4 September 2012
A new policy-orientated web portal on children’s rights, called Policy Action Network, or PAN: Children, was announced during a panel discussion on children in Cape Town on Monday.
The portal – children.pan.org.za – is a partnership between the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council’s (HSRC).
According to the HSRC, PAN: Children will provide high-quality, timely information which can be used to inform decision-making and policy.
“It will strengthen the dialogue between the producers and the users of child-related research evidence to build networks between researchers and policy makers,” the HSRC said in a statement. “The aim is also to generate debates on key policy issues affecting children in South Africa.”
The web portal is primarily targeted at South African policy makers and government officials involved in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes relating to children, as well as academics and other research institutions working on issues related to child rights and their well-being.
The knowledge-hub “will also be of value to civil society organisations, private sector and development sector professionals involved in the advancement of child rights,” the HSRC said. “Lastly, the hub will allow other countries with an interest in South African policy to easily access relevant information.”
PAN: Children also aims to establish and maintain an up-to-date digital repository of the most credible publications available on child rights in South Africa.
The information and resources available include advocacy initiatives and networks, case studies, case law, country studies, government policy and legislation, and other useful information.
In addition, the portal will produce regular opinion pieces written by acknowledged research experts in the child rights arena, commenting on current debates and providing insight on policy development and practice.