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Regional Perspectives on Social and Economic Policies for Child Rights with Equity : EAP. Mahesh Patel Socio-economic Policies for Child Rights with Equity Course Bangkok, 16 June 2011. The Big Picture.

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Regional Perspectives on Social and Economic Policies for Child Rights with Equity: EAP

Mahesh Patel

Socio-economic Policies for Child Rights with Equity Course

Bangkok, 16 June 2011

the big picture
The Big Picture
  • Poverty reduced, esp in China BUT disparities between rich and poor, urban and rural households etc in terms of income and access to basic social services such as healthcare and education, are increasing.
  • The poorest and most vulnerable more severely affected by the economic and food price crises. New price floors for food and fuel likely to worsen this.
  • Political instability of marginalized populations, especially minority ethnic groups and remote regions, may be increasing .
  • Social protection systems are fragmented and often there is decreasing coverage despite generally positive economic growth.
  • Growth in NSP compared to public sector hence greater need for policy and legislative frameworks for provision of social services by NSPs (private sector, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, Faith Based Organizations) to ensure this is also pro-poor.
  • Governmental decentralization processes have been shifting responsibility for social service provision to lower levels of government. These lack the human and financial resources to perform adequately. Improved policy frameworks, training and improvements in budgeting are all needed
asia pacific oda as a percentage of gni 1990 2006

Official Development Assistance as a percentage of GNI for world regions (2006)

Asia Pacific ODA as a percentage of GNI (1990-2006)

Sub-Saharan Africa

Middle East and North Africa

South Asia

Latin America and Caribbean


East Asia Pacific

Source: ESCAP (for Asia Pacific), SOWC 2009 (for all world regions)

in the long term we forget where we started
In the long term… … we forget where we started
  • 6 years ago – RMT said focus on:
    • Disparities, decentralization, social budgets and costing, and a bit later child poverty
  • NOW:
    • Multi-country costing and budgeting in process – YCSD, Ed, HIV, CP + COs
    • Decentralization – Ed, YCSD; WES; COs
    • NSPs(ADB and Ed)
    • Crisis monitoring in 9 countries
    • Social protection (atleast 7 countries) and social budgeting (2 countries)
    • Child poverty studies - 8 countries
    • Climate change(13 countries)
  • Partnerships with economics and social policy entities such as ADB and EIU, and LKY
    • ADB Ed and EAPRO, EIU HIV, LKY several COs
key results achieved and progress against corporate strategies
Key Results Achieved andProgress Against Corporate Strategies

Quality Assurance:

  • Provided substantive support and technical input to preparation of CPDs, MTRs, AWPs, with mission support provided to 12 countries.
  • Staff participated in, contributed to over twenty international/high-level events including the ESCAP-led UN Regional Thematic Working Group on International Migration .

Evidence-Based Advocacy:

  • Studies on achieving MDGs with Equity, decentralization, child poverty, NSP of social services, climate change, impact of economic crisis on children.
  • Advocacy efforts on the economic crisis resulted in a UN, PIFS, SPC, USP and ADB sponsored Pacific Conference on The Human Face of the Global Economic Crisis.
  • Issues of child sensitive social protection were raised during a high-level ADB conference on “Enhancing Social Protection Strategy in Asia and the Pacific" held in April 2010

Influencing Partners

  • Advocacy on Economic Crisis provided entry-points for working with Ministry of Finance, other agencies
  • UNICEF and ADB workshop on role of non-state providers in delivering social services for children
  • Ongoing dialogue with Economist Intelligence Unit, Lee Kuan Yew University, and other partners
constraints and gaps
Constraints and gaps
  • FA5 has traditionally been underfunded – lack of appropriate and sufficient capacity within COs, funding trend
  • Continue to struggle with regards to visibility and ensuring that knowledge generated is shared with a wider audience.
    • Stronger efforts are needed to ensure reports are finalized and widely disseminated in reputable journals and high-level fora.
  • An emerging challenge is adjusting to the new global equity initiative
    • Not originally in 2010 work plan in quite the same way, but comprised a large percentage of the section’s work.
    • There is a risk that other important initiatives – and in country CO support – may be reduced due to time and capacity constraints.
    • Requires new staff skill-sets (statistician)
priorities for 2011
Priorities for 2011

Strengthening and expanding the evidence-base for tracking and analyzing progress towards the MDGs and child rights through:

  • Analysis of MICS, DHS and household income and expenditure data
  • Literature review of other studies in countries where MICS and DHS are unavailable
  • Real-time monitoring (GIVAS/Global Pulse)

Strengthening policy analysis, advocacy and engagement in national development planning and budget formulation to enhance equity for children through:

  • High Level Conference on Child Poverty and Child Sensitive Social Protection
  • Developing guidelines, documenting best practices on child-sensitive social protection systems
  • Investigating fiscal space and financing alternatives (sources and mechanisms) for social protection within countries
  • Examining the processes through which decentralization reduces or enhances equity
  • Supporting pro-poor, equity-enhancing service delivery through non-state providers (NSPs)
  • Developing technical guidance note on establishing effective real-time monitoring systems
  • Illustrating climate change impacts on child development through country and regional studies
  • Analyzing the role of extractive industries on policymaking and budgets
soc pol disparity advocacy slide 2006 9
“Making growth work for the poor is not without its challenges for policy makers. Some of the implications are self-evident; but so too are the difficulties.

One tough issue --- that is shared by many of our countries --- is that of poverty in remote areas. While 60% of Indonesia’s poor live on densely populated Java (where the poverty rate is 15%), 3% of our nation’s poor live in the remote areas of Papua, East Indonesia (where the poverty rate is 40%).

This poses a great dilemma; on the margin, should I allocate resources to connecting many more of the poor to the growth hubs of Java?

Or, should the money go to the much more expensive costs of connecting up the fewer but more marginalized poor in our nation’s remote regions?

Clearly there are equity questions here, as there are political issues.” [1][1] H.E. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Republic of Indonesia. Keynote Address: Asia 2015 Conference, Unleashing Poverty Reduction Session. London 2006.

Soc.Pol. Disparity Advocacy Slide 2006-9 ======


Surabaya, April 2008