UNICEF India to roll out five-year plan

UNICEF India is designing an ambitious and innovative five-year programme, comprising of social policy as a priority across all the sectors.

Key Points

  • While designing the new programme, UNICEF wanted to talk with all the stakeholders and get details on how what could be done better in the new environment post COVID-19 and where climate change was a major priority.
  • Covid-19 and climate change had exacerbated the learning crisis. Around 286 million children had been affected in India. This number excluded the millions out of school because of several reasons.

Status of Digital divide in India

Kerala had made digital learning accessible. However, it was not case in other States having a digital divide. Digital divide was a new kind of deprivation. Furthermore, in a study of climate effects on children, India had been ranked at fifth place with respect to vulnerability to climate change.

UNICEF’s vision

Overall vision of the UNICEF on social protection was for children to have access to inclusive social protection programmes and live free from poverty. For instance, government’s cash grants to children who lost their parents due to COVID-19.

Local Governance Initiative for Children

  • UNICEF also seeks to launch ‘child and young friendly local governance initiatives’ that can put children and adolescents at the centre and enable them to raise their voice about what made a difference to their lives.
  • Such initiatives were required not only in rural areas but in cities too where there was a lot of vulnerability and urban poverty.
  • Kerala had already launched child-friendly local governance initiatives, that other states also wanted to initiate. Government officials had held several talks to build on the Kerala model and extend it for children aged between 10- to 19-year-old.

Pillars of New Country Programme

One of the major pillars of new country programme will be evidence-based planning. It will be done in partnership with centres of excellence in order to use reports and studies effectively. The large number of social security programmes will be reviewed and consolidated while few schemes would be prioritised for better coverage.

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