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through financing and tracking
child protection expenditures
By Bob Muchabaiwa

Using four African countries - Botswana, Kenya, South Sudan and Zimbabwe – as case studies, this session seeks to demonstrate how public spending on child protection can be measured and tracked. It also seeks to highlight how a range of political economy variables at play in a given country affect the level of public spending on child protection.


It is regrettable that at a time when children across the world face various forms of abuse, exploitation and deprivation, child protection is notoriously under-funded. Globally, child protection accounts for a paltry 1% of total humanitarian funding. Several factors, exogenous and endogenous to the state, account for the insufficient and sometimes ineffective public spending on child protection. These include lack of political will to invest in children, scarcity of resources, influence of international finance institutions, limited appreciation of benefits of investing in child protection and constructions of childhood in a given country. These factors cannot be delinked from the political, economic and social contexts in which they are embedded.


At the end of the session, participants would have gained new knowledge on how to measure and track child protection budgets. In addition, they will also gain new insights on how an understanding of political economy dynamics can better inform communicative actions and advocacy for increased and improved quality of public spending on child protection.


Bob Muchabaiwa is a PhD Student in Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. His study is focused on the political economy of public spending on child protection in selected African states. Bob has have over 15 years working experience at the national, regional and international level focusing on children's rights as well as social and economic policy. in addition to working with a number of national and regional development organizations, Bob has worked for leading global child rights organizations, including UNICEF and Save the Children.

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    Proteknôn is derived from two Greek words: "in front of" and "child". As our name implies, we are senior child protection researchers and practitioners, focused on what children are facing, especially as it relates to their care, protection and wellbeing. In order to do this, we are committed to learning from and with girls and boys, of all ages, backgrounds and capacities.

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