Measuring government performance in realising child rights and child wellbeing: The approach and indicators

  • Mekonen Y
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Most governments have an impressive record in their formal accession to
the relevant international child rights treaties. But the extent of
their commitment to children varies widely and the gap between promises
and reality remains wide. In response, we, at The African Child Policy
Forum, developed an approach to measure government performance in
realising children's rights and ensuring their wellbeing. The approach
quantitatively measures how well governments are doing in meeting their
national and international obligations to children through the
Child-friendliness Index. This composite index is used to assess and
rank the performance of all 52 African governments using a common set
of indicators. It provides an indication of how prioritised children's
issues are in African governments' policy agendas, and the extent to
which those agendas are child-friendly. According to the
Child-friendliness Index ranking, Mauritius and Namibia emerged as the
first and second most child-friendly governments, respectively, in
Africa. In addition to these two, the ``most child-friendly
governments{''} group consists of both countries with high economic
performance as well as those with a low status. The analysis also
showed that national wealth and a high level of development are not
guarantees of child wellbeing. The results further indicated that
change and progress towards ensuring child wellbeing are possible and
feasible even at very low levels of development and calls for: (a)
adoption and implementation of effective laws and policies; and (b) a
policy of child budgeting that prioritises the needs of children.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Child wellbeing
  • Child-friendliness
  • Governance
  • Government
  • Index
  • Performance
  • Policy

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  • Yehualashet Mekonen

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