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Standard Disclaimer:

The interpretations and conclusions expressed in the course are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of UNICEF or of the United Nations.

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In order to respond to recent changes in development theory, finance and international cooperation, and to address the effects of poverty and inequality on children's and women's rights, UNICEF is increasingly working in public policy analysis and advocacy with governments and development partners. To strengthen its equity agenda, UNICEF works on evidence-based analysis to build support and political capital in favour of effective policies, laws and budgets that promote the rights and well being of children and women.

UNICEF has partnered with Economic Research Foundation (ERF) to develop the learning programme "Socio-Economic Policies for Child Rights with Equity". ERF coordinates the activities of IDEAs (International Development Economics Associates), a globally renowned policy and economic network, consisting of distinguished academicians and development practitioners with multidisciplinary interests from different parts of the world.

The course has also been designed to take into account the current and rapidly changing development architecture, and for UNICEF and its development partners to continue being a strong advocate for children, especially the most marginalised and unreached.


The objective of this innovative learning programme is to enhance the theoretical understanding of all professional level UNICEF staff on public policy and development issues, strengthen their ability to apply this knowledge in the design and implementation of policies and programmes and help build effective partnerships to promote children's rights and well being. The learning enhances professional competency by imparting a set of relevant techniques and argumentation, critical consideration of approaches and strategies, and different policy options to allow for meaningful development dialogue.

This is a non-guided e-learning programme consisting of eight modules. This training is free of charge and open to all UNICEF staff globally, and can be shared with partners, including other UN agencies, governments, civil society organisations, universities and research centres.
COURSE DURATION: The training can be completed at your own pace.

REGISTRATION AT NO CHARGE: The course is offered free of charge to ensure maximum outreach - we only ask you to register.

CERTIFICATE: The test for the course can be taken after completion of all the modules. The course certificate can be generated once the participant clears all modules with the required minimum scores.


Module 1: Human Rights and the Human Rights-based Approach to Development

Module Description: This module examines the major international and regional human rights instruments and mechanisms, especially those that can guide legal and economic reforms and inclusive public policies for the realisation of women's and children's rights. It also discusses the human rights-based approach to development and its implications for UNICEF's programming.

Expected learning outcomes: This module will facilitate a critical understanding of the extent to which national laws, public policies and/or donor programmes take into account and reflect international standards on children and women's rights. This enables the participants to apply basic human rights principles in the design of proposals for advancing children's and women's rights in different country contexts.

Module 2: Social and Economic Policies to Reduce Poverty and Ensure Child Rights

Module Description: The module presents a critical review of selected social and economic policies and analyses their implications for human development and children. Specifically, it discusses: macroeconomic policies such as fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policies; sectoral policies; social policies and the implications of various policy options for the realisation of child rights.

Expected Learning Outcomes: This module helps to develop an understanding that poverty reduction and the realisation of children's rights are about integrating development rights into macroeconomic policy frameworks and not only about microeconomic or sector specific interventions. It also leads to the understanding that economic and social policies must be promoted in a complementary and mutually reinforcing manner to enable equitable and sustainable development.

Module 3: Understanding Multidimensional Child Poverty

Module Description: This module examines the concept of multidimensional child poverty and explores its various dimensions. It includes a critical appraisal of the problems associated with a single-minded focus on income poverty and discusses the need for a holistic set of interventions to combat multidimensional poverty.

Expected Learning Outcomes: This module will help in understanding how multidimensional approach is capable of capturing the interrelated nature of poverty and help the participants to formulate strategic social and economic policy responses aimed at pulling children out of poverty.

Module 4: Public Finance and Social Budgeting

Module Description: This module explores the various aspects of public finance management and the related policy and budgetary processes for assessing a government's compliance with its child rights obligations. It covers: basic budget concepts and classifications; budget cycle and budgeting frameworks; different types of revenue mobilisation and expenditure measures and their implications; and analytical tools and instruments to help examine the impact of different public finance policy options. The module also discusses the principles of social budgeting and the prevailing practices and innovations in social budgeting.

Expected Learning Outcomes: This module will help in understanding the challenges faced by governments in managing public finance policies and budgetary processes for effective poverty reduction and the realisation of children's rights. The module equips the participants with the tools for undertaking budget analysis from a child rights perspective.

Module 5: Social Protection

Module Description: This module examines the key approaches to social protection, the role of social protection in reducing multidimensional poverty, and realising children's rights. It also explores the need for and tools for making child-sensitive social protection systems and the various challenges and debates concerning their design and implementation in developing countries.

Expected Learning Outcomes: This module will facilitate a critical understanding of the need for comprehensive and holistic social protection systems that address the multiple sources of vulnerabilities faced by poor and marginalised families and children. This will enable the participants to engage and influence the key policy debates and practice in social protection in an informed manner.

Module 6: Children and Migration

Module Description: This module discusses: the different forms of migration and their impacts on children; challenges faced by children in each of these forms; possible approaches and the legal and other institutional tools available for redressing violations of children's rights.

Expected Learning Outcomes: The module will enable the classification of observed cases of migration and the identification of the numerous challenges faced by children under migration. This will help in the formulation and advocacy of suitable policies for the realisation of the rights of children affected by migration.

Module 7: Children and Climate Change

Module Description: This module discusses the phenomenon of global climate change and its effects on children, the policy responses for mitigating the impacts of and adapting to climate change, and various international bodies and frameworks that are addressing climate change. It covers children-specific vulnerabilities to climate change and looks at some of the recommendations made for responding to increased global disaster risks.

Expected Learning Outcomes:
This module will help in understanding why climate change is an important issue for those concerned with child rights, the welfare and survival of children, and provide some pointers on which areas need to be particularly focussed upon.

Module 8: Advocacy and Influencing Policy for Children

Module Description: This module provides guidance on developing and implementing strategies to influence policy, and provides examples and frameworks which help policy advocates to prioritise advocacy issues, develop key messages, and identify channels, partners and processes for influencing policy-makers.

Expected Learning Outcomes: It helps advocates of particular policies to understand risks, and underlines the capabilities and institutional support that agencies need to build in order to maximise advocacy effectiveness.

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