The African Report on Child Wellbeing series is a pan-African project initiated to promote state accountability to children and mobilise legal, policy and administrative actions towards progressive realisation of the ideals and principles of the UN Charter on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). The Report regularly assesses the extent to which African governments are living up to their commitments to children and provide critical analyses of strengths and weaknesses of national efforts made to put in place child-sensitive laws and policies and effectively implement them.
The African Report on Child Wellbeing series is one of the flagship products of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) that serves as an evidence-based advocacy tool to promote its pan-African agenda towards creating a more child-friendly and accountable Africa.
The analyses and policy communication in the African Report on Child Wellbeing series are based on a quantitative assessment framework – The Child-friendliness Index –developed by ACPF to objectively measure the relative performance of African governments in realising children’s rights. The framework uses a common set of indicators, reviews performance of all African governments, scores and ranks them vis-à-vis each other.
The first edition of the report series - The African Report on Child Wellbeing 2008: How child-friendly are African governments? - was a ground breaking work that has impacted on issues of governance and child wellbeing in Africa. It introduced the concept of child-friendliness of governments, provided the framework for objectively assessing the accountability of governments to children and set a baseline against which future changes could be evaluated. The report reviewed the performance of all then 52 African governments, scored and ranked them vis-à-vis each other, analysed the kinds of policies that account for differences in country performance, and identified the policy tools and instruments that governments could adopt to promote child wellbeing. (Pictures from the 2008 launch in Nairobi)
The second edition of the report series which was launched in 2011 focused on the singularly important issue of budgeting for children. This report, the African Report on Child Wellbeing 2011: Budgeting for children in Africa, reviewed budgetary commitment of 52 African governments focusing on spending in sectors that most directly impact on children. It made an objective comparison between the rhetoric and the actual commitment of governments as reflected through their budgets and named the best and least performing countries. (Pictures from the 2011 launch at the 4th IPC)
The third edition, The African Report on Child Wellbeing 2013: Towards greater accountability to Africa’s children, took stock of progress made during the five-year period between 2008 and 2013 and provided analyses on why some countries have remained consistently child-friendly, and others consistently less so. It identified persistent challenges affecting children and outlined policy recommendations to enhance accountability to children. The report was launched in November 2013 during the 10th anniversary celebration of ACPF and contributed to drawing public attention on the issue of accountability with respect to the realization of children’s rights and ensuring their wellbeing. (Pictures from ACPF’s 10th anniversary and launch of the 3rd edition of the ARCW 2013)
The fourth edition, The African Report on Child Wellbeing 2016 – Getting It Right: Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice, builds on the previous editions and findings of various studies undertaken by ACPF and other child-focused organizations which consistently show that there is insufficient progress on implementation of laws and polices pertaining to children. This edition reviews the extent to which government commitments to children are honoured in practice. It examines the underlying institutional, systemic and administrative barriers affecting effective implementation of the rights and wellbeing of children. The report is expected to initiate discussion and trigger action to narrow the gap between policy promises and their actual implementation.
These reports are serving as major sources of information and data on children in Africa and the issues that affect their wellbeing. They are supporting national CSOs in their effort to hold governments accountable.