Abstract: UNICEF Child-Friendly Schools-a Project to change lives in Africa

This is the abstract for my Master's Final Report.
It is a review on the UNICEF CFS construction programme performance at Country Offices, based on a consultancy experience in UNICEF Rwanda and UNICEF Supply Division.

UNICEF Child-Friendly Schools: a Project to change lives in Africa
Final Report
Master UDR 07/08 www.masterurbandevelopment.it


To understand the need of educating children for a better future is not complicated, yet to grasp the requirements to fully achieve it is a different issue. The social context is multi-layered and the interconnected aspects go deeper than simply having books and classrooms.

UNICEF is one of the biggest international agencies dealing with these complex issues. It is developing cross-cutting strategies to have an effect on the greater picture of children’s rights. In the process of fulfilling its goals and mission, Country Offices sometimes have the need to undertake construction activities. Assistance to construction works is part of service delivery to children. UNICEF is involved in school construction by advocating Child-Friendly School principles.

Despite all the obstacles in the process, Country Offices have taken advantage of new opportunities to draw money into this highly important sector. The scale of school construction may vary for each country, yet there are three common forms of UNICEF involvement, which depend on existing socio-political conditions and human capacity.

The case of Rwanda, where UNICEF is engaged via financial administration through the Government, shows that even when willingness and close collaboration exists between both major partners, other obstacles hinder on-time completion. Thus, financial administration through the Government is not result-based efficient.

However, financial administration via a partner in a country with good political environment for policy-making allows for deeper relationships, capacity-building, and linkage of strategies. Rwanda represents an outstanding example of this procedure as larger, harmonizing actions were taken.

Consequently, if the political situation is steady and government is soundly engaged in policies, the most advantageous option for UNICEF to support school construction in Africa is financial administration through the Governments. Long-term added values are the rationale to plan for it.


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