SPRI Global is currently supporting UNICEF Sri Lanka and the Government of Sri Lanka in undertaking a Situation Analysis of Children (SitAn) for 2021.
Sri Lanka has made great strides towards reducing poverty and improving the lives of its children. However, children in Sri Lanka continue to miss out on opportunities to reach their full potential. The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing socioeconomic crises have likely stalled or reversed some of the progress and exacerbated existing inequities in children’s outcomes. Desk review, primary and secondary data collection and analysis, as well as and quantitative as well as qualitative information will serve the drafting of the SitAn report for Sri Lanka.
The main objectives of the assignment include:
- Developing a deep understanding of the situation of children by analysing the policies and strategies, social and economic trends affecting them (with disaggregated data on relevant factors);
- Identify and analyse the barriers and bottlenecks that prevent that some children have all their rights realized;
- Provide national government partners with comprehensive equity-sensitive and evidence-based analysis on children for result-based decision-making;
- Provide essential information to non-government partners (NGO’s, community-based organizations, civil society, media and business sector) to be used in their planning and interventions to address the most urgent issues affecting children;
- Identify critical data gaps and contribute to the research agenda on children in terms of generation of evidence that can improve the monitoring of rights of children;
- Analyse the extent to which there is an enabling environment for the realization of all the rights of all children and analyse how evidence-based interventions and services needed to address deprivations are prioritized in national policies, laws, strategies, plans and budgets
- Capture new or emerging areas of concerns regarding children in Sri Lanka.
Some of the questions guiding the scope of the SitAn in Sri Lanka include:
- How do child outcomes and trends differ across sub-groups and populations? Are some children significantly more deprived than others?
- What forms of deprivation and exclusion do children face? What are the determining factors that give rise to and perpetuate the slow progress in some areas?
- What are the immediate, underlying and structural causes of disparities and vulnerabilities across various groups? What are the barriers and bottlenecks that prevent disadvantaged girls, boys and families from benefiting from required interventions and services?
- What are current or potential risks, including conflict, natural hazards, existing and future hazards from climate change and other potential shocks and how are vulnerable groups likely to be affected. What are emerging issues or challenges that need to be addressed?
- To what extent can we assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on children in Sri Lanka?
- Have the ‘drivers’ of inequity changed over time?
- What data gaps exist?
- To what extent have programmatic and policy interventions for children been successful in integrating a peacebuilding/social cohesion perspective?
- What is the role of the business sector in advancing child rights in the country? To what extent do business practices in Sri Lanka have affected the well-being of children?
Undertaking a Situation Analysis (SitAn) is an essential part of the UNICEF’s mandate and its programme and planning cycle. It is realized through a process that builds consensus on key priorities, and current and emerging themes and issues of critical importance to children, policy makers and development partners. By focusing on the key knowledge gaps related to inequities and child deprivations, and promoting the broad engagement of development partners, the SitAn contributes to evolving discussions shaping national development. Critically, the SitAn should serve as an advocacy tool for government, UNICEF and other partners with a vested interest in promoting children’s rights and social development. Through a selective presentation of key existing data, and a compelling analysis of emerging issues, the SitAn serves as a platform for discussions on child rights, and on the fundamental importance of child rights to the national development agenda. In this context, the SitAn aims to stimulate debate and discussion, and inform national development planning. Significant data and information gaps are evident in Sri Lanka.