Collecting Data & Monitoring Progress

Assessing the situation of children, setting objectives and monitoring and evaluating progress as well as reporting on it. Independent accountability, including with children.

A child-friendly city will keep a constant check on the state of its children. Systematically collecting a range of statistics and information on children is fundamental to developing child-centred policies. Disaggregating the data is necessary to highlight discrimination, for example against girls or boys, minority ethnic groups, disabled children and other groups.

City-level processes can link to national efforts of collecting data on children and reporting on it. At the city-level it may be possible to look in more detail at the reality of children’s lives and in particular the lives of those suffering discrimination.

It is important that the exercise of collecting data, monitoring progress and reporting not only looks at available information but also clearly identifies gaps in knowledge which inhibit evidence-based policy-making. To get an accurate assessment, this process must include children and youth. An independent assessment of the process of building a child-friendly city and results should be conducted in the spirit of good governance.

Reporting should be made public and be published in a format that is accessible to not only key policymakers and community leaders but also to the general public and children.

Country examples
Inclusion does not necessarily imply endorsement by UNICEF.

Red Ciudadana Nuestra Córdoba in Argentina, is a local network formed by NGOs, universities, private sector and grassroots organizations that promotes community participation and social accountability. The initiative monitors local living conditions using indicators generated by agencies and their own data collection. In 2017, the Red Ciudadana published “Indicadores para mirar la infancia en la ciudad de Córdoba”, a report that looks at the wellbeing of children aged 0-8 years living in the city of Córdoba.
Link to site.

A primary feature of the CFC initiative in Belarus is the Child Friendliness Index which has seven parameters that measure child well-being and development, including a unique measure for child participation in decision-making. The index serves as an assessment tool and as a mechanism to focus the efforts of the municipality around specific areas concerning children at the city level.
View Belarus country profile.

Administrators and municipal authorities use municipal planning, budgeting and management indicators to track the success of the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities (SCFM) initiative in Belize. The monitoring and evaluation framework looks at the overall improvement in the situation of children and adolescents, as well as their awareness of the SCFM. It also examines improvement in the capacity and confidence of young people, especially vulnerable children, to participate in municipal development planning.
View Belize country profile.

The Child Wellbeing Dashboard for the Waterloo Region in Ontario, Canada provides an interactive map that houses data for each neighbourhood in the region. This includes pieces of data which have been designated as ‘indicators’ of child wellbeing.
Link to site.

In Finland, each CFCI building block comes with a checklist. This is used to assess the current situation, select and develop actions and objectives, and develop indicators for monitoring progress over time. The situation analysis self-assessment is carried out after the initial training. It uses the building block checklists and requires the participation of a range of stakeholders, including children. The checklists are deliberately very demanding; they act as ‘eye- openers’, encouraging already high-quality services to be further improved, using a child rights lens.
Download Finland CFCI case study [PDF].

In Germany, every six months the CFCI coordinating body emails a monitoring table to each municipality implementing the CFC action plan. The coordinating body then prepares internal reports based on the responses. Selected results are discussed at the meetings of the CFCI network in the country. There is a mid-term evaluation and a final evaluation of each city/community. The mid-term evaluation consists of: 1) a public report about achievements, improvements to be carried out by the municipalities and improvements to be carried out by the CFCI coordinating body; and 2) an event with children and youth that measures how the municipality is working to involve them. Any measures that are outlined in the action plan which are not carried out must be justified by the municipality in their final public report. If they take part in another cycle of the initiative, they have to integrate the relevant measures into the new action plan.
Download Germany CFCI case study [PDF].

In the Republic of Korea, self-assessment tools developed by UNICEF globally are used as the main instruments to carry out evaluations. The tools are designed as questionnaires for parents, children and other stakeholders to provide their views on the city they live in. Over 3,000 survey responses were received in Sejong City and in Wanju the number received was over 2,500.
Download Korea CFCI case study [PDF].

The evaluation tool developed by the UNICEF Spanish National Committee is the main instrument that determines the eligibility of a municipality to receive CFC recognition in Spain and to monitor this process.  Municipal governments must submit a mid-term evaluation report within two years of receiving CFC recognition. Cities wanting to renew the recognition (every four years) must submit an evaluation of their Action Plan for Children.