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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Policy into action

 

­This section of the site is being redeveloped and is under construction. This collection of documents will focus on policy processes and implementation.


Related publications

Trafficking in persons is a complex, multidimensional, multisectoral, illicit industry affecting both individuals and nations across the globe. In addition to being an issue of international and criminal law, trafficking affects human rights, labour, migration, public health, socio-economic development and morality. In recent years, South Africa has undertaken the formulation of Trafficking in Persons legislation. Despite the evidence that traffi cking affects most countries in the world and is a growing illicit industry with devastating impacts, very few African countries have policy related to Trafficking in Persons. In an attempt to contribute towards the creation of human traffi cking policy, this policy paper includes concrete recommendations that should be considered concerning prevention, protection and prosecution.

Provides an overview of approaches to monitoring and evaluating policy influence, based on an exploratory review of the literature and selected interviews with expert informants, as well as ongoing discussions and advisory projects for policy-makers and practitioners who also face the challenges of monitoring and evaluation.

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.

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 resource pack, Communicating with Children combines knowledge from the fields of child development and media studies with insights from children’s media production, to provide simple information on developmental norms at different stages of a child’s life. It helps us understand the implications these norms have on what and how we can communicate most effectively with children of different age groups. It shares examples of good practice, many produced at very low cost by young professionals from around the world, to show how we can adhere to human rights and child rights principles, and address the child more holistically, while also creating communication that is engaging and enjoyable.

"Family planning is a human right. Yet today some 222 million women in developing countries are unable to exercise that right because they lack access to contraceptives, information and quality services or because social and economic forces prevent them from taking advantage of services even where they are available. The State of World Population 2012 explains why family planning is a right, examines the challenges in ensuring that all women, men and young people are able to exercise that right and suggests actions that governments and international organizations can take to give everyone the power and the means to decide freely and responsibly how many children to have and when to have them."

PAN:Children from time to time invites experts in the child rights field to write opinion editorials on specific topics to stimulate debate. This piece on the gaps in the implementation of legislative provisions and policy pertaining to children with disabilities in South Africa was written by Sue Philpott an expert in disability issues in South Africa.

Link: Publication

The Roadmap specifically calls on governments to “assess the impact of relevant policies on the worst forms of child labour, taking into account gender and age, put in place preventive and time-bound measures and make adequate financial resources available to fight the worst forms of child labour, including through international cooperation”. It also calls on social partners to take “immediate and effective measures within their own competence to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency, including through policies and programmes that address child labour”.

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

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.

 

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.

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.

Document(s): PDF icon 20 Year Review.pdf

The purpose of this Twenty year review is to reflect on the legacy that democratic South Africa inherited, how the country has progressed in realising the objectives it set for itself in 1994, the challenges which still remain and how could the South African government best address these as South Africa enter the third decade of democracy. 

Towards a fifteen year review is not only about taking stock of progress. It is equally  about identifying shortcomings and challenges, the better to contribute to initiatives  aimed at further improving the country’s development efforts. This review was supplemented in 2006 by a report on macrosocial trends. The report, entitled A Nation in the Making, concluded that South African society was making advances in terms of both hard (socio-economic) and soft (identity and social cohesion) issues, but that there were still many challenges to be overcome to fully realise the vision of a better life for all.

The United Nations Convention on Children’s Rights and the subsequent African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child together with the Bill of Children’s Rights and numerous other policies and regulations in many African countries have set the precedent for children’s rights to be respected and implemented across the African Continent. However, little is known about the actual advancement of children’s rights within Sub-Saharan Africa; hence, the purpose of this study was to explore the advancement of children’s rights within an African context.

PAN:Children is hosting a Colloquium on lone mothers, social security and dignity in South Africa on 6 June 2014 at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in Pretoria. The purpose of this colloquium is to share results from DFID/ESRC -funded project that is nearing completion and to discuss with the attendees the emerging findings and policy implications. The project entitled ' Lone mothers in South Africa- The role of social security in respecting and protecting dignity' was led by Professor Noble at the University of Oxford and involved collaborations with colleagues at the Human Sciences Research Council and the University of the Western Cape. This event is for stakeholders in government and civil society.

A sampling of over 50 anonymous good practices gathered from online searches or submitted by UN Global Compact participants in response to our call to share actions and initiatives that their companies are undertaking to respect and support children’s rights. The actions and policies adopted by these companies demonstrate the abundance of ways that business can respect and support children’s rights around the world. The practices are organised under one of the 10 Principles which it addresses and/or supports, although some practices might also be relevant for multiple Principles.

Link: Publication

Published for the first time in 2013, this report presents valuable insights into the range of exciting initiatives currently taking place within the South African public health sector. The publication represents a rare opportunity to actively facilitate understanding about good practice identification and the sharing of knowledge towards improved management and delivery of public healthcare services. The Good Practice Project is an initiative of Health Systems Trust (HST) and it seeks to encourage good practices by mobilising Provincial departments of health in South Africa to engage in reflective practice.

Link: Publication

This article examines how and why Commission policy framing processes impact on the Europeanization of children's rights at the national level. By employing the Hotline for Missing Children as a case study, it is demonstrated that Commission services failed to adopt a coherent policy line regarding the issue of missing children. Instead, Commission services promoted conflicting Hotline templates, which conveyed mixed messages and shaped the differential implementation of the Hotline at the national level. The contradictory Hotline templates are rooted in Commission services' embrace of divergent policy frames, which are determined by institutional fragmentation and conflicting interpretations of Commission legal competence to address the issue of missing children and the protection of child rights.

The present report, submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 66/229, provides an overview of the status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It contains a list of signatories, ratifications or accessions to the Convention and the Optional Protocol thereto, information on the work of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and reporting on the ongoing efforts of Governments towards the ratification and implementation of the Convention. The report also presents an overview of the progress made by the entities of the United Nations system towards implementation of the Convention and describes relevant activities by non-governmental organizations.

The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolutions 8/4 and 17/3. It is devoted to technical and vocational education and training from a right to education perspective. It highlights international obligations as well as political commitments to promote technical and vocational education and training. The report analyses norms and standards developed through international instruments, and underlines the importance of national-level normative action to maximize the contribution of technical and vocational education and training to empowerment and social and economic development.The Special Rapporteur stresses specific characteristics of technical and vocational education and training as a right, and analyses evolving national legal and policy frameworks. He underlines the need to ensure quality in such education and training and the responsibilities of various stakeholders involved in its implementation. The report also addresses the importance of technical and vocational education and training in the post-2015 “Education for All” and development agendas and concludes with a set of recommendations.

The present third annual report of this kind reviews key developments and initiatives undertaken at the global, regional and national levels.  The report provides an overview of results achieved and progress promoted in the area of the protection of children from violence, identifying efforts required to sustain and scale up achievements made, and informing a strategic future agenda.

In this report, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing analyses the ruling paradigm of housing policies that focus on housing finance as the main means of promoting homeownership. The report assesses the impact of prevalent housing finance policies on the right to adequate housing of those living in poverty. The Special Rapporteur concludes that the full realization of the right to adequate housing, without discrimination, cannot be promoted solely by financial mechanisms and requires broader and more holistic housing policies and State interventions. She calls for a paradigm shift from housing policies based on the financialization of housing to a human rights-based approach to housing policies.

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 paper examines the current policy and practice around children’s participation in South Africa. By situating the analysis from the perspective of the socio-economic and normative context within South Africa the paper critiques current typologies of children’s participation for focusing too narrowly on processes internal to participatory processes. The paper argues that theorisations of children’s participation need to take account of the range of activities which are labelled as children’s participation and interrogate issues around who gets to participate and why, what the purposes of the participation are and under what conditions it is possible. This requires examining participatory processes and the children involved in them in relation to adult actors within and beyond the process as well as in relation to broader socio-political and economic environments.

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.

INVITATION: On 4 March 2016 the Africa Evidence Network and PAN Children are hosting a roadshow at the Human Sciences Research Council  (HSRC) offices in Cape Town. We have invited researchers, policy makers, parliamentary representatives and civil society. The event centres around the value of networks and building capacity in the use of evidence in decision-making across government. Ample time has been allocated to discussion and joining the networks. Please RSVP vfichardt@hsrc.ac.za (link sends e-mail) or imagaya@hsrc.ac.za (link sends e-mail). Note that the event can also be attended via videoconferencing facilities at the HSRC's Durban and Pretoria offices, with a webstreaming facility to be set up. Final programme to be circulated by 26 February 2016.

SAVE THE DATE:. On 4 March 2016 the Africa Evidence Network and PAN Children are hosting a roadshow at the Human Sciences Research Council  (HSRC) offices in Cape Town. We have invited researchers, policy makers, parliamentary representatives and civil society. The event centres around the value of networks and building capacity in the use of evidence in decision-making across government. Ample time has been allocated to discussion and joining the networks. Please RSVP vfichardt@hsrc.ac.za or imagaya@hsrc.ac.za. Note that the event can also be attended via videoconferencing facilities at the HSRC's Durban and Pretoria offices, with a webstreaming facility also be set up.

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

A series of articles captioning presentations made at the Carnegie III Conference, Capetown. Speakers include Mary Metcalfe, Bovain Mcnab, Dorrit Posel, Michele Hay, David Neves, Ruth Hall, Edwin Arrison, Linda Stewart and Lebogang Ramafoko. 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. We look forward to welcoming participants from universities and NGOs; from Government at national, provincial and local levels; from trade unions, faith-based organisations and the business sector. 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

A series of articles highlighting the opening of the Carnegie III Conference, Cape Town. It includes details of the opening address presented by Dr Mamphela Ramphele and presentations by Trevor Manuel, Max Price, Kate O'Regan, Frederick Fourie, Paul Cichello, Kuben Naidoo, Andrew Charman, Natasha Mayet, Neil Coleman, Ben Cousins and Francis Wilson. 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. We look forward to welcoming participants from universities and NGOs; from Government at national, provincial and local levels; from trade unions, faith-based organisations and the business sector.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: Econ3x3

Econ3x3 is an independent forum for critical public debate on unemployment and employment, income distri­bution and inclu­sive growth in South Africa. It publishes accessible research- based contribu­tions and expert commentaries. The forum encourages debate on an inte­grated and consistent policy response to unemployment, inequality and poverty and a stronger engagement between research and policy making. Econ3x3 invites contributions from economists and other social science researchers, policymakers and relevant experts.

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.

In this issue of From Evidence to Action we focus on PAN: Children, a knowledge portal launched just over a year ago in a partnership between UNICEF and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). Our Feature traces the ideas and inspiration behind the portal, where we are after a year online and our plans to expand PAN: Children’s facilities and reach. As a learning network we have consulted widely with experts and other platforms and our Case Study highlights an expert retreat and exchange we held in May 2013 where we refined our strategic plans and grappled with issues around policy influencing and key institutional arrangements which we need to put in place. We shine our Spotlight On PAN: Children’s topical guides, the rationale behind them and how they can be updated by online users. Under Toolkits and guidelines we have sourced some useful documents on children’s participation, one of the priority areas for PAN: Children. Our Resources Section collates information about events, opportunities and related documents.

In this first issue of From Evidence to Action for 2012, we look at networks and, specifically, the role they play in changing policy. Our feature article, Getting the most out of policy networks, examines what a network actually is and what makes them effective. Through the example of the Regional Network on Equity in Health in Southern Africa, EQUINET, our case study further explores how to build networks and how they can be used to influence policy. We also find out more about the Policy Action Network, how to manage a Community of Practice. 

Government policy & legislation

PAN:Children from time to time invites experts in the child rights field to write opinion editorials on specific topics to stimulate debate. This piece on the gaps in the implementation of legislative provisions and policy pertaining to children with disabilities in South Africa was written by Sue Philpott an expert in disability issues in South Africa.