Monday, April 12, 2010

Measuring the Child-Friendliness of Governments

In a paper published in a recent issue of Child Abuse and Neglect, The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) lays out a framework for evaluating and planning policy and measuring government accountability. ACPF constructed the Child-Friendliness Index, a framework that quantitatively and qualitatively measures whether governments are fulfilling their responsibilities to provide for and protect children and their well-being. The core indicators of child-friendliness are:

  • Ratification of international and regional legal instruments relating to children
  • Provisions in national law to protect children against harm and exploitation
  • Existence of a juvenile justice system, National Plan of Action (NPA and coordinating bodies for the implementation of children’s right
  • A policy of free primary education.

ACPF’s application of its Index to African governments “confirms that three things matter on the policy front: politics that put children at the centre of public policy; Laws that protect them; and Budgets that provide for their basic needs and full development.” This intriguing framework could stimulate discussion about indicators of the child-friendliness of the federal and state governments in the U.S. and points toward the need to constantly reassess how effectively policies are serving children and their well-being.

Hat tip to the Child Welfare Information Gateway!

For policies that work to support to kids and families.

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