The Child Friendly Community model was piloted in Khuvsgul province and the Nalaikh district of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, as part of UNICEF’s country programme 2012-2016. The programme cycle consisted of a situation analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation. The initial assessment of the situation of children and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) were conducted in focus areas which provided good quantitative and qualitative information for planning the programme.
The main building blocks of the programme were: child friendly health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and protection services; safe environments conducive for child development; child-friendly family; and child-friendly governance, budgeting and child participation in all processes of planning, implementing and monitoring.
The Child Friendly Community strategy has since become the main planning and monitoring tool for child rights at the local level in the target areas, also setting accountability targets and milestones in child survival, development, protection and participation. It also improved inter-sectoral coordination through the establishment of a Children’s Council headed by provincial and district governors to prioritize the interests of children in all sectors and develop friendly environments with child-centred decisions, budgeting and planning.
Under the Child Friendly Community framework, local governments also created an environment in which children can express their opinions on specific issues related to them in local development planning and budgeting. For example in both Child Friendly Community target areas, children’s groups meaningfully participated in successfully advocating for the allocation of a portion of the Local Development Fund to be invested in child related programmes for the province, resulting in a 10 per cent allocation until 2021.
The Child Friendly Community initiative is currently being replicated by UNICEF Mongolia in four new geographic focus areas (3 provinces and 1 district of the capital city Ulaanbaatar) as part of its 2017-2021 country programme. Good practices are also used as benchmarks for upstream advocacy in UNICEF’s country programme. The local government in Khuvsgul province approved a sub-programme called the“ Child Friendly Province” 2017-2020 and included CFC initiatives in their province’s long-term plan through to 2030.
© UNICEF Mongolia 2013 Baduan Zoya
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• Nalaikh and Bayanzurkh (Ulaanbaatar)
Community Development Specialist
United Nations Children’s Fund
UN House, United Nations Street-14