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Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being
SPOTLIGHT

Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being

Report Card 17 explores how 43 OECD/EU countries are faring in providing healthy environments for children. Do children have clean water to drink? Do they have good-quality air to breathe? Are their homes free of lead and mould? How many children live in overcrowded homes? How many have access to green play spaces, safe from road traffic? Data show that a nation’s wealth does not guarantee a healthy environment. Far too many children are deprived of a healthy home, irreversibly damaging their current and future well-being. Beyond children’s immediate environments, over-consumption in some of the world’s richest countries is destroying children’s environments globally. This threatens both children worldwide and future generations. To provide all children with safe and healthy environments, governments, policymakers, businesses and all stakeholders are called to act on a set of policy recommendations.
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The Children Here: Current trends in the decentralization of National Programmes of Action
The Children Here: Current trends in the decentralization of National Programmes of Action

AUTHOR(S)
Carlos Castillo Cardona; Richard Dunbar

Published: 1995 Innocenti Publications
The 1990 World Summit for Children brought together 71 Heads of State and Government to discuss ways in which to improve the lives of the world's children. The international ‘Plan of Action’ adopted at the summit recognised the importance of grass roots initiatives at the local level. Individual countries have responded to this call for decentralisation in the development and implementation of their ‘National Programmes of Action’. The Children Here represents a part of the research undertaken by UNICEF into different countries’ experience of this process. The aim of this research is an improved understanding of how decentralisation can help countries achieve the Summit’s 29 goals for child protection and development.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 92 | Thematic area: National Development Programmes | Tags: child protection, decentralization, National Programme of Action | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Development and Decentralization of the National Programme of Action for Children in Namibia
Development and Decentralization of the National Programme of Action for Children in Namibia

AUTHOR(S)
Stephen Adkisson; Hugh Hogan

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: National Development Programmes | Tags: child welfare, decentralization, national policies, National Programme of Action | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
The Difficult Road: The case of NPA decentralization in Argentina
The Difficult Road: The case of NPA decentralization in Argentina

AUTHOR(S)
Alberto Minujin; Pablo Vinocur

The 1990 World Summit for Children set in motion the development of what were called ‘National Programmes of Action’ in a number of countries. The birth of the Argentine NPA took place in a context of profound institutional reform, with the federal government placing responsibility for health care, education and social policy in the hands of the provinces. This paper looks at how this process of ‘decentralisation’ has influenced the NPA’s early development.
The Decentralization of the National Programme of Action in Favour of Children in Chile
The Decentralization of the National Programme of Action in Favour of Children in Chile

AUTHOR(S)
Kristina Gonçalves; Francisco Coloane

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: National Development Programmes | Tags: child protection, child welfare, decentralization, National Programme of Action | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
The Decentralization of the National Programme of Action: The experience of Mongolia
The Decentralization of the National Programme of Action: The experience of Mongolia

AUTHOR(S)
Uranbileg Bergen; Lutaa Badamhand

The 1990 World Summit for Children set in motion the development of what were called ‘National Programmes of Action’ in a number of countries. The birth of the Mongolian NPA took place within the context of the profound economic transition that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union. In spite of the difficulties imposed by this widely-felt upheaval, Mongolia has succeeded in laying the foundations for a successful NPA, with initiatives at both Governmental and provincial levels. This paper provides a history of this implementation process.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 36 | Thematic area: National Development Programmes | Tags: child protection, decentralization, National Programme of Action | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
The Decentralization of the National Programme of Action: A case study of Sudan
The Decentralization of the National Programme of Action: A case study of Sudan

AUTHOR(S)
Tarique Farooqui; Anupama Rao Singh

The birth of the Sudanese National Programme of Action took place in an adverse context characterised by economic isolation and frequent situations of chronic emergency. This paper chronicles the country’s experience of the subsequent ‘decentralisation’ of the programme - the process by which emphasis is transferred from large-scale capital development projects to more sustainable, community-based services for children. It concludes that the eventual success or otherwise of this ongoing process will depend upon such factors as the country’s ability to raise sufficient domestic and external resources.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: National Development Programmes | Tags: child protection, decentralization, National Programme of Action | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
An Overview of NPA Decentralization in Developing Countries
An Overview of NPA Decentralization in Developing Countries

AUTHOR(S)
Carlos Castillo Cardona; Claire Akehurst

The 1990 World Summit for Children brought together 71 Heads of State and Government to discuss ways in which to improve the lives of the world’s children. The international ‘Plan of Action’ adopted at the summit recognised the importance of grass-roots initiatives at the local level. Countries have responded to this call for decentralisation in the development and implementation of their individual ‘National Programmes of Action’. Using survey data from 103 UNICEF field offices from across the world, this paper aims to provide a general overview of the NPA decentralisation phenomenon - where and how it is occurring, the roles of the major actors and the results that have been achieved to date.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 76 | Thematic area: National Development Programmes | Tags: decentralization, National Programme of Action | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
The Vietnam National Programme of Action: A decentralization study
The Vietnam National Programme of Action: A decentralization study

AUTHOR(S)
Kiri Evans; Adam Rorris

The 1990 World Summit for Children set in motion the development of what were called ‘National Programmes of Action’ in a number of countries. The Vietnamese government has taken its programme a step further than most, having actively encouraged the growth of sub-programmes at the provincial level. This paper examines the then current stage in the country’s experience of this ‘decentralisation’ process; the opportunities it had created and the difficulties hindering its continued progress.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: National Development Programmes | Tags: decentralization, national policies, National Programme of Action | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Decentralization of Services for Children: The Spanish experience
Decentralization of Services for Children: The Spanish experience

AUTHOR(S)
Ferran Casas

The ‘Plan Of Action’ adopted at the 1990 World Summit for Children recognised the importance of grass-roots initiatives for children at the provincial level. In many countries, this call for ‘decentralisation’ has triggered the beginnings of an entirely novel process. In Spain, a general trend toward the provincial and the participatory had already begun - the effect of the NPA has been to strengthen an already existent phenomenon. This paper documents Spain’s extensive experience of decentralisation and the influence it has had upon policy and services for children.
Decentralization and Policies for the Protection of Children and Adolescents in Brazil
Decentralization and Policies for the Protection of Children and Adolescents in Brazil

AUTHOR(S)
Solon Magalhães Vianna; Iara Marques

Brazil has made concrete its commitment to the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the creation of a number of State Programmes of Action. This ‘decentralised’ strategy marks an unprecedented step in a country with a strong tradition of ‘top-down’ federal thinking and limited experience of participatory planning. This paper examines the impact this novel approach has had upon the situation of children and adolescents. Recent achievements include the eradication of polio, a significant reduction in the incidence of measles and neonatal tetanus and an improvement in the management of public schools.
The National Programme of Action for Children and Women in Egypt
The National Programme of Action for Children and Women in Egypt

AUTHOR(S)
Nicolas Luginbuhl

The Egyptian government’s approach to internal development issues had traditionally been very much the product of a ‘top-down’ way of thinking. It was widely assumed that local and regional authorities lacked the necessary technical and resource-allocation know-how. All this changed in 1994 with the drawing-up of policies that were to kick-start a drive toward ‘decentralisation’. This paper sought to anticipate the obstacles and opportunities that might emerge in the future of the process.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 44 | Thematic area: National Development Programmes | Tags: decentralization, national policies, National Programme of Action | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
The Philippines: A case study in local planning for children
The Philippines: A case study in local planning for children

AUTHOR(S)
Wilfredo G. Nuqui

The 1990 World Summit for Children set in motion the development of what were called ‘National Programmes of Action’ in a number of countries. In the Philippines the birth of the overall government plan has been accompanied by that of a number of supporting schemes at the provincial level. This paper examines the preparation and content of these local initiatives. It provides, in so doing, a clear picture of the Philippine experience of ‘decentralisation’ - the process whereby emphasis is transferred from large-scale capital development projects to more sustainable, community-based services for children.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
Return on Knowledge: How international development agencies are collaborating to deliver impact through knowledge, learning, research and evidence
Publication

Return on Knowledge: How international development agencies are collaborating to deliver impact through knowledge, learning, research and evidence

Effective collaboration around knowledge management and organizational learning is a key contributor to improving the impact of international development work for the world’s most vulnerable people. But how can it be proven? With only 10 years from the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals, nine of the world’s most influential agencies set out to show to the connection between the use of evidence, knowledge and learning and a better quality of human life. This book – a synthesis of stories, examples and insights that demonstrate where and how these practices have made a positive impact on development programming – is the result of the Multi-Donor Learning Partnership (MDLP), a collective effort to record the ways each of these organizations have leveraged intentional, systematic and resourced approaches to knowledge management and organizational learning in their work.
Gender Solutions: Capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021)
Publication

Gender Solutions: Capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021)

UNICEF has undertaken hundreds of gender evidence generation activities, supporting programmatic action, advocacy work and policymaking. The Gender Solutions project aims to draw together the knowledge, innovations and impacts of gender evidence work conducted by UNICEF offices since the first UNICEF Gender Action Plan was launched in 2014. A desk review identified over 700 gender-related UNICEF research, evaluation and data evidence generation activities since 2014. Twenty-five outputs were shortlisted because of their high quality and (potential for) impact and three were selected as Gender Evidence Award winners by an external review panel. By capturing the impact of this broad body of work, Gender Solutions aims to showcase UNICEF’s evidence investments, reward excellence and inform the rollout of the UNICEF Gender Policy 2021–2030 and Action Plan 2022–2025.
Annual Report 2021
Publication

Annual Report 2021

The UNICEF Innocenti Annual Report 2021 highlights the key results achieved in research and evidence to inform policymaking and programming.
Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child well-being
Publication

Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child well-being

Digital experiences can have significant negative impact on children, exposing them to risks or failing to nurture them adequately. Nevertheless, digital experiences also potentially yield enormous benefits for children, enabling them to learn, to create, to develop friendships, and to build worlds. While global efforts to deepen our understanding of the prevalence and impact of digital risks of harm are burgeoning – a development that is both welcome and necessary – less attention has been paid to understanding and optimizing the benefits that digital technology can provide in supporting children’s rights and their well-being. Benefits here refer not only to the absence of harm, but also to creating additional positive value. How should we recognize the opportunities and benefits of digital technology for children’s well-being? What is the relationship between the design of digital experiences – in particular, play-centred design – and the well-being of children? What guidance and measures can we use to strengthen the design of digital environments to promote positive outcomes for children? And how can we make sure that children’s insights and needs form the foundation of our work in this space? These questions matter for all those who design and promote digital experiences, to keep children safe and happy, and enable positive development and learning. These questions are particularly relevant as the world shifts its attention to emerging digital technologies and experiences, from artificial intelligence (AI) to the metaverse, and seeks to understand their impact on people and society. To begin to tackle these questions, UNICEF and the LEGO Group initiated the Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children (RITEC) project in partnership with the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University; the CREATE Lab at New York University; the Graduate Center, City University of New York; the University of Sheffield; the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child; and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. The research is funded by the LEGO Foundation. The partnership is an international, multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral collaboration between organizations that believe the design and development of digital technology should support the rights and well-being of children as a primary objective – and that children should have a prominent voice in making this a reality. This project’s primary objective is to develop, with children from around the world, a framework that maps how the design of children’s digital experiences affects their well-being, and to provide guidance as to how informed design choices can promote positive well-being outcomes.

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