What we do
UNICEF recognises that a child-sensitive social protection system is one that takes into account that the well-being of children is directly linked to income and material resources, as well as to the accessibility of essential services. Well-designed social protection systems therefore contribute to the prevention and elimination of the social and economic vulnerabilities of children and their families. During the last three years, UNICEF has established a strong partnership with the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the Ministry of Finance, in addressing social protection issues. Achievements in this regard have included the undertaking of a study regarding the efficiency of the national social assistance scheme, and the establishment of a Social Protection Interagency Group.
Achievements to date
- UNICEF has supported the establishment of a Social Protection Interagency Group (SPIG), which includes representatives of ministries and relevant think tanks, in order to achieve the coordination and understanding needed to adequately and efficiently meet the needs of vulnerable children and women. The SPIG serves as a forum for discussing methods of reducing child poverty and improving the economic wellbeing of families. It also promotes collaborative and multi-sectoral research regarding innovative forms of social protection, with a focus on social welfare policies and assistance programmes for improving child and family well-being, and builds the quantitative and qualitative evidence and knowledge bases which can be used to develop practical policy recommendations for establishing effective and fiscally-sustainable social protection programmes.
The way forward
- The development of a single registry of social benefits, through which policy-makers will be able to assess the impact and efficiency of social support, and make more strategic decisions regarding the support of vulnerable children and women;
- The development of additional measures to strengthen social protection for children with disabilities, to address gaps in the provision of social support and services, and to strategically and systematically address barriers that hinder access to essential services;
- The development of additional measures to increase access to preschool education, through the preparation and presentation of relevant recommendations to the Ministries of Public Education and Finance;
- The facilitation of discussions and the preparation of proposals for the deinstitutionalisation of children, including the support of the expansion of the social work industry. Childcare reforms will be directed towards children up to three years old, while appropriate community services will be made available;
- The promotion of an evidence-based approach to social protection, requiring high-quality research, for the purposes of generating evidence, supporting analysis processes and developing realistic policy recommendations.