On September 19, at Scandinavia House in New York City, Equity for Children joined ChildFund Alliance, a co-member of the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty, as they provided an update on their Child-friendly Accountability initiative one year on. Child-friendly accountability focuses on giving children a voice to identify problems and solutions in their societies. Exactly one year ago ChildFund Alliance introduced their methodology and in the past year have seen tremendous success in the four countries where they have implemented their pilot programs; Mexico, India, Paraguay, and Vietnam.
Meg Gardinier, the Secretary General of ChildFund Alliance spoke about the ways in which the organization had sought to incorporate lessons learned over the course of the year since the inauguration of the initiative last year. “When we look at the paradigm on children’s rights it starts with survival, goes to development, then to protection, and then to participation.” What ChildFund Alliance has found is that big strides have been made in terms of children’s survival, development, and even protection. But as Gardinier explained, “the toughest has always been participation because it is linked to how cultures view children.” To transform these negative social norms the alliance is focusing on a two-pronged approach of giving children the skill and opportunities to engage in the community to implement Sustainable Development Goal 16.2 to end all violence against children.
A distinguished group of speakers followed to talk more specifically about what ChildFund Alliance is doing with their pilot programs, the next steps of the 2017-18 country roll-out plans, and the vital link of child protection and child participation. One of the biggest highlights of the day, however, was hearing from Mexico pilot program participant and elected representative, 16-year old Cristal Marcos (pictured here). While unfortunately she was not able to attend the event in person, her words were particularly powerful. Cristal spoke about the need to implement Child-friendly Accountability and her personal insight and experience with the pilot project in Mexico.
Watch the video of the event in its entirety here.
Photos: Childfund Alliance