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

Latest publications

In commemoration of Universal Children’s Day on 20 November 2015, the HSRC convened this forum to reflect on the South Africa’s progress in the realization of the MDG’s over the past 15 years and importantly to assess the opportunities and challenges that the SDG agenda provides in the fulfillment of the rights of children and making this a world fit for children. A panel of researchers led a discussion on South Africa’s progress in realization of the MDGs and to help us consider what South Africa must do and how to intensify efforts to strengthen the links between SDGs and children’s rights. Presentations can be downloaded above.

This technical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics argues that rising global temperature is causing major physical, chemical, and ecological changes across the planet. There is wide consensus among scientific organizations and climatologists that these broad effects, known as climate change, are the result of contemporary human activity. Climate change poses threats to human health, safety, and security. Children are uniquely vulnerable to these threats. The effects of climate change on child health include physical and psychological sequelae of weather disasters, increased heat stress, decreased air quality, altered disease patterns of some climate-sensitive infections, and food, water, and nutrient insecurity in vulnerable regions. Prompt implementation of mitigation and adaptation strategies will protect children against worsening of the problem and its associated health effects. This technical report reviews the nature of climate change and its associated child health effects and supports the recommendations in the accompanying policy statement on climate change and children’s health.

After the launch of the National Development Plan Vision 2030 of South Africa in August 2012, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) South Africa commissioned a study that explored available policy options for addressing poverty traps and social exclusion among children in South Africa and the additional national and societal efforts that are needed to break such traps. Poverty Traps and Social Exclusion among Children in South Africa was nominated by UNICEF as one of the 12 best policy research reports done globally for them in 2014 (See Best of UNICEF Research 2014, At this seminar, five policy briefs drawn from the research will launched and shared.

Research findings on the benefits of ECD networks and forums

Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) has been extensively involved over the past fifteen years in the early childhood development sector in KwaZulu-Natal, specifically supporting ECD service providers through community based ECD development forums. In 2015 the HSRC finalised a review of SCSA’s ECD Forums intervention in selected sites in KwaZulu-Natal to assess the effectiveness of the intervention in enhancing access to quality centre based ECD for young children. The study found that SCSA supported ECD Forums extensively leveraged in kind and monetary support for ECD Centres and their staff, fostered social cohesion and solidarity amongst forum members, mobilized effective engagement with key government stakeholders, provided a platform for rapidly diffusing good practices and innovation and has demonstrated potential for advancing community development and empowerment. The findings provide persuasive evidence of how SCSA has harnessed the power of collective action towards enhancing the positive outcomes for young children, living in compromised environments in the context of scarce resources. Presentations can be downloaded above. 

The Case for Play is Playground Ideas’ report highlighting the most significant research findings on the impact of early play interventions, particularly for children living in poverty. Long term studies have shown access to early play experiences boosts life outcomes substantially -42% raise in yearly earnings, 44% increase in high school graduations, and 17% increase in bachelor degrees. Perhaps most importantly, play builds the critical skill of self-regulation, which underpins success for a lifetime. The report complies the best research on play, spanning the fields of economics, psychology, child development, education and neuroscience.


Adolescent care cover

Global initiatives are urging countries to prioritize quality as a way of reinforcing human rights-based approaches to health. Yet evidence from both high- and low-income countries shows that services for adolescents are highly fragmented, poorly coordinated and uneven in quality. Pockets of excellent practice exist, but, overall, services need significant improvement and should be brought into conformity with existing guidelines.

WHO/UNAIDS Global Standards for quality health care services for adolescents aim to assist policy-makers and health service planners in improving the quality of health-care services so that adolescents find it easier to obtain the health services that they need to promote, protect and improve their health and well-being.

This report is published in four volumes. Read more HERE

Link: Publication

This helpdesk query from GSDRC answers the following question:- What evidence is there on the development outcomes of the political and social inclusion of young people? Review the evidence in lower and middle income countries for including young people (10-25 years) in political processes, formal institutions and governance structures (political inclusion) and informal institutions such as household and community structures (social inclusion). What development outcomes (positive and negative / costs and benefits) are associated with these forms of inclusion, both for the youth cohort as well as wider society?

ICT4griculture refers to the interaction between ICT and agriculture. It describes an emerging field focused on the enhancement of sustainable agriculture, food security, livestock production and rural development through improved information and communication processes. More specifically, ICT4Agriculture involves the conceptualisation, design, development, evaluation and application of innovative ways to use ICTs in the rural domain, with a primary focus on agriculture.The National ICT RDI Roadmap recognises that ICT can support enhanced agricultural production, principally by rendering support to emerging commercial farmers to improve their contribution towards increased food security and agricultural exports, as well as to mitigate environmental impact. This seminar is taking place on 28 September 2015 and is aimed at researchers, policymakers, practitioners.To register for the seminar submit the attached registration form to Ms. Carolina Roscigno  (Email  Fax 086 657 4835) or Ms.Lydia Flusk (Email  Fax 086 657 4835).

To contribute toward meeting global challenges around nutrition, the Global Nutrition Report seeks to monitor progress, accelerate nutrition action, and enhance accountability. Specifically, the report shows that if we are to build on existing successes certain key actions are necessary. Momentum for nutrition improvement is growing stronger at global and national levels. This commitment must be locked in for the future, multiplied exponentially, and converted into roal orientated activities.  declines. The Global Nutrition Report 2015 is driven by this imperative. The data and analysis in the report lead to six key messages and ten calls to action. Note supplementary online materials at the beginning of the report including indicators from UN member countries

Some of the world’s authorities on child poverty, development and wellbeing will gather in Cape Town this week, 2-4 September, for a conference that will reveal new directions and approaches to research that can improve social policy and services for children.

This is the first time the biennial conference of the International Society for Child Indicators will be held in Africa, and it provides an important opportunity to shift the focus of discussions to the global south.

The conference will include papers, panel sessions and discussions on a range of issues affecting children, including the following:

  • Youth transitions to adulthood
  • Early childhood development
  • Child-focused indicators of social change
  • Measurement of child poverty and inequality
  • Child protection and violence against children

Over 200 researchers, policy-makers and practitioners will attend from more than 40 countries. These experts are concerned with the measurement of children’s deprivation and development – and the translation of evidence into policy and practice. They are brought together by a common vision of a world in which children have equal opportunities and the potential to thrive and develop. The conference is about providing evidence that points the way forward to address inequality and improve children’s life chances, whether children grow up in Germany, Chile, South Africa or Indonesia.

Previously held in Chicago, Sydney, York and Seoul, this year’s conference will be hosted by the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, in partnership with UNICEF, the African Child Policy Forum, and the Poverty & Inequality Initiative of UCT.

Venue: Kramer Law Building, Middle Campus, University of Cape Town. Dates: 2-4 September 2015.

For more information, profiles of the keynote speakers and a detailed programme go to or Facebook at ISCI 2015.

THere will be brief outlines of a few key sessions available for distribution on Monday 31 August.

Please contact if you would like to receive these.