This project is a research and development collaboration established in 2011 between World Vision, Save the Children, UNICEF and Childwatch International with coordination and facilitation by the Children’s Environments Research Group (CERG) of the City University of New York. Article 15 has a long-term agenda to work in a supporting capacity with child and youth groups internationally. It focuses on Article 15 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – children’s right to meet with others, and to join or form associations. The project has focused on co-developing a set of resources with child groups in Asia, Latin America and Africa that are valuable for any child or youth group globally to use to reflect self critically upon their current organization and how they might improve to function in more democratic and inclusive ways. The current Article 15 Resource Kit can be downloaded from the project’s website – http://crc15.org. Children’s groups are encouraged to share their experiences in adapting and using the tools in their local context.
This project is designed to raise the quality of planning for children in cities by providing resources for communities and municipal governments to better assess and monitor conditions for children. A key outcome of the project includes a set of highly participatory tools for children and adults to use in assessing community conditions of children’s rights as a basis for planning, action and advocacy, referred to as the Child Friendly Cities and Communities Assessment Toolkit. The project also includes a set of child friendly city governance tools for municipal government agencies to use in reviewing how well their governance structures and processes support families and children. CERG developed these tools and coordinated the initial pilot testing of the assessment materials in collaboration with UNICEF IRC, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Institute for Philippine Culture at the Ateneo de Manila University, and the Instituto Paulo Montenegro of IBOPE, in Brazil. The tools were subsequently field tested in the Dominican Republic, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, France, Italy and Spain, Brazil and the Philippines working in partnership with UNICEF Country Offices and Childwatch researchers. The next and final phase of the project involves an evaluation of the CFC toolkit for its impact on community planning, action and advocacy.
This project was a pilot initiative of the US Fund for UNICEF from 2010-2011 to develop an after school civic engagement and service learning program to educate American children and youth about their rights, and to support them to become leaders and advocates for children’s rights in their community. The Children’s Environments Research Group partnered with the Isaacs Center (an East Harlem community based organization), and Corner the Market Media (a non-profit youth media education group) to collaboratively develop the program with a total of 20 youth between 13 to 18 years of age. Youth participants worked on three primary activities: 1) a child friendly community assessment of East Harlem, 2) a program blog about children’s rights in East Harlem, and 3) a film and speaking tour to raise awareness of children’s rights. Youth continue to be involved in the initiative, and more information can be obtained from the project’s blog – Future Building a Future in East Harlem.
This project involved the adaptation of the Child Friendly Communities Assessment Toolkit for the design of child friendly schools in emergency situations working in partnership with the Education Section of UNICEF from 2011-2012. This project fills a significant gap in knowledge on children’s own perspectives about the quality of their education in emergency contexts. It is the first assessment process designed for transitional learning spaces that not only asks children their views, but also empowers them to be the facilitators of a school-wide evaluation and improvement planning process, with the support of their teachers and caregivers. CERG partnered with “transitional” schools in Haiti and the Philippines to pilot test the toolkit with the support of UNICEF Haiti, Finn Church Aid, and the Institute of Philippine Culture. The assessment materials are currently being published by UNICEF and will soon be made available via a project website.