What is this all about?
The National Children’s Agenda 2017-2030 is Belize’s second long-term commitment to the development of the Children of Belize!
Vision for Children in Belize – National Children’s Agenda, 2017-2030
“Belize will become the best country in the world in which to grow up and raise a family, and where
the rights of all children and adolescents are respected, protected and fulfilled; where their voices are
heard and where they are supported to realize their maximum potential”
In 2016, The NCFC and its partners and children across Belize forged an evidence-based and participatory process forward to develop the new Children’s Agenda 2017-2030 as a second iteration to the National Plan of Action for Children and Adolescents (NPA),2004 – 2015: Investing in Our Children.
The Children’s Agenda moves beyond the “National Plan of Action for Children and Adolescents (NPA), 2004 – 2015: Investing in Our Children,” where children and adolescents are viewed primarily within narrow organizational responsibilities; to a “whole of Government” response and a clear picture of the overall need and the process required to achieve improved outcomes.
The agenda is also aligned to the Government’s long-term development framework, Horizon 2030 and the Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS) which combines the country’s economic growth and poverty reduction strategies; and among other objectives, aims to promote the economic security of families through increasing the number of parents in employment.
This commitment to children requires that the State and other duty bearers work together to support children and adolescents to reach their potential by ensuring that there is better coordination and collaboration, better supports for parents, that investment is made in quality early years care and education and that interventions are made at key times that support the building of resilience, supporting all children and adolescents in dealing well with what life brings them.
Key Lessons Learned from NPA 2004-2015
An evaluation of the National Plan of Action 2004-2015 identified key lessons learned which informed the new development agenda for children and adolescent and broadly, other national development initiatives undertaken in similar context.
- NPA benefitted from Bi-Partisan participation and extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders in both public and civil society.
- The assessment of the NPA process and outcomes clearly demonstrates that while the document was a really good one, over the years, it remained static.
- The importance of continuous coordination, networking and collaboration, bringing all stakeholders including children and adolescents to the table, cannot be underestimated and are critical to the success of any plan.
- special attention should have been given and included in the NPA itself to the capacity strengthening of the NCFC as the body with the main responsibility of coordinating the NPA.
- NPA M&E considerations lagged behind development of the NPA by about two years; ideally this should have been undertaken simultaneously to ensure a more robust design and development phase.
- It is important to note that the NPA has contributed to a nascent culture of M&E in the social sector and more broadly national development. The existence of the NPA M&E subcommittee is recognized and called upon periodically to provide technical support to other national processes, for example, MDGs and GSDS.