Adolescent Friendly Cities discussed public spending on children and how to measure it
In November 2022, young people, together with the representatives of local authorities, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the Republic of Belarus and the Labor Research Institute under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, discussed the following issues at round tables in Borisov, Novopolotsk, and Molodechno:
● results of the Study of Public Expenditures on Children (Children's Budget) in Child and Adolescent Friendly Cities;
● preliminary results of the study titled “Social Services for Families with Children: Organization, Financing and Demand for Social Services;
● country-relevant issues under the UNICEF study on measuring the well-being of families with children (measuring multidimensional child poverty).
UNICEF in Belarus, as well as in other 190 countries, helps measuring public spending on children, analyze this data and develop recommendations on how to spend money on children more effectively: to realize the rights of the child. The projects are implemented with the support of the United Nations Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund (Joint SDG Fund).
The children's budget is the funds that the state allocates for expenses related to children and their families. UNICEF helps government authorities calculate and analyze the children's budget. Using a methodology developed with the national partners for Belarus, it is determined what spending in social protection, education, health care and other domains relates to children. The working group calculating expenses associated with children includes the representatives of the Social Security Foundation (SSF), the Labor Research Institute, and Child and Adolescent Friendly Cities (CFCs).
It is important for UNICEF to engage young people in discussions on issues that concern them. Our main ally in the cities is the Youth Parliaments. They are influential in many cities, and they are listened to. It was the representatives of the Youth Parliaments who took an active part in the discussion.
Therefore, the speakers discussed the following issues at the round tables:
● why it was needed to measure expenditures for children, and what was the impact of the expenditures;
● how the welfare of families with children was measured (methodology for collecting and analyzing expenses for children);
● how young people could engage in decision-making related to the children's budget.
Therefore, adolescents and young people will be able to understand the essence of the problem and the methods for solving it, draw their own conclusions and put forward their proposals for improving the efforts. And UNICEF — together with its partners — will continue to support young people by providing them with the information they need to make important decisions.
unicef.minsk [at] unicef.by (unicef[dot]minsk[at]unicef[dot]by)
This publication was originally published at UNICEF Belarus
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