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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

ECD

The focus in this Topical Guide is on early childhood care and education as the other elements of ECD such as health and food will be dealt with in their own chapters

  • Quality of ECCE programmes for children aged 0-4 and children in Grade R
  • Inadequate funding of ECCE to ensure universal access to quality ECD, especially for the most marginalised
  • Lack of a programmatic or funding framework for non centred-based ECCE
  • Lack of ECCE programmatic support for children aged 0-2
  • No ECCE for children with disabilities

 

 

 

 


Related publications

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, https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/742). At this seminar, five policy briefs drawn from the research will launched and shared.

This policy brief aims to examine foster care placement in South Africa and the challenges with which it is fraught. It will seek to provide a way forward for government to ameliorate the plight of the children who require these services as well as those who are rendering them.

Document(s): PDF icon Policy_Brief_1.pdf

Dignity is a foundational value in South Africa’s Constitution and is also experienced as a psycho-social phenomenon. Dimensions of dignity were explored with almost two hundred low income female caregivers and the impact of poverty on dignity was examined.

Link: Publication

 A principled framework for children and young people’s participation as valued citizens and learners. This collection of tools and resources are designed to support and empower children and young people’s participation as active citizens and learners.

Link: Publication

This guide examines of modern responses to child labour as embodied in policy and legislation. It covers where and how the lines have been drawn between the types and arrangements of work that have no harmful effect on children and those that do; how countries have expressed their antipathy to child labour and created institutions to combat it; how governments have responded to children not getting a proper education; and how governments have responded to adults exploitation of child labour.

This handbook provides Members of Parliament with information on children’s issues and their rights. Its purpose is to equip MPs with the tools to integrate a child-rights perspective into all work that Members engage with.

The DSD’s  Audit of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres, conducted in 2014, provides information on the nature and extent of ECD provisioning, services, resources and infrastructure across all nine provinces in respect of registered, conditionally registered and unregistered ECD sites.  The audit is particularly important from a policy perspective as it will serve as a baseline for future audits, inform the establishment of national benchmarks for the variables used, and will inform ECD infrastructure policy and planning. The audit report confirms that the bulk of unregistered centres are located in low income urban areas and that the biggest obstacle to their registration is their failure to comply with the onerous norms and standards prescribed by the Children’s Act. Go to this blog by Patricia Martin to get an interesting overview of the report.

 

BRIDGE has prepared a summary of the recommendations of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Department of Performance and Monitoring (DPME)’s 2014 Grade R Impact Evaluation and an overview of the QCTO qualification process as quick fact sheets for Early Childhood Development (ECD) stakeholders.

Evaluation Update is a summary of progress on establishing the South African National Evaluation System, led by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency (DPME). 

 

This document reports on a survey held in three provinces in more than 300 public schools offering Grade R, more than 300 community-based ECD facilities registered with the DSD, and 90 non-registered community-based ECD facilities. Separate questionnaires were designed for each. Province 1 is a rich province, Province 2 a moderately poor one and Province 3 a large and very poor province, thus the survey reflects the broad spectrum of experiences in ECD.

Online data from a report which systematically presents comparative data on laws and public policies in 191 countries covering areas essential to children's healthy development. Changing children's chances examines policy data and their impact in the areas of poverty, discrimination, education, health, child labour, child marriage, and parental care. The report provides a global picture of the policy tools governments can use to make a difference to children's opportunities in life. The website summarizes key original findings from databases on current laws and policies in UN member states.

This is an annual report intended as a snapshot of the child rights climate in South Africa, It includes discussions about children and law reform, children participating in social dialogue and datasets.

Link: Publication

In 2010 government established the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, recently renamed the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. Many monitoring systems have been established, and this is the first annual report on the National Evaluation System.

Link: Publication

The South African Integrated Programme of Action for Early Childhood Development-Moving Ahead (2013/14-2016/17) was approved by Cabinet on 18 September 2013 with a recommendation that the costing be concluded with National Treasury.

On 16 July 2014, the Department of Social Development (DSD) presented their budget speech to the National Assembly. PAN:Children in line with its mandate to provide high quality, timely information to inform policy and decision making in relation to children has highlighted the policy priorities from the budget speech for 2014 . In an effort to promote evidence informed policy making, this summary couples the policy imperatives in the budget speech with useful and relevant evidence found on the PAN: Children platform. 

Documents South Africa’s social and economic plan for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality and incorporates a number of child-specific developmental goals.

Policy framework for post-apartheid restructuring of social welfare services, programmes and social security and emphasises the need for attaining equity and redress through social development.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, was approved by the Constitutional Court (CC) on 4 December 1996 and took effect on 4 February 1997. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. No other law or government action can supersede the provisions of the Constitution.

This is an international treaty created by the African Union. It sets out the rights of the child and the obligations of its signatory states to bring about realisation of these rights. Widely ratified, it is one of the key child rights documents for African states.

An international treaty setting out the rights of the child. This instrument has been ratified by almost all states worldwide and is considered a key child rights document.

Link: Publication

It is now accepted that high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) can bring lasting benefits to children from disadvantaged contexts. However, a significant number of families with young children who are disadvantaged find it difficult to take up resources in the ECEC system. As governments all over the world heed arguments that ECEC is a prudent social investment, it is useful to consider the service system from the perspective of the families targeted by these logics.

Outside of the United Kingdom, the question of how families make moral and practical decisions about their use of ECEC has received relatively little attention. This article draws on an Australian study, which explored how families who were disadvantaged imagined strong childrearing environments and then used services to progress this vision. These perspectives complicate and challenge social investment approaches that predominantly focus on the provision of childcare or preschool subsidies and places as a way of redressing social disadvantage. Many participants wanted to establish family stability and adequate material and social resources before participating in early years education. Investment in community development is an important mechanism for addressing service exclusion.

Link: Publication

An expanding body of research demonstrates that high quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) programmes generate positive outcomes for children; in response, policy makers in a number of countries are making significant programme investments. No research consensus, however, has emerged around the specific types of policy intervention that are most effective. Much remains to be clarified in terms of specific policy interventions that flow from the evidence base. To respond to these important gaps in ECEC knowledge, thsi publication advances a call for a research agenda that will systematically examine the effects of early years policy instruments and settings.

Link: Publication

This report aims to stimulate discussion and action by decision-makers and serve to inform the strategic thinking, programming and practice. It confirms well-known hindrances, identifies opportunities, and highlights how meaningful youth participation needs to address power. It calls on the broad range of actors working on child and youth development issues to take action and improve their own effectiveness and the enabling environment. While several findings identify new challenges and opportunities, others add more nuance and context to current discussions on child and youth development. The recurrence of some issues suggests that current actions are either inadequate or absent.

Link: Publication

This paper synthesises evidence about effective interventions and strategies to improve early child development, and calls for it to be included in a new global strategy on women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health.The millennium development goal on child health has led to great improvements in child survival worldwide. Child mortality has fallen by almost 50%, resulting in an estimated 17 000 fewer children dying every day in 2013 than in 1990.Nevertheless, many children who survive do not thrive, with over 200 million children under 5 years of age at risk of not attaining their developmental potential. Physical and mental health, educational and occupational attainment, family wellbeing, and the capacity for mutually rewarding social relationships all have their roots in early childhood. We now have a good understanding of the serious implications of young children going off course, including the longer term economic and societal ramifications. 

Link: Publication

Violence and violent crime are significant social problems in South Africa. Yet currently these problems are only addressed as or after they occur, with the state and civil society missing valuable opportunities to prevent violence before it happens. This article focuses on the intersection between early childhood development services and primary violence prevention interventions. It encourages a developmental approach to violence prevention by promoting healthy physical and social development and preventing direct and indirect exposure to violence during early childhood. The article outlines the extent to which this approach is currently reflected in South Africa's policy framework and proposes areas of intervention based on local and international literature.

Link: Publication

This report outlines the research that supports each of the policy areas in the Alliance for Early Success’ recently revised Birth through Eight State Policy Framework. Research at a Glance provides an overview of the evidence base for the policy choices in the Framework, summarizing the factors that contribute to, and sustain, the healthy growth and development of young children. The revised Framework emphasizes policy options in the areas of health, family support, and learning, and policy options that bridge these three areas. - See more at: http://www.childtrends.org/our-research/early-childhood-development/#sth...

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?

In Jamaica, a rare long-term study of the effects of an early childhood development program shows that children’s lives can be improved by ensuring that they have the right stimulation and emotional support as babies and toddler. Nearly 20 years after poor mothers were shown how to play and interact with their children in ways that promote cognitive, physical, and emotional development, the gains were apparent. The relevant article, policy brief and poster can be downloaded above. PAN Children promotes the right to play, read the report from our seminar here

On 28 April 2015 the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) convened a roundtable on three diagnostics related to children. These are The diagnostic review of Early Childhood Development (ECD), Impact of Grade R on learning outcomes and the Diagnostic/implementation evaluation of nutrition interventions for  children from conception to age 5. We provide links to all related documents for each diagnostic above. Note that DPME has collated all relevant documents including improvement plans and progress reports, and in the case of the diagnostic on nutrition interventions there are a number of case studies. Attached are presentations from the Roundtable. We have also attached a policy brief on the Impact of the introduction of Grade R on learning outcomes.

Link: publication

This report examines and analyses policies and provision for family support and parenting support.The goals of the research are to identify relevant global trends and develop an analytical framework that can be used for future research and policy analysis. For these purposes, new evidence was gathered and existing evidence systematized and analysed. The report is based on general literature searches and evidence gathered from 33 UNICEF national offices, located in different parts of the world, and detailed case studies of nine countries  (Belarus, Chile, China, Croatia, England, Jamaica, the Philippines, South Africa and Sweden).

This National Curriculum Framework (NCF) provides guidance for those developing programmes and working with babies, toddlers and young children from birth to age four; and is based on the National Early Learning and Development Standards (NELDS). The NCF promotes a holistic vision of early childhood development (ECD) which pays attention to: the first 1000 days which are the windows of opportunities for interventions before birth and the first two years of life after birth; and the third and fourth years of life and the time before the child enters primary school. The document is aimed at adults working with from birth to four and includes: parents and caregivers, early childhood practitioners (in centres, family and community support services, child minders), practitioner/educator and support staff and monitoring personnel (government and civil society) who visit the ECD programmes.

 

Link: Publication

The Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally announced the release of their report, Financing Investments in Young Children Globally: Workshop Summary. The report summarizes the workshop held August 26-27, 2014 in New Delhi, India in partnership with the Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED), Ambedkar University, Delhi. The report summarizes research presentations that highlighted the links among sources of funding, types of funding mechanisms, and the pathways through which they operate with respect to maternal and child health, education, and social protection outcomes. The report further synthesizes discussions on the following thematic areas: (1) how to incorporate the issues of access and quality into costing models of early childhood programs, and (2) the impact of alternative models of financing (such as public-private partnerships) on child outcomes. 

Link: Publication

This World Bank Study by Rebecca K. Sayre, Amanda E. Devercelli, Michelle J. Neuman  and Quentin Wodon provides an overview of World Bank investments in Early Childhood Development (ECD) from 2000-2013 within the Education, Health, Nutrition and Population, and Social Protection and Labor practices. A series of case studies are presented to highlight lessons learned to inform future Bank support to ECD and to promote better planning across sectors and regions. The study also discusses recent new approaches to suport ECD within the World Bank and in client countries.

Link: Publication

The overall aim of this research is to highlight the lessons learnt from implementing CSI-funded early childhood development (ECD) interventions in South Africa. ECD refers to the provision of holistic policies and programmes encompassing the physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, moral and development of children aged between birth and nine years of age with the active participation of their parents and caregivers. The research is premised on the universal evidence that investing in ECD provides greater returns to society than any other form of human capital investment.

This discussion paper provides an overview of disability in early childhood and highlights the importance of providing opportunities during this period to ensure children with disabilities can reach their development potential and participate meaningfully in their home, schools and communities. The evidence presented underscores the urgent need to strengthen and scale up early childhood development initiatives for young children with disabilities and their families.

Link: Publication

World leaders are setting out a roadmap for human progress over the next 15 years. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals, these new global targets will drive investment and action in virtually every country on earth, touching millions of lives. That is why it is vital that every child is included – and that children everywhere are at the heart of the new global agenda. This ‘Agenda for Every Child’ sets out seven priorities that must be addressed in the new development goals.

Link: Publication

As the era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) comes to an end in 2015, a new framework for global development will be put in place. The ‘Post-2015 Development Agenda’ will culminate in the formulation of a new set of goals and targets – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – that will build on the progress of the MDGs and also address the shortcomings. Additional resources: Post-2015 Issue Briefs .

 

 

 

 

Link: Publication

This Advocacy Calendar highlights key international days with a strong emphasis on days established through UN's General Assembly's Resolution and key national days for 2015 as established by the Government of South Africa.

The Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) released a National Evaluation report on 22 October 2014 . The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) hosted Dr Ian Goldman, Head of Evaluation and Research in DPME to give an update on the status with the National Evaluation System, some emerging findings, and also first thoughts on DPME’s role in relation to research.

Link: Publication

The aim of this document is to provide a basis for a discussion in government, in Parliament and in society about performance monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in government. The document proposes a set of basic principles and an approach to performance M&E that is intended to result in continuous improvement in government performance and increased accountability. It makes suggestions regarding the M&E practices that need to be implemented to achieve this and how to institutionalise them. The outcome of such a discussion will inform us of the appropriate route to take going forward, such as having M&E policies and guidelines or developing M&E legislation.

Link: Publication

Based on over 190,000 responses from students, teachers and head teachers collected and analysed during the school year 2011-12, the Survey of Schools: ICT in Education provides detailed, up-to-date and reliable benchmarking of Information and Communication Technologies in school level education across Europe, painting a picture of educational technology in schools: from infrastructure provision to use, confidence and attitudes.

On the 25th of September 2014, Ilifa in partnership with the Department of Social Development hosted a dialogue on children and disability.  The dialogue brought together various stakeholders from government and civil society to explore opportunities for deepening collaboration and acting on various agendas, policies and position papers that have sought to add impetus to enabling access to services for young children and their primary caregivers who are living with or affected by disability or developmental delays.

PAN: Children hosted a dialogue series focusing on children with disabilities on 10 March 2014. This dialogue was a launch of Situational Analysis report dating from year 2001 to 2011. The report highlighted the significant progress made, but also the challenges that still exist for children with disabilities in South Africa. The Situational Analysis report was undertaken by the Department of Social Development, Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities and UNICEF. This report seeks to fill knowledge gaps that exist regarding the situation of children with disabilities, their family and community environment, the underlying causes of their situations and the adequacy of efforts by government and non-government actors to fulfil their rights.

Link: Publication

The 2013 report includes the domesticated indicators which are applicable to the South African context. The key feature and contributor in the 2013 MDG report has been the availability of data emerging out of the Population Census of 2011.

 
Link: Publication

Outline and structure of the National Early Child Development (ECD) programme report. The objectives of the assignment are to outline a comprehensive ECD Programme and to describe a universally available non‐negotiable essential package.

 

Link: Publication

This report is an analysis of the current status of the ECD in South Africa, challanges and roles played by different partners in its landscape.

Link: Publication

The IPEC project “Tackling child labour through education” (TACKLE) was jointly launched by the European Commission (EC) and the ILO with the support of the Secretariat of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) in 2008 to fight child labour in 12 ACP countries (Angola, Fiji, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan and Zambia). The objective of the TACKLE project was to contribute to the withdrawal of children engaged in child labour and to prevent further entry of children into employment by offering them alternative education and training opportunities and thereby contributing towards poverty reduction. It is hoped that this collection of good practices serves as an inspiration for their replication and contributes to the work of practitioners and policy-makers on child labour worldwide.

Link: Publication

The ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) Implementation Report 2014 provides a summary of the work of the Programme during the biennium 2012-2013. It also provides an overview of significant developments during the biennium including the Global Conference on child labour and new global estimates on child labour.

Link: Publication

This new report is the first in a series to be published annually by the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour. It brings together research on child labour and social protection, identifying policies that are designed to achieve multiple social goals. It discusses the role of poverty and economic shocks in rendering households vulnerable to child labour and considers the impact on child labour of cash transfers, public employment programmes, social insurance and other social protection initiatives as they have been implemented around the world. The report distils a broad range of research in economic and social policy and should be of interest to those looking for ways to combat poverty in the present and reduce its burden on the next generation.

Link: Publication

New report on domestic work within the framework of the two ILO fundamental conventions on child labour. It provides detailed information on current data regarding the estimated number of child domestic workers worldwide. It also explores the ambiguity of the working relationship, the discrimination and isolation associated with the practice, the hazards and risks of this type of work, as well as the vulnerability to violence and to abuse to which child domestic workers are too often exposed. It also explores policy responses to child labour and underlines the key role of the social partners and civil society organizations in the fight against child labour in domestic work. The report concludes by making a call for specific action towards ending child labour and protecting young workers in domestic work.

Link: Publication

This fact sheet is an update to the global estimates on child domestic work 2008.

Link: Publication

This is the fourth issue of the ILO’s report series: Global Estimates on child labour. The present Report provides new global and regional estimates on child labour for the year 2012 and compares them with the previous estimates for 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Link: Publication

This publication is a companion volume of the "Children in Hazardous Work: What we know, what we need to do" report, outlines the problem of hazardous work and highlights possible solutions. Although it is too early to say, in most cases, that the activities included here are proven "good practices" ready for emulation, nonetheless items in this selection have already demonstrated some unique or notable elements.

Link: Publication

Fact Sheet: Generation 2030 Africa Report -  On current trends, almost 2 billion babies will be born in Africa in the next 35 years due to high fertility rates and increasing number of women of reproductive age. Over the same period Africa’sunder-18 population will increase by two thirds, reaching almost 1billion by mid-century.

 

Link: Publication

This paper presents an overview of the impact that demographic changes will have on  development over the first half of the 21st century by taking a close look at three demographic  trends: fertility, mortality, and immigration; and examining how these will touch policy issues  including poverty, public finance and infrastructure, and climate change. 

Link: Publication

A comment by The Lancet, on how unprecedented growth in the continent's child population came about, and its implications for Africa and the rest of the world, is the subject of Generation 2030 Africa, a report on child demographics released by UNICEF on Aug 12, 2014.

Link: Publication

A new report from UNICEF, Generation 2030 | Africa, shows how Africa, already the world’s second most populous continent with over 1 billion inhabitants, is experiencing a demographic shift unprecedented in its scale and swiftness. In the next 35 years, 1.8 billion babies will be born in Africa; the continent’s population will double in size; and its under-18 population will increase by two thirds to reach almost 1 billion. By 2050, Africa will be home to two in five of the world’s children. This unprecedented projected increase gives policymakers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to craft a child-focused investment strategy that enables the continent, and the world, to reap the benefits of Africa’s demographic transition.

Link: Publication

A report from the European Commission to the European Parliament, Council, European economic and social committee and The Committee of Regions. This report highlights key policy strategies which aim to stimulate online content that is useful to children, empower children, protect children while they are online and prevent the sexual abuse and exploitation of children while online. It provides a useful model to ensure child online protection.

 

Link: Publication

This research report prepared by the UK Evidence Base for the UK Council for Child Internet Safety. This piece looks at the risk of harm to children on the internet, children who are most vulnerable while online and children’s general use of the internet. It also looks at best practices by discussing the various strategies used by 600 schools in their e-safety policies.

 

Link: Publication

Risks and safety on the internet: The perspective of European children. Full findings and policy implications from the EU Kids Online survey of 9-16 year olds and their parents in 25 countries. This report presents the full findings from a new and unique survey designed and conducted according to rigorous standards by the EU Kids Online network. The survey investigated key online risks: pornography, bullying, receiving sexual messages, contact with people not known face, to-face, offline meetings with online contacts, potentially harmful user-generated content and personal data misuse. 

Link: Publication

This guide is intended to offer examples of some successful initiatives undertaken by civil society organizations as well as individuals and government agencies concerned with protecting children around the world. 

Link: Publication

The report focuses on the risks faced by children online and policies to protect them. It provides a useful evaluation of existing policies for the protection of children online from different member states of the OECD. 

Link: Publication

A guide for judges and other professionals for effective responses to teen sexting produced by Futures Without Violence.

Link: Publication

"Cell phones and the Internet have helped us connect and learn from each other in ways that most of us never imagined. We have only begun to explore the benefits that these, and future technologies, will bring to our lives. As with many things, it is not the technology, but the misuse of it, that creates problems'' , said Siegel. This article highlights the different type of cyberbullying and gives tips to parents and educators as they play an important role in helping young people understand the consequences of poor decisions in a digital age where favorable, as well as unfavorable, text and images spread exponentially.

Link: Publication

Media technology is an integral part of children’s lives in the twenty-first century. The world of electronic media, however, is changing dramatically. Television, until recently the dominant media source, has been joined by cell phones, iPods, video games, instant messaging, social networks on the Internet, and e-mail.This volume examines the best available evidence on whether and how exposure to different media forms is linked to child well-being.

Link: Publication

Multiple incidents of violence in South African schools have elevated the issue to being a national concern. The aim of this article is to report on an investigation into the perception of school communities regarding conditions that make violence such a persistent problem in schools. 

Link: Publication

UNICEF hosted a Global Partners Forum (GPF) on Protection, Care, and Support for all children at the AIDS Conference in Melbourne on 20th July, 2014.  The forum addressed the social and economic factors that continue to hinder progress towards achieving an AIDS-free generations.  Specifically, the call to action aims to: propose innovative solutions to challenging problems, leverage existing evidence and experience on protection, care and support services, and mobilize action on a community and national level. The Call to Action framework was endorsed by USAID, PEPFAR, The World Bank, UNAIDS, and the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS.

The annual report highlights the main accomplishments and results UNICEF achieved in South Africa during 2013, with special features such as infographics and human interest stories. UNICEF’s work is aligned with the South African Government’s Medium-Term Strategic Framework for 2009–2014, including its 12 priority outcomes and the priorities outlined in the National Development Plan. Within this context, UNICEF focuses on reducing inequities, addressing child poverty and promoting children’s rights.

 

Every Newborn: an action plan to end preventable deaths sets out a vision of a world in which there are no preventable deaths of newborns or stillbirths, where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth celebrated, and women, babies and children survive, thrive and reach their full potential. Nearly 3 million lives could be saved each year if the actions in the plan are implemented and its goals and targets achieved. Based on evidence of what works, and developed within the framework for Every Woman Every Child, the plan enhances and supports coordinated, comprehensive planning and implementation of newborn-specific actions within the context of national reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health strategies and action plans, and in collaboration with stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, professional associations and others. The goal is to achieve equitable and high-quality coverage of care for all women and newborns through links with other global and national plans, measurement and accountability. 

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health identified the actions, policies and solutions from 10 countries making substantial progress in improving women and children’s health. This report highlights 10 low- and middle-income countries and the factors that have led to their progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health, from 1990 to present. The 10 ‘fast-track’ countries with notable achievements in maternal, newborn and child health include: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda and Viet Nam. This report summarises the highlights of a three year multi-disciplinary, multistakeholder series of studies.

The 2014 report, Fulfilling the Health Agenda for Women and Children, was released exactly 18 months to the day from the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals at the end of 2015. Like previous Countdown reports, it includes an updated, detailed profile for each of the 75 Countdown countries, which together account for more than 95% of the global burden of maternal, newborn and child death. The report shows that progress has been impressive in some areas, but it also highlights the vast areas of unfinished business that must be prioritized in the post-2015 framework. The 2014 report also provides an assessment of the state of the data to support evidence-based decisions in women's and children's health, and describes elements of the Countdown process that might inform ongoing efforts to hold the world to account for progress. It concludes by laying out concrete action steps that can be taken now to ensure continued progress for women and children in the years ahead.

Maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain high in many low-income and middle-income countries. Different approaches for the improvement of birth outcomes have been used in community-based interventions, with heterogeneous effects on survival. The research paper assess the effects of women's groups practising participatory learning and action, compared with usual care, on birth outcomes in low-resource settings.

Poverty, inequality and exclusion are hallmarks of a highly iniquitous society. In order for the rights of all children to be realised, it is essential that this gap- and the resultant chasms in service delivery and overall quality of life- be removed. The child population is one of the segments of the population more prone to becoming trapped in poverty and therefore the most logical site for successful poverty-ending intervention.  The publication seeks to explore the kind of intervention that would be necessary to bring this about through literature reviews and policy simulations. This research report investigates the extent to which groups of children are caught up in the intersection of poverty and exclusion, what the characteristics of these children are and to what extent they are or are not reached by policies and the additional efforts necessary to break free from the surrounding traps.

The report states that there are more than 60 million women and children are in need of humanitarian assistance for the year 2014. Over half of maternal and child deaths worldwide occur in crisis-affected places; still the majority of these deaths are preventable. In this report, Save the Children examines the causes of maternal and child deaths in crisis settings, and suggests urgent actions needed to support mothers who are raising the world’s future generations under some of the most difficult and horrific circumstances imaginable.

The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) established the goal of a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR; number of maternal deaths per 100 000 livebirths) between 1990 and 2015.The study showed that child death rates dropped by 48 percent globally between 1990 and 2013. But 6.3 million children still died before their fifth birthday in 2013.It found that child deaths in South Africa increased by an average rate of 1.4 percent per year from 1990 to 2000, then fell by 6.1 percent between 2000 and 2013. Maternal mortality in South Africa fell at a rate of 6.9 percent per year during 2003 to 2013. While important progress was being made, 171.4 mothers per 100,000 live births died from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications in South Africa in 2013.

 

The Mediterranean journal of social sciences published an article entitled, The determinants of child poverty in a South Africa township: a case of Boipatong. The study  investigates the possible determinants of child poverty in the Boipatong Township. 

 The paper discusses the effects of the household’s total income, employment status, age of the household head, the number of people in the household and gender of head of household on child poverty.The results of the study indicate that the employment status of the head of the household; number of people living in the household and total income of the household are significant determinants of child poverty status in Boipatong. This may imply that policies that are aimed at dealing with poverty and child poverty in particular should consider ways of creating formal employment for people in the townships. 

 

Poverty Trends in South Africa report released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) showed a strong link between increased level of education and decreased levels of poverty. However, the report also reveals that most children in South Africa are still living below the poverty line and have seen the least improvement of all the age groups.

The Centre for Constitutional Rights published its sixth annual Human Rights Report Card indicating where, in their opinion, South Africa has been making progress with regard to human rights and where it has been regressing.

Essential services for young children are foregrounded in this year’s issue of the South African Child Gauge. This annual review of South Africa’s children, now in its eighth year, was published in collaboration with UNICEF South Africa and Ilifa Labantwana.

The 2013 issue highlights the importance of investing early to ensure the optimum development of young children, and defines an essential package of care and support services for young children and their families. In particular, essays explore key service areas including nutrition, maternal and child health, caregiver support, parenting programmes, early learning opportunities and early schooling. The book is accompanied by a policy brief and pull-out poster. 

The policy brief,Stepping up to the challenge:Prioritising essential services for young children, draws on the latest research findings, presented in the 2013 South African Child Gauge, and identifies critical next steps to enhance the delivery of essential services for young children. 

The Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency (DPME) and the Inter-Departmental Steering Committee on Early Childhood Development commissioned a Diagnostic Review (DR) of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) sector in October 2011. The purpose of the DR was to evaluate the current South African ECD paradigm and policy, including the role of the State, and the implementation of ECD services and programmes. The diagnostic review summarizes the policy on ECD and key policy findings amongst other issues.

Document(s): PDF icon ECD Policy.pdf

The purpose of the paper is to:

Describe the principal government commitments to children 0-4 years, including priority targets as set out in the leading policy statements and legislation relating to children aged 0-4; Provide a profile of vulnerable children aged 0-4 (child outcomes and demographics) in South Africa and flag data gaps in this regard; Provide an overview of provision of the primary National Integrated Plan (NIP) for ECD service components to children aged 0-4 and flag data gaps in this regard; Make recommendations for targeting in implementation of the policy for scaling up services; and Draw inferences for the design of demonstration projects to test options for scaling up ECD services that will improve child outcomes and create jobs.

Factors shaping education

School education is held up as an ‘escape route from poverty’. This paper looks at children’s unequal trajectories from early childhood through to the time they leave school, examining how various factors are shaping their educational opportunities and achievement.

Schooling and Skills Development

Young Lives collected data since 2002 on two cohorts of children born in 1994-95 and 2000-01 across 80 sites in four developing countries. This paper employs these data to examine the development of general cognitive skills and of basic literacy and numeracy over the child’s life course and school career.

Link: Publication

With fewer than three years until the planned end-date of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), attention is rapidly turning to what will follow. The elaboration of the next global development agenda is a complex, multi-pronged process that is academic, political and practical, involving experts from a myriad of social and economic sectors and representing a cross-section of constituencies. While the formal U.N. process is still in the early stages, the ongoing discourse (predominantly occurring in the global north, but not exclusively) has introduced several potential frameworks for this agenda.

This paper describes the leading frameworks proposed for the post-2015 global development agenda and discusses how education and learning fit within each of those frameworks. READ MORE

This report presents the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) undertaken from August 2011 to July 2012, illustrating the implementation of the six thematic priorities of the Office as defined in its management plans for 2010-2011 and 2012-2013. The six areas are: Strengthening of human rights mechanisms and the progressive development of international human rights law; Countering discrimination, in particular racial discrimination, discrimination on the grounds of sex or religion and discrimination against others who are marginalized; Pursuing economic, social and cultural rights and combating inequalities and poverty, including in the context of the economic, food and climate crises; Human rights in the context of migration; Combating impunity and strengthening accountability, the rule of law and democratic society and Protecting human rights in situations of armed conflict, violence and insecurity. The report shows that while determined to undertake these challenges, the Office of the High Commissioner needs adequate political and financial support if it is to fulfil its mandate in a timely and meaningful manner,with a view to contributing effectively to the protection of human rights everywhere.

This report analyses the improvements to children’s lives during the past two decades in five sectors: health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and child protection. It is a clear demonstration that, when the right steps and approaches are taken, ‘development works’. Building on this evidence, this report makes a powerful case for greater investment in ‘child sensitive’ development. It sets out the drivers of change and the key steps to achieving progress.

This research set out to determine the extent to which early childhood development (ECD) service providers are able to access state funding for ECD. It explored: government ECD funding sources; prescribed procedures, systems and requirements for funding; actual procedures for accessing state funding; support from local government for ECD services within selected municipalities; and factors that enable and inhibit access to state funding for ECD service providers.

This report reflects an analysis of key indicators to assess the fulfillment of children’s rights in South Africa. Most of the data is derived from Statistics South Africa’s General Household Survey (GHS), a household survey representative for the entire population of the country. It has been executed annually by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) since 2002. It covers six broad areas, namely: education, health, social development, housing, household access to services and facilities, food security and agriculture.

This is an annual report mapping the world's progress in reaching eight targets known as the Millennium Development Goals. These are to: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; Promote gender equality and empower women; Reduce child mortality; Improve maternal health; Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases; Ensure environmental sustainability, and, Develop a Global Partnership for Development

This is a report published annually. Each year, it has a different theme. 2012's report canvasses the situation of children living in urban areas. Within the report such children's rights and the challenges associated with their realisation are discussed. The document is also a source of statistics on this matter and includes the perspectives of various differently-situated writers.

The South African Child Gauge is published annually by the Children’s Institute, University of Cape, to monitor government and civil society’s progress towards realising children’s rights. This issue focuses on children and inequality.It was launched on the 17th October 2012.This document is divided into three parts:

PART ONE: Children and law reform Part one discusses recent legislative developments affecting children. This issue comments on litigation and law reform in relation to the Children’s Act; the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act; the Social Assistance Act regulations; the National Health Act; and the Traditional Courts Bill. See pages 14 – 19.

PART TWO: Children and inequality: Closing the gap Part two presents 10 essays – the first four essays set the scene by defining children’s equality rights and explaining the nature and extend of inequality, the spatial dimensions of child deprivation in South Africa, and the impact of place, care and migration on children’s lives. The following five essays outline the potential of particular policies and programmes to reduce inequalities amongst South Africa’s children, including social grants, early childhood development services, access to health care, HIV treatment and prevention services, and access to quality education. The final essay reflects on emerging opportunities and challenges, and critical considerations for policy. See pages 22 – 77.

PART THREE: Children Count – the numbers Part three updates a set of key indicators on children’s socio-economic rights and provides commentary on the extent to which these rights have been realised. The indicators are a special subset selected from the website www.childrencount.ci.org.za. See pages 80 – 105.

This is one of the most definative and widely utilised South African child rights documents, providing a concise and focused synopsis of the situation of children throughout the country.

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.

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. 

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 www.isci2015.org or Facebook at ISCI 2015.

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

Please contact [email protected] if you would like to receive these.

On 25 February 2015 PAN Children hosted a seminar titled 'Let us Play! Lessons and Reflections on Co-Creating Playful Cities in Johannesburg' which profiled the Hummingbird Children’s Centre. The seminar reflected on the learning gained through its Playwork practice, the challenges encountered in establishing permanent play sites and how to get play provision onto local government agendas. Attached is a report and presentation from the seminar. Click here to watch the seminar. Download a case study about  Promoting play and creating playful cities: A profile of the Hummingbird Children’s Centre.

PAN:Children is hosting a seminar titled 'Let us Play! Lessons and Reflections on Co-Creating Playful Cities in Johannesburg' on 25 February 2015. According to South Africa's submission to the UNCRC concerning General Comment 17 on play, South Africa lacks safe and public play spaces for children. The Hummingbird Children’s Centre is a play and Early Childhood Education (ECE) organisation, that promotes Playwork and advocates for the urgent need to create, and provide, stimulating play environments and programmes. Bringing together local knowledge, artistic practices and progressive Playwork and ECE approaches, it works towards the vision of co-creating ‘Playful Cities’.This seminar will reflect on the learnings gained through its Playwork practice and the challenges encountered in establishing permanent play sites and putting play provision on local government agendas. 

The Early Childhood Development Knowledge Building Seminar is a platform that brings research and practice together, highlights achievements in the policy and practice arena, and also looks at the sector from all angles. Theme for this was: 20 years of knowledge building in early childhood development in South Africa. Visit the presentations link to download all the presentations from the seminar.

UNICEF South Africa invites you to the Early Childhood Development Knowledge Building Seminar 2014. It is a platform that brings research and practice together; highlights achievements in the policy and practice arena, and also looks at the sector from all angels. Theme for this year is : 20 years of knowledge building early childhood development in South Africa.

Document(s): Office presentation icon Mastoera Sadan [email protected] years an overview of child related policy development.pps, PDF icon Executive summary Mastoera Sadan [email protected] years an overview of child related policy development.pdf, PDF icon [email protected] years Report.pdf, PDF icon Children @ 20 years Summary.pdf

On the 16 May 2014 PAN: Children invited Mastoera Sadan from the Presidency to discuss the development of child related policy through a 20-year lens, elaborating on how far we have come and commenting on the future of child policy in South Africa. Ms. Sadan was involved in the development of the Twenty Year Review. The Review reflects on how South Africa has progressed since the dawn of democracy in 1994, the challenges it still faces and how these can best be addressed. It provides an evaluation of the policies instituted by government since the advent of democracy. While highlighting achievements, it also addresses shortcomings and looks at initiatives and operational plans for the future.

 

The recent National ECD conference hosted by the National Department of Social Development was a crucial step in the development of an integrated national ECD programme for South Africa. The draft conference declaration was read out by the National Minister of Social Development at the end of the conference. The Director General in the National Department of Social Development highlighted these National ECD Conference Emerging Issues

Link: Publication

This document reports the findings of a Workshop organised by UNICEF UK in London, UK, about social accountability for Children. Read Background documents HERE  

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This advocacy brief by Save the Children emphasises the importance of Early Childhood Care (ECCD) as a foundation for child survival. The brief revisits the global ECCD goals,discusses child equity, equitable approaches to ECCD, why ECCD is such a powerful form of government investment as well as the benefits for children's education and development. A framework for re-conceptualising early childhood policies and programs is provided together with an impact evaluation in Africa.

The ECD Learning Community is owned by 16 Early Childhood Development NGOs in South Africa who, in partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation, have established an Early Childhood Development Learning Community. Its purpose is to improve the quality of practice in the field and to seek ways to cooperatively and positively influence policy-making and implementation.

South African integrated programme of action for early childhood development: Moving ahead (2013-2014-2016/17) was approved by the South African cabinet on 18 September 2013 with the recommendation that costing be concluded with National Treasury. Reference document for all working in ECD in the country.

Link: Publication

The Committee recognizes that children face many violations of their rights under the African Children’s Charter when their parents and/or primary caregivers come into conflict with the law. Through its consideration of States Parties’ Reports, and other activities falling within its mandate, the African committee has become aware that children can be affected by both the stigma of their parent or primary caregiver’s involvement with the criminal justice system as well as by the trauma of separation caused by arrest, pre-trial detention and imprisonment. In recognition of the importance and invisibility of the issue of children affected by the incarceration of their parents/ primary caregivers, the African Committee decided to prepare its first General Comment on this issue  - More

Document(s): PDF icon NPAC.pdf

The National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC) 2012 -2017 has been developed to embrace the new legislation and legal instruments for children, which have been adopted at local, regional as well as international levels. The NPAC focuses on 'The Child' as the central point of departure. There are five sub-themes of the NPAC: these were child survival, child development, protection and care for children, standard of living of children in South Africa, and child participation. Existing governmental goals that were contributing towards the achievement of mandates focusing on children had been used as benchmarks to inform Government programmes.

Consolidation of the State of the Nation and State of the Province addresses prepared by André Viviers, Senior Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF South Africa.

On Wednesday the 26th September 2012, the Secretary-General of the United National launched "Education First", the details of which PAN: Children has captured at the following link: http://children.pan.org.za/node/9090. President Jacob Zuma was among the world leaders to make an address at the event. This is a link to his remarks at the launch.

From Evidence into Action looks at various issues relating to social policy in South Africa and has a particular focus on the ‘how to’ of evidence-based policy-making. In this issue we look at early childhood development (ECD) and why it is so important for the future of our country. We speak to deputy representative of UNICEF in South Africa, George Laryea-Adjei, and learn more about ECD policy processes and resource allocation – and where there are gaps. Our case study compares ECD with that of another important policy, the Child Support Grant (CSG), and provides a list of important elements which should be included in the policy-making process. We present ome helpful tips on impact evaluations as well and, as always, a variety of useful resources.

This Topic Guide aims to answer the question ‘What is the interaction between social development issues and human development outcomes?’ An individual’s right to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living cannot be realised without addressing social development issues. This is because these issues determine individuals’ access to resources – who gets what, where, and how. This in turn affects whether human development is inclusive and equitable or perpetuates inequalities and exclusion.

This guide provides an overview of available evidence on how social development influences human development outcomes. It focuses on five social development issues (human rights, accountability, gender inequality, age and social exclusion) and their influence on four human development sectors: 1) health; 2) sexual and reproductive health (SRH); 3) education; and 4) water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).