015, which has set major programme directions, strategies and results for children in Turkmenistan for the coming two years.
More than one hundred stakeholders representing key line ministries and institutions, national NGOs, development partners and media have come together at the final MTR meeting to assess progress in reaching results with equity, share major lessons learned derived from the first half of the programme cycle and outline the way forward.
Begun last year in July as a participatory and evaluative process initiated by UNICEF and the Government, the MTR process was informed by technical consultations with key stakeholders. A series of sectoral assessments were conducted on children’s rights, emerging opportunities in the programme environment and on-going socio-economic reforms in the country. All these have enabled to better understand the current situation of children and women and have been reflected in strategic changes in the programme framework of cooperation.
At the MTR meeting, UNICEF Regional Director for Central, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States Marie-Pierre Poirier stressed that “the country’s upper middle income status calls for a transformed mode of UNICEF’s engagement with the Government of Turkmenistan, in which UNICEF will provide policy advice and technical expertise of the highest calibre. The programme engagement will support the design and costing of effective and innovative service delivery models to ensure best returns on investment and sustainability of results for children at scale, as well as support child rights monitoring, evaluations, documentation of good practice and drawing out lessons that can be shared beyond borders.”
On-going health and education reforms, along with strengthening of social protection safety nets, give Turkmenistan a key opportunity to align national policies with international standards and further increase investments into child-centred human development. UNICEF will be a strategic partner of the Government of Turkmenistan to provide instrumental support in national development by integrating the best interests of all children, including vulnerable children and children with disabilities into national policies and practices.
As a result of the Mid Term Review, UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan has outlined the strategic priorities to support the progressive and sustainable realization of the rights of children and women. Early childhood development, encompassing health, education and protection of vulnerable children, will be core to UNICEF cooperation with the Government. In particular, the programme of cooperation will support education reform with a focus on quality and continuity of preschool, pre-primary and primary education and inclusive education. It will also address holistic child health and well-being through strengthening the primary healthcare system and enhancement of monitoring and evaluation systems for evidence-based policymaking. In social policy the cooperation will centred on strengthening a normative base, coordination and management, and preventive and protective services for children under child and social protection systems. Advances in legislation will provide support on aligning national legislation pertaining to child rights with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
For more information please contact:
Ms. Elena Sialchonak
UNICEF Deputy Representative
Ms. Ayna Seyitllieva
UNICEF Communication for Development Officer
Phone: +99312 425681/82/85/86
Fax: +99312 420830