Santino Martin was born premature at just 450 grams, his body so tiny that he fit completely within the palm of the nurse who carried him to the intensive care unit. He spent his first six months there fighting for his life, regularly attended to by a team of concerned doctors and his anxious mother.
Thanks to the excellent medical care he received, Santino today enjoys a normal healthy childhood. But not every premature delivery in Argentina ends on the same happy note. Half of Argentinean babies who die within their first year are born premature, weighing no more than 2,500 grams. Thirty percent of these weigh 1,500 grams or less, like Santino.
In response to this need, DevInfo database technology is being deployed at the provincial level in Argentina to provide answers to these questions. With its ability to conveniently store and disseminate statistics related to child health, nutrition, education and protection, DevInfo provides local decision-makers the information needed to help fulfill the rights of every child in Argentina.
With UNICEF Argentina support, five of the country’s 23 provinces have either already implemented or are in the process of implementing DevInfo to monitor the situation of children and women and to strengthen existing provincial planning capacities for fulfilling child rights.
In the province of Jujuy, the local government has launched a DevInfo adaptation –InfoJujuy– to assist in designing, monitoring and evaluating public policies for children and adolescents (http://www.infojujuy-dippec.gov.ar/index.htm). Launched in 2009, the database contains accurate data on the situation of children and adolescents in Jujuy, particularly in the areas of health, education and child protection.
Also in 2009, the Observatory of Social Policy in Misiones launched a DevInfo adaptation -Observatorio Misiones– intended to monitor the eradication of malnutrition among children and adolescents (http://www.observatorio.misiones.gov.ar). The database contains information on services delivered to the target population by various agencies, thereby allowing for better monitoring and evaluation of needs and services in the province.
Work is underway to launch DevInfo adaptations in three additional provinces in 2011, to strengthen the capacity of provincial governments
UNICEF Argentina helped spur the deployment of DevInfo technology in these five provinces by organizing a training workshop in 2010 for 100 public servants from different sectoral ministries within these provinces. The workshop focused on how to integrate DevInfo database technology into monitoring the effectiveness of existing policies to fulfil the rights of children, adolescents and women. The workshop also highlighted the benefits of this approach to helping sensitize stakeholders to existing gaps and using evidence-based policy planning and advocacy to reduce these gaps.
Additionally, these five applications of DevInfo technology at the provincial level have been strengthened by the national launch by UNICEF Argentina of a customized gallery –InfoArgentina– which publicizes information on the situation of child rights as well as data on public investment directed to children at the national, provincial and departmental levels. Indicators are organized by various rights – the right to learn, the right to be protected, the right to health, etc. The gallery presents these data using maps, graphs and tables generated from DevInfo, with the goal of helping public managers at all levels design better evidence-based public policies to strengthen fulfilment of child rights.
With DevInfo technology being rolled out across five Argentine provinces, at least 5.8 million children and adolescents like Santino Martin stand to benefit directly and indirectly from local governments better empowered to reduce service delivery gaps and ensure the fulfillment of child rights for all.
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact Sebastian Waisgrais, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF Argentina, at firstname.lastname@example.org