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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Food and nutrition

Child Food and Nutrition Security is one in a series of topical guides developed for PAN:Children that provides key information on the current state of affairs in South Africa related to child nutrition. It highlights practical guidance, lessons learned and case studies (both national and international) that will be helpful in policy development dialogue and knowledge sharing.

Malnutrition is a major underlying cause of death in 64 per cent of children under the age of five in South Africa. One in five children is stunted and many are deficient in the vitamins and minerals vital to good health and optimal development. Malnutrition, especially among younger children, is a public health challenge in South Africa and requires a systematic approach to improving nutrition services and promoting behaviour change. The topical guide focuses on:

  1. Limited institutional capacity to drive, coordinate and oversee implementation of the multi-sectoral responses necessary to realise access to food and nutrition
  2. Limited data and monitoring of the nutritional status of children and their access to food (although this might be a sub-category of the previous item)
  3. Ineffective management, implementation of the various nutritional programmes, including the INP, the NSNP and the NSP
  4. Poor and low levels of infant feeding advice and support for breastfeeding
  5. Limited education and awareness-raising on education as a systemic national strategy to address nutrition (for example, not included in the school curriculum, lack of national media campaigns etc)
  6. Limited community and facility-based monitoring systems to identify children at risk of under-nutrition and effective referrals and solutions to prevent their decline to malnutrition

The topical guide is rich with references and these are available in the sub-sections below, which are arranged according to 'type' of document for example Policy Briefs or Country Studies.

Feedback on the topical guide is welcomed and can be submitted to [email protected]. The PAN secretariat also welcomes any additional documentation which is aligned to the focus of this guide.


Related publications

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. 

Link: Policy brief

This policy brief deals with the issue of television advertising of food products to children in South Africa. During 2012, a study was undertaken by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Athabasca in Canada to examine the extent of television advertising of food products to children by the SABC across its four television broadcasting stations. The study evaluated the number and type of food products advertised in order to determine whether children were being exposed to unhealthy food and beverage advertising.

This Children Count brief provides an overview of the situation of children in South Africa, drawing on data from the first wave of the National Income Dynamics Study. NIDS is a national panel survey, and the fieldwork for the first wave was done in 2008. Households and individuals covered in the first wave will be tracked every two years. This will allow researchers to follow the progress of the child panel over time and place, and thereby describe the dynamics of child poverty rather than present a static profile. The data from the first wave serves as a baseline.

Link: Publication
Right to water and sanitation

This publication provides an analytical tool designed to help Governments and other stakeholders to establish a baseline measure of the equity of access to water and sanitation, identify related priorities, discuss further actions to be taken and evaluate progress through a process of self-assessment. The publication contains recommendations on how to plan for the self-assessment and provides concrete examples of the benefits of using the score-card in different settings. Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health and other stakeholders can use the Equitable Access Score-card to support the definition of targets to bridge the existing gaps in access to water and sanitation and thus to achieve the human right to water and sanitation

Scaling Up for Nutrition

The first complete version of this M&E Framework is reflected in this document and consists of three complementary components. The document was developed in consultation with SUN Networks. A Reference Group, consisting of representatives of all Networks, and Lead Group were constituted to support this work. A two-day design workshop was held in Geneva on 07 & 08 March 2013. The M&E Framework brings together, in one document, the expected results of the Movement and stakeholder commitments as outlined in the SUN Movement Strategy and Roadmap and in individual Network planning documents. The M&E Framework encompasses the results of the Movement as set out in the SUN Movement Strategy, the revised SUN Road Map and individual planning documents, such as SUN Network Activity Plans or strategies.

A factsheet providing answers to frequently asked questions surrounding the 2012 Nutrition Barometer. The Nutrition Barometer itself is available on PAN: Children at http://children.pan.org.za/node/9110.

The Nutrition Barometer provides a snapshot of national governments’ commitments to addressing children’s nutrition, and the progress they have made. It looks at 36 developing countries with the highest levels of child undernutrition. The Barometer measures governments’ political and legal commitment to tackling malnutrition (eg, whether they have a national nutrition plan), as well as their financial commitment. Countries’ progress in tackling malnutrition is measured by children’s nutritional status – the proportion who are underweight, stunted or suffering from wasting – and children’s chances of survival.

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.

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
Good practice on water rights and sanitation

This compendium of good practices on the human right to water and sanitation provides discussion and analysis of existing practices, with the aim of inspiring policy and decision-makers, practitioners, activists and civil society in general to engage with the rights to water and sanitation and to assist in the difficult but crucial process of ensuring that everyone has access to safe drinking water and sanitation services for all basic daily personal and domestic purposes. Amongst other issues this publication discusses gaps in the practices, the areas where there continue to be problems in both understanding and implementing the rights, and attempts to look into the future to see where these practices may take us.

An international charter drawing-together a variety of international principles to highlight and protect the rights of young people on the African continent. This document sets out a comprehensive package of rights, canvassing numerous areas including civil and political and socio-economic rights.

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.

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. 

The ability to correct childhood malnutrition, or for children to display ‘catch-up growth’, has important population-level implications for economic and social development. According to most recent estimates, over one third of all children under the age of five in developing countries suffer from some form of nutritional deficiency, with approximately 27% classified as underweight, 31% exhibiting stunting and 10% exhibiting wasting. This working paper contributes to the catch-up growth debate by presenting results from three widely varying population based samples using identical statistical techniques, controlling for endogeneity of lagged health in several different ways, and measuring height in z-scores. The estimates for these three different populations indicate that while previous health does not track future health perfectly, there is still significant persistence in health status for young children. These estimates do not account for household health-related behaviour.

Link: Report

Children and adolescents living in relative poverty – regardless of overall material conditions – tend to experience more interpersonal violence, family turmoil, and environmental hazards that increase risk of injury, engage in more health compromising behaviours (e.g., physical inactivity, poor nutrition, smoking), report lower subjective well-being, and exhibit more social skills deficits and emotional and behavioural problems.

Link: Publication

This paper analyses the interplay between the rights to social protection and to adequate food, as well as the importance of a human rights-based approach to social protection. It explores the right to social protection under human rights treaties and standards arising from the United Nations. It describes the key issues that should be taken into account, in particular the importance of having legally enforceable rights, clear institutional responsibilities, transparency of eligibility criteria, application and termination procedures and recourse mechanisms. The paper recommends that social protection programmes have a clear legal basis that is consistent with human rights.

Link: Publication

KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa has the largest population of children under the age of five and experiences the highest number of child births per annum in the country. Its population has also been ravaged by the dual epidemics of HIV and TB and it has struggled to meet targets for maternal and child mortality. This report finds that focused attention on a set of key interventions could have a significant impact on averting stillbirths and maternal and neonatal mortality in KwaZulu-Natal. Concerted effort to prioritize family planning will save more lives overall and has the potential to decrease costs in other areas of maternal and child care.

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

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...

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.

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?

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

This first Global Report on Nutrition is timely as it comes at a time when developing countries, particularly in Africa, are grappling with communicable and non-communicable diseases. The cost of failing to solve such challenges is high: premature death, pressure on health systems and severe drag on economic progress. The Global Nutrition Report convenes existing processes, highlights progress in combating malnutrition and identifies gaps and proposes ways to fill them. Through this, the Report helps to guide action, build accountability and spark increased commitment for further progress towards reducing malnutrition much faster.

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

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

As the data in this new edition of the Innocenti Report Card series show, in the past five years, rising numbers of children and their families have experienced difficulty in satisfying their most basic material and educational needs. Most importantly, the Great Recession is about to trap a generation of educated and capable youth in a limbo of unmet expectations and lasting vulnerability. League Tables, the flagship tool of the Innocenti Report Card series, rank the change, since the onset of the crisis, in the poverty levels of children and the impact of the recession on youth. The Report also explores the effects of the recession on youth seeking to enter or remain in the labour force in the middle of a recession.

Link: Publication

South Africa is considered a ‘food-secure’ nation, producing enough calories to adequately feed every one of its 53 million people. However, the reality is that one in four people currently suffers hunger on a regular basis and more than half of the population live in such precarious circumstances that they are at risk of going hungry. The numbers of people facing hunger can be estimated at some 13 million in total. These numbers are disturbing, but behind every statistic is a face with a story about what it is like to face hunger in a nation where the few have plenty. This paper is based on the testimonies of women and men, urban and rural, and elucidates what it feels like to face hunger on a regular basis or to be constantly afraid of this threat.

Link: Publication

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 presents updated estimates of undernourishment and progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and World Food Summit (WFS) hunger targets. The latest FAO estimates indicate that global hunger reduction continues: about 805 million people are estimated to be chronically undernourished in 2012–14, down more than 100 million over the last decade, and 209 million lower than in 1990–92. In the same period, the prevalence of undernourishment has fallen from 18.7 to 11.3 percent globally and from 23.4 to 13.5 percent for developing countries. Read SOFI In Brief , food security indicators , the press release and frequently asked questions

Link: Publication

The 2014 Global Hunger Index (GHI), released for the ninth year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, examines “hidden hunger”— often hard to detect, but potentially devastating. With one more year before the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the 2014 Global Hunger Index report offers a multifaceted overview of global hunger that brings new insights to the global debate on where to focus efforts in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. Additional links: Synopsis: 2014 Global Hunger Index , Background facts and findings,  Facts and findings for Africa South of the Sahara, Background facts and findings for Asia

Link: Publication

South Africa has a huge burden of disease, fuelled by a range of risk factors, and morbidity (illness and disease) and mortality (death) figures are high.This is shown by the results of the first South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES), a comprehensive health and nutrition study that yielded critical information on emerging epidemics of non-communicable diseases. The study also analysed the underlying social, economic, behavioural and environmental factors that drives these diseases in the South African population. The information contained in the study will assist policy makers and programme managers to identify specific target areas that need attention as part of a comprehensive approach to address emerging diseases and the social factors that impact on health, including the health system.

Link: Publication

The MDG report is based on comprehensive official statistics and provides the most up-to-date summary of all Goals and their targets at global and regional levels, with additional national statistics available online. Results show that concentrated efforts to achieve MDG targets by national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector are working to lift people out of extreme poverty and improve their futures.

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

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.

 

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 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. 

 

A review of South Africa's laws aimed at realising children's rights to assess whether these laws have been designed and are being implemented in compliance with international and constitutional law.

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.

Link: Publication
PAN: Children

The Sixth Report aims to communicate to policy and decision makers the future perspectives of the world food and nutrition situation through 2015, the implications that these hold for achieving international development goals and realizing the right to adequate food, and ways in which things could be improved.The report by the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) is part of a series of UNSCN publications reporting on trends in nutrition. It suggests ways to realize the human right to adequate food, focusing on local food production and maintaining agricultural diversity. At a time when human achievements are being threatened by economic and climatic crises, ensuring adequate food and nutrition is more important than ever. 

Preparing a lunchbox for school-going children may have significant advantages for their eating behaviour and long-term health prospects, says ZULFA ABRAHAM and her research team, following a study at disadvantaged schools in the Western Cape.

A study on dietary habits of learners from disadvantaged schools in the Western Cape found that lunchboxes play an important role in the nutritional status of school-aged children. Learners who take a lunchbox to school are more likely to consume a diet adequate in nutrients.

Globally, non-communicable diseases are increasingly being recognised as major causes of illness and death, especially in low-income regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. The burden of non-communicable diseases is growing in South Africa, where a mix of over-nutrition and under-nutrition is found. This has resulted in nutrition-related conditions existing in primary schools. 

Link: Publication

Maternal undernutrition contributes to 800 000 neonatal deaths annually through small for gestational age births; stunting, wasting, and micronutrient deficiencies are estimated to underlie nearly 3·1 million child deaths annually. Progress has been made with many interventions implemented at scale and the evidence for effectiveness of nutrition interventions and delivery strategies has grown since The Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition in 2008. This study has a comprehensive update of interventions to address undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in women and children. It features interventions to alleviate child mortality and showcases what works in various countries.

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. 

Link: Report
Overcoming Barriers to Breastfeeding

This publication highlights the importance of breastfeeding to a child's survival and development. Four major barriers to breastfeeding are uncovered as well as the global trends to breastfeeding.Factors that have a negative impact on breastfeeding, such as healthcare worker crisis, lack of legislation to enable mothers to breastfeed, milk substitute companies and their conflict of interests are explored and the impact is discussed.

Link: Report
Child malnutrition

This report displays new findings on the impact of malnutrition on children's learning abilities.  Report shows that child mortality has decreased and the number of children in schools has increased, these are good developments that are under threat. The long term consequences of malnutrition in relation to health and education of children are explored.

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.

The essay in Child Gauge 2009/10 examines the following questions: What are the levels and trends in child mortality in South Africa? What are the leading causes of child mortality in South Africa? What are the risk factors and determinants of the dominant childhood disease pattern? How does inequity impact on child health? How is South Africa performing in comparison with selected other African countries? What are the recommendations and conclusions?

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.

Highlights policy innovations including expanded social protection programmes in Africa that are facilitating progress toward at­tainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

For a brief overview of this report please go to Association for Women's Right in Development here

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.

Documents large geographical disparities in child well-being outcomes in Bangladesh and makes a case for “effective geographic targeting of interventions in favour of the least performing districts” as key to accelerating progress towards equity.

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 [email protected]  Fax 086 657 4835) or Ms.Lydia Flusk (Email [email protected]  Fax 086 657 4835).

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.

This seminar is a follow-up to the government cluster policy workshop held in February 2014, which examined selected key elements of the SANHANES-1 findings with a view to devise a programme of priority actions for: 

  • Improvement of care and quality of life during the first 1000 days; 
  • Coordination of food security and dietary diversity;
  • Evaluation of the school health and the school nutrition programme;
  • Reappraisal of the Integrated Nutrition Programme (INP); and
  • Design and implementation programmes for the early prevention of NCDs. 

The current seminar similarly focused on food, nutrition, and care security in the first 1,000 days with the aim to assess the situation of South African women and children during that period, and to chart the way forward for new or improved interventions designed to address care and the nutritional status of women and their children. Presentations and selected workshop references can be downloaded above.

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.

 

A series of articles captioning presentations made at the Carnegie III Conference, Capetown. Speakers include Sibongile Zenzile, Raymond Auerbach, Dunstan Mlambo, David Sanders, John Perlman, Crick Lund, Zetu Matebeni, Rick de Satge and Ingrid Woolard. The Carnegie Conference, in brief, has the following purpose: "To focus attention on understanding the lived experiences of inequality and the causes and dimensions of persistent inequality, and will consider policies and actions that are aimed at significantly reducing inequality and poverty in both the short- and long-term. This is a challenge that involves all South Africans, organised in many different ways. Taking seriously the President’s call for a ‘national dialogue’ about the future, and acknowledging the mandate of tertiary institutions to engage in socially responsive research, the purpose of the conference is to provide a platform for sharing and debate amongst academic researchers, government and practitioners. The conference will seek to move towards new ways of considering poverty and inequality, focusing less on describing the problems, and more on practical strategies to overcome them. This requires shifts in thinking, which the conference hopes to stimulate by combining a focus on academic and applied research with a set of demonstrations from the NGO, Business and Trade Union world." www.carnegie3.org. For Further Information, please see the Carnegie III online platform: http://www.carnegie3.org.za/about

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.

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  

The paper, which was approved at the UN-Water meeting on 27 January 2014, is the result of a broad technical consultation process among UN-Water members and partners, as well as a range of other stakeholders and aims to inform, provide advice and recommendations in support to Member States in their decision-making process on the post-2015 development agenda. It proposes a set of potential targets and indicators to support a dedicated global goal for water and contributes towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) consultation process.

Link: Publication

Focusing on sustainability in the realization the human rights to water and sanitation, the Special Rapporteur examines in this report how the rights to water and sanitation can and must be met for present and future generations. She highlights challenges to sustainability and particularly aggravated risks in times of economic and financial crisis. After addressing the relevance of sustainability to the core human rights concepts of progressive realization and non-retrogression, the Special Rapporteur explains how the normative content and principles of the human rights to water and sanitation contribute to ensuring sustainability. Using the human rights framework, the Special Rapporteur analyses States' common approaches to water and sanitation, particularly in adopting measures both during times of normalcy and during economic and financial crises, and shows how those approaches often fail to incorporate sustainability. She then demonstrates that the human rights framework can and should facilitate improvement in such policies.

This issue paper was prepared to stimulate debate and to elicit responses which will serve as basis for the SALRC‘s deliberations in an investigation into the rights of a child to know his or her own biological origins.

The SA Law Reform Commission (SALRC) is asking for comment on its Issue Paper on whether a child should have a legal right to know his or her biological origins and how such a right could be enforced and whether the law should be amended in light of prevailing and anticipated circumstances and contemporary mores and thinking.

Find here: Issue Paper 32: The Right to Know One‘s Own Biological Origins

Comments can be emailed to Veruksha Bhana at [email protected]  by no later than Thursday, 31 August 2017.

Enquiries can be directed to Veruksha Bhana on tel (012) 622 6332

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.

Child food and nutrition security is one in a series of topical guides developed for PAN:Children that provides key information on the current state of affairs in South Africa related to the topic and highlight practical guidance, lessons learned and case studies (both national and international) that will be helpful in policy development dialogue and knowledge sharing.