NITI Aayog, UNICEF to Develop Country’s First Report on ‘State of India’s Children’

NITI Aayog and UNICEF India will jointly develop and launch the first report on the ‘State of India’s Children: Status and Trends in Multidimensional Child Development.’ This was decided on Friday when the two institutions signed a Statement of Intent (SoI); reiterating a mutual commitment toward realizing the rights of children in India.

The report will develop frameworks to understand health and nutrition, education, water and sanitation, household living standards, and a protective environment for children across states. This effort will contribute to the realization of India’s commitments to the 2030 Agenda and provide a set of policy recommendations for concerted action in terms of accelerating progress towards the SDGs to ‘leave no child behind’ and achieving their holistic development.

Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairperson, NITI Aayog, in his address said, “This child-focused SDG initiative builds on our effort of monitoring progress through the SDG India Index & Dashboard which continues to be a unique data-driven initiative for triggering policy action . This new initiative with UNICEF is built on the ethos of SDG attainments for children and ensuring that no child is left behind.”

Arjan de Wagt, Officer in Charge – Deputy Representative UNICEF India said that the comprehensive measurement of the status of children will pave the way for multi-sectoral policies and programs across health and nutrition, education, safe water and sanitation, child protection, social protection , and climate action to reach the most vulnerable children. We congratulate NITI Aayog on this pioneering step and stand committed to provide all support.

Articulating the way forward, Hyun Hee Ban, Chief of Social Policy, UNICEF India said, “One in every third person in India is a child below the age of 18, while one in every fifth person is an adolescent between the ages of 10 to 19. Through this process, we look forward to engaging with various stakeholders particularly children, adolescents, and young people to jointly carve out solutions to harness the true potential of India’s demographic dividend.”

The collaboration between NITI Aayog and UNICEF India will draw up the methods, technical analysis, reporting, and action planning for the first report on the ‘State of India’s Children’ with a focus on multidimensional aspects of child development like health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, protection and other relevant areas. This project will undertake a whole-of-society approach of involving all stakeholders ranging from Union Ministries, State Government, Academia, Civil Society Organizations and child rights collectives.

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