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Child protection financial benchmarking in Indonesia

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Our study aims to provide the South Sulawesi and East Java in Indonesia with an assessment of child protection expenditures in the provinces.

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Stephanie Allan

Stephanie Allan United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

This study presents the UNICEF Child Protection Financial Benchmark (CPFB) in South Sulawesi and East Java provinces of Indonesia, for the years 2015 and 2016. It represents the most comprehensive attempt to date to capture and analyse, and in doing so provides an indicative assessment of the adequacy of the Government’s financial commitment to child protection.

Challenges

The right of children to be protected is set out in Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which obliges those governments which have ratified it, including Indonesia, to take appropriate measures to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation.

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that investing in preventing violence in childhood can generate substantial socio-economic returns by reducing expenditure on response services, impacting positively on health and improving learning outcomes, thereby boosting productivity, as well as reducing intergenerational violence, adult criminality, and juvenile offending.

Assessing the adequacy of the financial resources available for child protection systems is a necessary first step to make a sustainable difference to the degree to which a child's right to protection is realised. To this end, the CPFB provides a comparable measurement of expenditure on child protection across countries and within countries over time, as well as an indication of the adequacy of expenditure.

Approach

Child protection expenditure was identified by first asking what child protection services are provided at provincial and district level, and then tracking down how much was spent on them. In order to determine whether or not a particular service should count towards the benchmark, the team used a matrix of types of child protection harms, and types of prevention and response services to vet and classify the service.

For these purposes, the globally recognised definition of child protection was adopted, that is, prevention and response to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of children. This means that the definition of child protection used for the benchmark calculation is narrower than that commonly used in Indonesia, where child protection often refers to all services aimed at realising children’s rights.

Data on government spending for each eligible service were collected through a combination of interviews and analysis of budget documents and expenditure reports. A set of consistent benchmark rules were applied to ensure that for each service all expenditures were captured (including overheads), and to estimate expenditure for services in cases where funding was split across budget lines, or more with other non-child protection services in a single budget line.

Outcomes

The assessment revealed that the overall level of child protection expenditure is likely to be constraining the achievement of child protection outcomes. On average for 2015 and 2016, the child protection benchmark for South Sulawesi is estimated at 0.47%. This means that for every IDR 1000 spent per person by the provincial government and all component district and city governments, an estimated IDR 4.7 per child is spent on child protection. In East Java the benchmark is estimated to be 0.6%.

Overall there is a fairly even split between expenditures on support services – such as coordination, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation – and direct service delivery. However, less than a third of expenditure goes to preventing child protection violations, with the bulk of spending going on response.