Social Policy and Research
UNICEF Zimbabwe is dedicated to building a child-sensitive social protection system
The Social Inclusion Outcome area seeks to improve the policy environment and systems for disadvantaged and excluded children, guided by improved knowledge.
Like 2017, the year 2018 has been characterised by economic and political uncertainty. On the economic front, the country faces significant headwinds to growth. Chief among the barriers is the cash crisis that threatens programme implementation across the country. UNICEF partners were not spared, as they faced challenges in accessing cash for programming.
Rising inflation is also a major concern for the country, particularly health care inflation. In 2017, year-on-year inflation averaged 1.1% and is projected to rise to 3.0% in 2018, though the IMF forecast inflation to average 9.5% in 2018. The rising inflation is mainly on account of rising food and health care inflation, common factors that affect access and exclusion among the vulnerable children and their families.
Zimbabwe's annual rate of inflation for June 2018 gained 0,20 percentage points to 2,91 from 2,71 percent in May, latest figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) show.
Building on the successes of 2017 and the need to influence the policy environment for social inclusion, UNICEF supported the generation of social and child focused data to inform national policy formulation and Office programming.
In 2018, partly on account of UNICEF advocacy for improved public spending in children, government allocations for non-wage expenditures in social sectors more than doubled from US$95 million to US$207 million.
In 2017, the Social Inclusion programme supported the generation of child-focused data that addresses the evidence gaps, as well advocated and supported policies and budgets that address the needs of children.
This followed closely the work that UNICEF did in 2016 in the social policy and research programme that supported the development and implementation of policies that protect and improve the inclusion and resilience of marginalized groups, especially children and women.
The Social Inclusion Outcome area seeks to improve the policy environment and systems for disadvantaged and excluded children, guided by improved knowledge and data. The 2017 Social Inclusion programmes for Zimbabwe were guided and aligned to the UNICEF Zimbabwe Country Programme (2016 - 2020), the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF 2016 - 2020) and the Agenda 2030: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Social Inclusion programme was also guided by the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) national economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET: 2013 to 2018).
- Consistent with its goal of strengthening public financial management and child-friendly planning and budgeting, UNICEF, in partnership with the then Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of National Culture and Heritage, Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, UNDP and Local Authorities, invested in a budgeting planning, reporting and monitoring system to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability of resource flows at the local government level.
From this programme, UNICEF conducted local government budget analysis based on the 2017 Budgets that has strengthened overall advocacy for more and better expenditures for children.
- In the critical area of environment and climate change, UNICEF continued an emphasis on mainstreaming climate and environment within core UNICEF programming areas.
- This has involved, a) embedding climate change and environment education within the new school curriculum and syllabi,
- b) Supporting innovations by young people through a ‘Green Innovations Hub’ programme, and c) integrating sustainable energy solutions at rural health facilities in Zimbabwe.
- In these initiatives, UNICEF is working with the Government, civil society partners, UNDP, and the private sector, where UNICEF’s specific role has been providing technical assistance, programme management capabilities, resource mobilization, funds and risk management.
UNICEF focuses on the critical impact social and economic policy issues have on children. Our work is centered on Global Economic Crisis and Recovery, Child Poverty and Disparities, Social Budgeting and Public Finance, Migration and Social Protection.
Building on field experience and working in alliance with other United Nations agencies, UNICEF collaborates with partners to stimulate dialogue around macro-level policies that guide national frameworks, legislative reform and budgetary allocations affecting children and families.