Highlights from roundtable meeting of experts on revised CFI & ARCW2018

 

The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) organized a roundtable meeting of renowned statisticians and experts from 27 to 28 March 2018 in Addis Ababa to review the conceptual and methodological framework of the revised CFI as well as the structure and analytical framework of the forthcoming African Report on Child Wellbeing 2018 (ARCW 2018).

At the meeting, participants agreed that the conceptual framework of the revised Child-friendliness Index and the methodological choices made are generally sound and good. There was also a similar positive reaction with regards to the theme, structure and analytical framework of the 2018 African Report on Child Wellbeing. They also pointed areas where further work was needed including the following:

  • There is a need to demonstrate the significance of both CFI and the 2018 ARCW to efforts being made to achieve child-focused SDGs, AU’s Agenda for Children 2040, and the broader AU development framework, Agenda 2063.
  • Equity related issues are important considerations when dealing with state accountability to children and should therefore be given attention.
  • Given the prevalence of conflicts in Africa, the forthcoming report needs to consider their huge impact on the lives of children.
  • A point of wide ranging discussion was how to deal with the important but contentious issue of military expenditure from the perspective of a government’s child-friendliness. It was left for ACPF to reflect on the pros and cons of its inclusion or exclusion from CFI.
  • Participants recommended the use of trend analysis to show how states have progressed over the years and not to judge them by the current status alone.
  • It was agreed that child participation, although critical, may be difficult to incorporate in the CFI. Suggestion was made to elaborate the progress made and the challenges encountered in a narrative in an appropriate section of the report.
  • There were also suggestions to consider, depending on data availability, use of poverty measure, particularly child poverty in assessing state performance.

Finally, Mr Richard Morgan, Director, Child Poverty Global Initiative at Save the Children and member of the International Board of Trustees of ACPF, while closing the meeting spoke of the unique role of the organisation and its continental and global engagements in promoting the realization of children’s rights. He called on international partners to support ACPF’s work and initiatives that are so valuable and critical in advancing the cause of children in the continent. He expressed his hope that the solidarity and spirit of partnership demonstrated in the meeting would continue and help achieve the ambitious agenda of the organization.