Information and Advocacy
Dancers at Vit-A-May, May 2001.
Information and advocacy form an important part of UNICEF’s work in the DPRK. Beyond the provision of humanitarian and development assistance, UNICEF has to fulfill its role as the world’s lead agency for children.
UNICEF must be a credible and reliable source of information on the situation of children and women. It does this by working with the government to put in place tracking systems, using UNICEF’s global standard software: ChildInfo. It engages in periodic surveys, such as the 2002 nutrition assessment. It collates information from the frequent field travel of its staff. It periodically publishes an Analysis of the Situation of Children and Women. More information on this can be found under Situation.
UNICEF is an advocate for the child both generally and with regard to the promotion of its own global policies, which in turn are based on the best available scientific and policy research. UNICEF thus helps the government and others to learn about new issues on child rights and to integrate these into planning and policy. Examples of this include the adoption of a new immunization schedule, breast-feeding and vitamin A supplementation policies. UNICEF is currently engaged in advocacy to reform early childhood and maternal care practices, to ensure that more family and community based strategies are followed and that care institutions, such as nurseries, reinforce the role of the family rather than substitute for it.
In this context, UNICEF provides support both financial and technical for the publication of a variety of communication materials. These are destined to be used by parents, caregivers, health and education professionals, and others to guide them in providing the best care for children and women. Examples include manuals on nutritional rehabilitation and cold chain maintenance, essential drug lists (published in collaboration with WHO, UNFPA and IFRC), leaflets on infant and young child feeding, TV and radio spots on immunization and breast-feeding, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Korean. It is currently engaged in development with government and other partners of materials on parental education.
Finally, for UNICEF to be able to do its work in the DPRK, it must have the necessary financial resources. This means providing a constant and credible flow of information to all of its external programme partners, donors and potential donors. UNICEF does this in the form of formal project progress reports, donor updates, sector briefs, news releases and visits both by UNICEF staff to donor countries and by donor representatives to projects in the DPRK. For more information on this see Funding/Donor Updates.