Every day after school now, Ahmed (10) looks forward to spending time in the children’s reading room at the recently opened government children’s club, where he can feast his imagination upon hundreds of colorful story books. His younger sister Amal (7) prefers the art room next door, where she is excitedly learning how to paint using vibrant watercolours.
Ahmed, Amal and thousands of Tunisian children like them can credit the Tunisian Government’s Ministry of Women, Family, Children and Elderly Affairs (MAFFEPA) – and alsoChildInfo Tunisia– for the gift of their new club.
As part of its agency mandate, MAFFEPA establishes government-run children’s clubs across the country, whose purpose is to offer a safe venue for children and youth to develop holistically through educational, recreational, cultural and sports activities. To date, over 200 children’s clubs have been set up across the country, in both urban and rural locations.
Initially, in the absence of reliable data, agency decisions on where to open new children’s clubs were based on a variety of other factors. But everything changed when MAFFEPA policy-makers came to learn aboutChildInfo Tunisia, a one-stop online data portal containing detailed demographic and socio-economic information about the status of children in Tunisia.
After MAFFEPA policy-makers looked at maps generated from ChildInfo Tunisia displaying the varying densities of children across the country’s regions, they realized that finally they had a data-driven method for planning the geographical distribution of new children’s clubs. Since that time, MAFFEPA has been using these maps when allocating resources for new clubs, with a special view to targeting underserved localities.
Examples like this underscore the growing role that ChildInfo Tunisia is playing in ensuring equitable development for children in Tunisia. Adapted from the UN-endorsedDevInfodatabase system, ChildInfo Tunisia was launched by the MAFFEPA-administered Observatory for Information, Training, Documentation and Studies for the Protection of Child Rights, with support from UNICEF Tunisia.
According to Riadh Safi, ChildInfo Tunisia Administrator, a key objective of the project is gathering data on child welfare indicators at the local geographical level and then generating country maps to highlight to local and regional disparities. These maps, in turn, are then shared with key government ministries, to help establish priorities for corrective interventions to ensure equal opportunities for children in all parts of the country.
With ChildInfo Tunisia firmly established as the nation’s key child welfare monitoring tool, the future looks even brighter for the thousands of formerly underserved Tunisian children like Ahmed and Amal.
For more information, please contact Riadh Safi, ChildInfo Tunisia Administrator, Observatory for Information, Training, Documentation and Studies for the Protection of Child Rights, at