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Preparing a consultation on the Commitment to Children Audit

Barcelona, 2 May 2011 - Following last month’s meeting in Florence, the Commitment to Children Audit (CCA) is now finalising its definitional process of its draft concept note before consultation. While the discussion in Florence mainly focused on defining the indicators for the international module of the Audit, the CCA working group is now discussing a proposal of indicators for the national module of the CCA.

As main author Peter Adamson explained, “as we develop the concept of the CCA it becomes more clear that a national module of the Audit should have the same importance as the international one, as it will be this part of the CCA that will give a finer, closer and more contextualised look at a country’s reality”. One of the prominent features of the CCA is that it is envisaged to be made up of two separate modules analysing internationally available data on the one hand and qualitative national information on the other.  This dual nature of the assessment of a country’s commitment to children will allow for an independent and objective evaluation while yielding a more accurate analysis of a country’s engagement than a standard international rating focusing only on internationally available data. “While this dual approach certainly poses new challenges both in the methodology and the development process of the CCA itself, we are convinced that national level analysis of a country’s own reality is a fundamental step to both identifying gaps as well as to pointing to the right solutions for Children in the national arena”.

The national module of the Audit would focus on the qualitative aspects especially in child protection and participation for which there is little data or it is difficult to compare across countries such as the effectiveness of the legal framework, or a national children’s help-line, if there is one, or the quality of provision for children in the care of the state.

In order to make the development process of the CCA as participative and inclusive as possible, a widespread consultation through GMC members is foreseen once the draft concept note has been defined. As GMC Executive Coordinator, Miquel de Paladella, points out “feedback and ownership of the project by all GMC members and partner organisations at all levels, an in particular from those working at national level, is fundamental in making the CCA a relevant and useful tool to advance in our work defending and upholding children’s rights everywhere”. To this end, the following phase of the project will be centred round national child-rights platforms, who will be invited to convene a high level national panel of experts in their country which will be in charge of completing the National Audit module of the CCA.

Another very important part of the CCA is its potential to communicate otherwise hidden realities to a wide audience in a very clear-cut way. In fact, communicability is an essential aspect of the CCA and this double-module evaluation will provide many communication opportunities, both at national and regional or international levels.

The CCA working group, convened by GMC Executive Coordinator, Miquel de Paladella and led by main author Peter Adamson, first met in Barcelona in June 2010 to lay the foundations of a measurement tool for the GMC around which the child rights movement could rally, benefit from, provide input to and use as an advocacy and mobilization tool in every country. The Commitment to Children Audit is a GMC-led initiative that attempts to monitor the commitments of governments to children and will shed new light on current available data for tracking progress in children’s rights as it will measure a country's performance against its economic resources.

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