On 17 October 2018, Cornelius Williams, the Associate Director and global Chief of Child Protection at UNICEF's Programme Division, delivered the following remarks during the opening panel of the Annual Meeting of the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. The Annual Meeting was preceded by the 2018 Alliance-INEE Roundtable.
Thank you. The past two days of discussions and side meetings have reaffirmed my excitement about the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. And I have deeply appreciated the feedback I’ve received from a variety of stakeholders on what they see as so valuable about the Alliance. We see the Alliance as a neutral space where public goods are produced towards professionalization of our sector. This is where innovative thinking takes place and new ways of working that will address future needs can be discussed.
The work you are doing to advance child well-being is important in several ways:
The power of the membership - Civil society and UN agencies working together with governments to transform the way we work. I know many of you put in time, energy, and expertise on behalf of your organizations but of your own good will;
The quality of the interagency global goods– by working together you are producing high caliber products that advance the sector;
The uptake and reach of the global public goods– The products are clearly filling existing gaps as I have seen many of our own colleagues in UNICEF take up the new tools hot off the press and start using them. The great work Alliance is doing in the space of knowledge management has increased the reach of the tools and products significantly. The neutral logo of the Alliance allows these products to be picked up and used by a diverse set of actors; and
The evidence building– you are transforming the sector, which suffered in the past from a perception of insufficient evidence. There is a lot more to be done, but you have already brought the sector to a more robust state,
Allow me to highlight a few examples of these key products/achievements from the past year:
- You launched key resources, including
- The Guidance Note on Protection of Children during Infectious Disease Outbreaks. This tool was very timely as it was taken up by CP actors who were responding to the Ebola crisis in the Congo in the past few months.
- Inter-agency Child Protection Case Management Supervision and Coaching Package. Only in the past few months since its launch, the training package were viewed more than 700 times and the webinar videos connected to this package were viewed over 500 times. Products related to this training package received over 23,000 views online.
- Setting the Global Research Agenda Brief. This brief that lays out the perspective of practitioners and policy makers on research priorities for the field, was launched this year and has been viewed 930 times. Products related to the brief received more than 16,578 views online.
- “Hannah has a new job” video in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. This video was developed to help practitioners better understand how they can use the CP minimum standards in their daily job. The videos and the products related to the video received more than 15,700 views in the past two months.
- You are revising the Child Protection Minimum Standards, which are widely used, respected, and still in demand. 240, 000 people have installed the Humanitarian Standards Partnership App that you developed, in 181 countries. The CPMS are the 2nd most consulted standards, after Sphere.
- Between June and Aug 2018, worldwide open consultations took place on the draft revised CPMS. 1300+ participants in 47 locations. 245 children and youth. The 2nd edition is expected 2019.
- You have advocated for #FamiliesBelongTogether and provided technical recommendations for family reunification and care of separated children. Products related to this initiative were viewed more than 51,500 times.
- You have a new, good looking and friendly website – alliancecpha.org – which is ready for use by practitioners, donor and policy makers alike. Over 1600 technical products were professionally tagged and are accessible through the website for our colleagues all over the world.
- And you are already well on your way on the implementation of the Alliance Strategic Plan and Work Plan, which were finalized earlier this year.
Think about the reach of your work. Given the membership, the quality, and the rigor of the work, matched with the reach, the Alliance is positioned to have a lasting impact into the future. And, it’s imperative that we keep our eye on the long term – the changing humanitarian landscape and the trends direction of crises both indicate that child protection will be more vital than ever. The Alliance has the potential of influencing key global policies on protection in humanitarian response as shown by the last two days.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues in Save the Children who co-led the Alliance with us throughout the past few years. Any new initiative has its challenges, but with persistence and professionality, we worked through the kinks and can now claim that the Alliance is well established and doing great work. Thank you David, Minja and all the other Save colleagues who worked tirelessly for the good of the sector.
And I want to welcome Plan international who will be taking up the co-leadership of the Alliance as of 1stJanuary 2019. We in UNICEF are excited to work alongside you to bring this collective work to a different level. You bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm that will certainly be of great value to the work. We look forward to this collaboration for the next few years to come.