In 2004 the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the National Plan of Action (NPA) for Children – a blueprint calling for the government to ensure the rights of every child in the country. Realizing that the NPA also needed to be implemented at the local level for its goals to be achieved, municipal parliaments in 21 out of Serbia’s 167 municipalities eventually elected to develop and adopt a Local Plan of Action (LPA) for Children.
Once the LPAs were in place, it was clear to stakeholders that a systematic method of measuring progress towards achieving the LPA goals would be critical to ensuring their success. As DevInfo was already being used at the central level to monitor the National Plan of Action, it seemed logical to also introduce DevInfo at the municipal level to monitor the LPAs.
This rollout of DevInfo at the local level was undertaken jointly by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia and UNICEF Serbia. Selected staff from each of the 21 municipalities were trained in the DevInfo software, taught how to create a database containing all the relevant child welfare indicators, and shown how to monitor these indicators over time to assess progress. This marked the first time in the country’s history that child rights would be monitored in such a comprehensive, systematic fashion.
Has DevInfo truly made a difference at the local level in monitoring child rights? Absolutely, according to Vladica Jankovic, DevInfo consultant
LPA municipalities are using DevInfo databases, among other data sources, to generate tables, graphs and maps for their annual LPA reports. These reports are submitted to the local parliament, which in turn use the data to formulate new child welfare policies, modify
existing ones, and create municipal budgets to meet identified priorities. The data are also shared with local and international partners, donors and UN agencies.
With a view towards building on these initial successes, the Statistical Office with UNICEF support has developed a standard LPA model which can be adopted and further customized by any municipality in the future. The model comes with a pre-defined list of indicators, a survey
With DevInfo now firmly entrenched as the key LPA monitoring tool in Serbia, the government stands in a much better position to fulfill its stated commitments to the nation’s children.
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact Vladica Jankovic, DevInfo consultant, at