The International Conference on Child Poverty and Disparities and the Public Policies for Social Justice

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he African Evaluation Association (AfrEA), the Network of Networks on Impact Evaluation (NONIE) and The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) have joined forces on the 19th & 20th of January, to gather expertise from around the world for an international event on impact evaluation. Impact evaluations are defined as studies which determining and understanding the short, medium and long term outcomes or impacts of projects, programs and policies.


Participants came from many disciplines, sectors and perspectives to make this a truly “multi-stakeholder” event as they shared practical experiences and discussed innovations in addition to crafting new ways to collaborate and devise plans to improve policy and practice.  The conference provided an opportunity for Africans and others to come together to examine frameworks, methods and tools that guide impact evaluation practice and construct knowledge.


Conference Themes:


1)      Improving development effectiveness: the role of impact evaluation, as when is it appropriate to conduct an impact evaluation and the context of what evaluation approaches should it be used.

2)      Impact evaluation: approaches and methods including presentations in this theme will explicitly lay out one or more method or approach, often through the use case studies. Presenters and particularly encouraged to compare and contrast different approaches.

3)      Institutionalizing impact evaluation: demand, production and use of these presentations that will examine the experiences and challenges in managing impact evaluation and monitoring impacts that values and supports accountability conditions for effective impact evaluation.

4)      Achieving influence: reporting, outreach, learning and policy impact like how context, production process and dissemination strategy for impact evaluation affect their policy and institutional impact.

5)      Capacity building for impact evaluation: experiences in building capacity and provide information on the resources available for capacity development.

6)      Impact evaluations of policies, programs, projects, partnership and networks.


Government-Child Friendship.


The opening session was hosted by Dr. Maged Othman, the president of the Decision Information Centre in Egypt,  Dr. Erma Manoncourt, the UNICEF representative and of course Ambassador Moushira Khattab, Secretary General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, Egypt. The conference’s main speech was about raising the question of “Are African governmental policies a friend of children?” the main purpose of this question is to integrate the African child’s rights in social and economic policies.


Dr. Assefa Bequele, the Vice Manager of the African child’s Policy Forum, Ethiopia was the one who gave that speech and highlighted that the government policy is an available opportunity for satisfying basic needs for children. He stated that Africa is changing slowly, but surely and there is considerable progress in health expenditure as well as education and public health, especially in Algeria and Morocco. The main criteria of progress according to Dr Bequele’s opinion, is the government’s budget and its performance for protection and provision and he added that it’s politics and not economics that matter as the essential approaches are “laws” for protection, “politics” for public policies and “budget” for providing what the children need. He classified the best and worst African countries in public policies as he mentioned that Kenya, Morocco, Namibia has the best child’s public policy and performance, while the central African republic has the worst. He also stated that the child’s friendly governments are: Tunisia, Kenya, South Africa, Malawi, Algeria, Namibia and Libya and that’s due to appropriate legal provision against abuse in addition to wellbeing resources.


Moushira Khattab has made it clear that the UNICEF has been playing an important role in fighting child labor joined by the Egyptian Mother & Child Council by participating in creating a database that doesn’t involve the segregation between children according to gender, age, geographic location.


What are the biggest challenges we’re facing to diminish child poverty in Egypt?

The lack of awareness of a child’s rights is the most important challenge. Even the government suffers from weakness in coordination and lack of data and these factors are important in developing children’s status and in getting rid of poverty. Our children in Egypt are 39% of the whole population, while only 16% enjoy the state’s general budget.

Spreading education is the main entrance of getting rid of poverty besides awareness against violence and the distortion of female children’s genitals.


What’s more dangerous, child poverty or adult poverty?

Child poverty is much more dangerous than among adults as this type of poverty is considered a waste of human and financial resources as it needs an integrated policy, for example, if you gave the head of the family money for his children he might spend them on cigarettes and women, but if we invest financial support in education this will directly have a positive effect on the child and we will be ensured that the child benefits from it. We should put in mind certain policies according to the marginalized groups of children and according to certain studies we will be able to put the suitable policy as targeting is considered a crucial issue.


Do we have enough human and financial cadres?

Unfortunately we don’t have enough financial and human cadres so we have to make sure our teachers are trained enough also put the care unit into consideration, in order to cut the problem from its roots.


What can organizations do to raise awareness against “child abuse”?


It begins with the media actually. The media should be well informed with the issue of violence against kids in a broad way in order to raise awareness. The first institution that usually hosts child abuse is the family and it’s the most dangerous source of abuse s people deal with it as a taboo issue, so mother and child organizations face closed doors.


The conference will be preceded by professional development workshops to be held on Sunday 29th of March, Tuesday 31st of March and the 2nd of April in which plenary sessions and five sets of parallel sessions will take place.


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