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How committed are African governments to budget for children? Yehualashet Mekonen Senior Programme Manager, The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) NGO Group.

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Presentation on theme: "How committed are African governments to budget for children? Yehualashet Mekonen Senior Programme Manager, The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) NGO Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 How committed are African governments to budget for children? Yehualashet Mekonen Senior Programme Manager, The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) NGO Group for CRC Annual GA meeting, March 11, 2011 Geneva

2 Outline of the presentation  The CRC and government accountability  Budgets and child wellbeing: The link  How committed are African governments to budget for children  The Scorecard  Key priority areas for action

3  Encouraging improvements in accountability for children and child wellbeing.  But still, many governments are not doing what they could have done.  ACPF’s Child-Friendliness Index (CFI) is a contribution to monitoring compliance and expedite implementation of the CRC.  CRC was used as a framework to identify the dimensions and indicators: 1.Legal and policy framework put in place to protect 2.Governments’ budgetary commitment to provide for 3.The efforts governments put to ensure child participation The CRC and government accountability

4 The CRC and government accountability... What else emerged from the analysis?  The need for a two-pronged approach to ensure child wellbeing: Pro-child laws and policies Adequate budgets for children What was the result from the 2008 assessment? The most child-friendly Countries that performed well in budgetary terms

5 Child wellbeing outcomes/ Delivery of services Efficiency and effectiveness in budget implementation Volume and composition of budget for children Review of policies, economic prospects, draft allocation Transparency, citizen’s participation and approval How does budget affect child wellbeing? BUDGETS AND CHILD WELLBEING: THE LINK  Realisation of the rights provided for in the CRC entail costs.  Budgets have greater impact on children in countries where parents have limited capacity to provide for their children.  Governments have to take a deliberate action to budget for children.

6 BUDGETS AND CHILD WELLBEING: THE LINK What do we mean by budgeting for children? It refers to a budget system in which children’s best interests come first. Allocation of sufficient budgets to progressively realise child rights. It is about ensuring efficient utilisation and effective targeting to achieve concrete wellbeing outcomes? Involves creation of a space for children’s participation Analysing budgets from a child rights perspective  Allows examining whether governments are utilising the maximum amount of their available resources to meet their obligations to children.  Four operational categories of budgets for children have been identified: budgets for child development, health, education and social protection.

7 How committed are African governments to budget for children? Investment in early childhood development (ECD)...  Early childhood is a period when the foundations for physical and cognitive developments are laid.  Deprivations during early childhood have lasting consequences on health, behaviour and learning outcomes.  From economic perspective, ECD has the highest rate of return.

8 How committed are African governments?  Despite these facts, ECD: Has not received the attention it deserves in Africa. Only 20 of the 52 countries studied in Africa had official ECD programmes. Less than two per cent of the education budget is used for pre-primary education.  Pre-school education services, for example, are limited to urban areas and to affluent families, excluding vulnerable groups of children.

9 How committed are African governments? How much is budgeted for education?...  Only six countries kept their promise to the Dakar commitment.  Tendency to strive to achieve education participation targets at the expense of quality.

10 How committed are African governments? How much is budgeted for the health of children?...  Only four countries – Liberia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia - were able to achieve the Abuja target of committing 15 per cent of their budget to health in 2008.

11 How committed are African governments? Yet, many countries still have high rates of child mortality.

12 How committed are African governments? Budgeting for social protection...  The unmet need for SP is estimated at 80%.  SP is the most neglected sector in Africa.  Most countries budget about 3% of their GDP

13 The Scorecard  All the elements of budgeting for children were summarised into Performance Index for Budgeting for Children The most committed governments Country Rank Tanzania 1 Mozambique 2 Niger 3 Gabon 4 Senegal 5 Tunisia 6 Seychelles 7 Algeria 8 Cape Verde 9 South Africa 10 What did these countries do?  They allocated a relatively high percentage of their public resources to sectors benefiting children,  Progressively increased these allocations over time.

14 The Scorecard...  Lower share of their budgets go to sectors benefiting children  Decline in allocation over the years.  Relatively higher expenditure for military The least committed governments Country Rank Sudan 52 Guinea-Bissau 51 Eritrea 50 Burundi 49 Dem. Rep. Congo 48 Comoros 47 Sierra Leone 46 Angola 45 Guinea 44 Central African Republic 43

15 What does the progress look like since 2008? The Scorecard... Countries with significant improvement Countries which declined in their performance Tanzania Malawi Mozambique Burkina Faso São Tomé and Djibouti Benin Lesotho Zambia Burundi Gambia Dem. Rep. Congo Niger Mali Senegal Namibia  The improvements in ranking were largely due to substantial increases in: Investment in the health and education of children Commitment to financing national immunisation programmes, and Reduction in military spending.

16 The Scorecard... Relationship between budgetary commitment and per capita revenue Higher income, lower budgetary commitment Low income, higher budgetary commitment

17 The three key messages that emerged from the analysis: 1.The need to give priority to the rights and wellbeing of children in budgetary allocation and implementation. 2.Ensuring efficient use of resources through transparent budgetary frameworks and processes. 3.Ensuring adequate support for, and investment in, early childhood development. Key priority areas for action

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19 THANK YOU


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