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The importance of data and 'Tracking Progress'

The importance of data and tracking progress

Throughout this course we have been working through the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children and, the meaning and implementation of the “necessity” and “suitability” principles. We have recognised how the collection and use of rigorous and comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data is important for informing accurate and effective policies, strategic planning and, development and delivery of child protection and child care programmes. Data is also important for monitoring progress and evaluating impact of programmes. Most essentially, it is necessary for measuring outcomes for children.

In this video, we hear again from Florence Martin, Director of the Better Care Network. Florence tells us about an online tool: Tracking Progress: ‘Measuring the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children’. This tool has been developed with the aim of helping countries track their progress in implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

What does ‘Tracking Progress’ measure?

‘Tracking Progress’ provides national authorities and stakeholders with responsibility for children’s care with a tool to:

  • Promote the well-being of children who are without parental care or at risk of being so, including children who are in alternative care;
  • Facilitate the development of an agreed national baseline of the system and services to support children’s care in the country;
  • Measure a country’s progress in the implementation of the Guidelines, identify any gaps and provide a diagnostic and planning resource for government and other agencies;
  • Help to identify gaps and challenges in approaches to data collection and gathering evidence;
  • Promote the Guidelines more widely to decision-makers, policy-makers, practitioners, communities, children, and their families;
  • Raise awareness of the national situation of children with decision-makers, policy-makers, providers, and other stakeholders;
  • Support reporting and audit processes, including those for regional or international bodies e.g. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child;
  • Provide insights about trends in alternative care in-country and means for comparisons with other countries, regionally and globally.

Who is ‘Tracking Progress’ for?

This is a tool that can be used by a wide range of stakeholders to measure the implementation of the Guidelines. It will be of particular interest to:

  • National working groups bringing together government authorities and civil society working on children’s care and care reforms;
  • Provincial and local governments with responsibility for providing and monitoring alternative care and family support services;
  • Non-governmental organisations including faith based organisations;
  • Child led organisations and young people’s networks including those for care leavers;
  • Practitioners and providers of children’s services, particularly in family support and strengthening, child protection and alternative care;
  • Professional bodies for those working with children;
  • International and regional bodies such as the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, European Union, Council of Europe;
  • National Office of Children’s Ombudspersons or similar bodies with responsibility for oversight of human rights;
  • International agencies and donors supporting care reform processes;
  • Training and education providers in further and higher education, researchers, and academics.
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Getting Care Right for All Children: Implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

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