PAN: Children

Welcome to the PAN:Children Portal. PAN:Children is an online knowledge-hub complemented by dialogue and capacity building activities. We seek to provide timely and up-to-date information on child rights and equity. A partnership between the HSRC and UNICEF, this platform aims to provide a consolidated digital repository on the situation of children in South Africa. Please see the “About Us” page for further information.

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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

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This report takes stock of and compares the situation across 30 OECD and partner countries, drawing on in-depth country reports and a questionnaire on transition policies and practices. The report describes the main policy challenges highlighted by participating countries, along with a wealth of practical strategies for tackling them. The publication concludes with six “cross-cutting” pointers to guide future policy development.

The transition from early childhood education to primary school is a big step for all children, and a step which more and more children are having to take. Quality transitions should be well-prepared and child-centred, managed by trained staff collaborating with one another, and guided by an appropriate and aligned curriculum. Transitions like these enhance the likelihood that the positive impacts of early learning and care will last through primary school and beyond. While transition policies have been on the agenda of many countries over the past decade, little research has been done into how OECD countries design, implement, manage and monitor transitions. Filling these gaps is important for designing early years’ policies that are coherent, equitable and sustainable.

Link: Publication

This new OECD report finds that countries should step up their efforts to provide affordable and high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) to improve social mobility and give all children the chance to fulfil their potential. Every child benefits from high-quality ECEC. Evidence reveals that in almost all OECD countries, 15-year-olds who had access to ECEC outperformed students who had not. Disadvantaged children benefit the most and targeting them would generate the highest returns, says the report. “Giving all children access to high-quality early education and care will lay the foundations for future skill development, boost social mobility and support inclusive growth,” said Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and G20 Sherpa, launching the report in Mexico. Spending on ECEC accounts for an average of 0.8% of GDP across OECD countries, with 80% or more coming from public sources.

Link: Details

The theme selected by the African Committee for the celebration of the DAC in 2017 is “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for children in Africa: Accelerating protection, empowerment, and equal opportunity”. DAC was instituted in 1991 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then OAU instituted in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa. In selecting the theme for the 2017 DAC celebration, the Committee is reconfirming the importance of linking the 2030 Agenda with child rights. It is emphasizing that with a view to increase accountability, strengthen coherence and alignment among various stakeholders, prevent inequitable outcomes, and invest in all children, and to stress that the child rights commitments of States need to be made central to the implementation of SDGs. In addition, the Committee, as a treaty body, is seeking to draw attention to the fact that, the so called “priority SDG targets and indicators for children” should be brought closer to the African Charter reporting cycle.

Document(s): PDF icon Study.pdf
Link: Details

The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) released its first ever comprehensive study on the impact of conflicts and crisis on children in Africa during its 28th Ordinary Session in Banjul, The Gambia. The study concentrates on conflicts and crises across Africa over the last 10 years and the measures by State and non-State actors to protect the rights of children during and in the aftermath of such situations. It addresses psychological impact, education, health, nutrition/food security, separation from parents/caregivers, and sexual and gender-based violence. Child rights underlie its analysis, particularly the best interest of the child; the rights to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child as evidenced through children’s voices.Being the first of its kind at the level of an Organ of the African Union, the study draws urgency towards Member States to address the challenges that children are facing in conflict situations and halt recruiting and using children for military purposes. Taking the new challenges into consideration, the study, particularly, urges for a high level commitment from Member States to establish effective and functioning mechanisms to address the impact of conflict and crises on children and provide for the care and protection of children affected by armed conflict. 

Link: Article

This article responds to three questions: how accountable are African governments to children? How far have they come? And, what can be done to promote greater accountability? The analysis is based on the assessment of governments’ performance in realising children’s rights using the Child-Friendliness Index. The article shows progress in the child-friendliness of African governments over the last 5 years and highlights persistent challenges that still exist in many countries in the region. It also examines the relationship between national income and performance in realising children’s rights and outlines strategies towards greater accountability to children.

The KidsRights Index is the annual global index which ranks how countries adhere to and are equipped to improve children’s rights. The KidsRights Index is an initiative of the KidsRights Foundation, in cooperation with Erasmus University Rotterdam: Erasmus School of Economics and the International Institute of Social Studies. It comprises a ranking for all UN member states that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and for which sufficient data is available, a total of 165 countries. The KidsRights Index exists of 5 domains:1. Right to Life, 2. Right to Health 3. Right to Education 4. Right to Protection, and, 5. Enabling Environment for Child Rights. Also available at the above link are a report, infographic and news coverage.

Developed with Columbia University and experts from the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing this series of briefs provides a much needed review of contemporary research methodologies for adolescent well-being in low- and middle-income countries, covering: indicators and data sources, ethics, research with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, participatory research, measurement of the social and structural determinants of adolescent health, and adolescent economic strengthening interventions.

The aim of these briefs is to improve efforts to collect rigorous evidence for programmes and policies on adolescent health and well-being. They will assist a wide range of professionals and stakeholders who conduct, commission or interpret research findings to make decisions about programming, policy and advocacy.

This rapid literature review addresses the following questions: What evidence is available of a connection between youth unemployment and violence (in particular crime, gang violence, domestic violence) in ‘stable’ developing countries? What interventions have development agencies carried out to address this issue, and what lessons can be learned from these? In what areas is further research needed?

The Policy on Minimum Requirements for Programmes Leading to Qualifications in Higher Education for Early Childhood Development Educators that was published in the Government Gazette No 40750 is dated 31 March 2017. The policy provides a basis for the construction of core curricula for programmes leading to initial professional and post-professional qualifications for early childhood development educators, and are aligned to the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework.

This policy brief introduces systematic reviews and evidence gap maps as two relatively new types of synthesised evidence in South African context. It explains why these synthesis tools are particularly valuable for the policy-making processes. It offers a brief history of their development, their main characteristics and procedures, as well as the main resources where they are found. In addition, it describes current production levels and usage of these synthesis tools in South Africa, and concludes with a call for greater attention and use of these tools to improve research evidence availability in the policy-making processes.