3.1. If there is an IMF/World Bank supported economic adjustment program in place or under negotiation, has there been an assessment of the social impacts of the program? What is your office’s engagement, for example, through providing key social data and discussing the appropriateness of key policy priorities? Collaboration with the World Bank was mobilised in 2008 and strengthened in 2009 around the social protection agenda in the context of the impact of the global economic crisis on the situation of children. The World Bank and UNICEF funded the participation of three government staff in a regional meeting on responses to the financial crisis and social protection strategies, which assisted the designated focal points in their contributions to the drafting of the Basic Social Protection Strategy. The World Bank and UNICEF also collaborated in providing technical assistance to Government in the drafting of the Basic Social Protection Strategy. World Bank support of an impact evaluation of UNICEF’s PSA Social Transfer Programme will provide critical information on the impact of cash transfers on highly vulnerable households. The evaluation results are expected to contribute to the political and technical dialogue regarding the use of child grants as proposed in Mozambique’s Basic Social Protection Strategy, currently tabled with the Council of Ministers.
Finally, the World Bank, among Government, UN and civil society partners, serves as a Member of the Steering Committee for the 2010 UN Childhood Poverty Study. Steering Committee members provide critical oversight and technical expertise to this key UNICEF advocacy and policy document. Active World Bank participation is expected to ensure incorporation of good practices, lessons learned as well as World Bank perspectives into the study.
UNICEF Mozambique has also developed a collaborative relationship with the IMF within the framework of public finance management (PFM). In this context, both UNICEF and the IMF are advocating for an increased number of donors and the UN system to reflect their aid on budget within the framework of the Paris Declaration and Accra Action Plan implementation. Further to efforts by UNICEF and a number of social sector partners for increased allocations across key social sectors and systems that allow better tracking of expenditures for children, UNICEF and the IMF are reviewing the possibility of providing joint technical assistance to a key line ministry for development of sectoral classifiers in 2010, as a model for replication within a wider group of ministries. The current absence of sectoral or programmatic classifiers limits the ability of the Government to provide accurate estimates for future costs implications of policies and programmes – in all sectors but particularly in social sectors of relevance to children. Due to the significant impact of the global economic crisis on funding for the education sector, the possibility of a pilot project for development of education specific classifiers within the Ministry of Education as a priority sector will be explored.
Another area of shared interest, the strengthening of social protection programmes for the most vulnerable households, was highlighted by the IMF Representative’s recent participation in a UNICEF sponsored Round Table to address child-friendly budgeting. The IMF emphasised the necessity for social sectors to receive adequate resources and advocated for an enhanced social protection strategy to reach the most vulnerable. UNICEF will initiate a comprehensive costing of various elements of a broadened social protection strategy in 2010. The costing analysis will support an evidence-based strategy and identify gaps in current policies which could provide the IMF with valuable feedback on the current effectiveness of social protection programmes and the potential of introducing additional support in the health, nutrition and education sectors.
3.2. Please describe if there is a coordinated national dialogue on crisis recovery. Which are the main stakeholders? If not, do you see any opportunities for the UNCT to promote a national dialogue to address a “recovery with a human face”? Dialogue around public finance management reform is ongoing, particularly around the State Budget and increased harmonisation, alignment and use of flexible aid modalities. The Programme Aid Partners (PAP) group comprises 19 bilateral and multi-lateral donors that provide General Budget Support to Mozambique. As an active member of various donor and SWAp working groups, UNICEF has played a strategic role in ensuring that child rights are adequately addressed in broad national development agenda. In the education SWAp, for example, this involvement led to a successful campaign that leveraged at least US$ 5 million for the sector common fund from various donors to alleviate the reduction observed in commitments after the financial crisis. Involvement in the Budget Analysis Group has also led to strategic partnerships (e.g. IMF and World Bank, as described above) and has kept child rights at the centre of the dialogue around budget and planning trends. Similarly, through the Poverty Analysis Monitoring System working group, UNICEF mobilised partners in support to the Ministry of Planning and Development in the evaluation of the second national Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PARPA II). Many studies were commissioned for the review, including a poverty analysis based on the deprivation approach using the Bristol Indicators. In addition, the 2008 MICS was the primary data source used in the evaluation, thus ensuring that updated information on child development was available and used in the analysis of poverty reduction in the country.