In order to support Communication for Development (C4D) to release its potential as a cross-cutting strategy throughout the UN system, it needs to be located within the context of thematic and programmatic goals, including the MDGs. The inter-agency C4D group agreed over the course of 2010 to focus the XIIth UNRT on C4D on adolescent girls.
"Adolescent girls" as a single issue cuts across several agencies and organizations. There is solid evidence indicating that improving the lives of adolescent girls has a catalytic effect on society at large and contributes to poverty alleviation and gender equality and builds the foundation for their future roles and influence in the home, community and society. In March 2010, the heads of ILO, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM and WHO issued a UN Joint Statement, "Accelerating Efforts to Advance the Rights of Adolescent Girls". They declared that by 2015, all agencies will increase support to developing countries to advance key policies and programmes that empower marginalized adolescent girls. Specifically, the Heads of Agency called for an intensification of efforts to fulfill the human rights of adolescent girls particularly those between the ages of 10 and 14 years and those who are the hardest-to-reach.
In the UN Joint Statement, the Heads of Agencies committed to working with governments, civil society, communities and adolescent girls and boys on five strategic priorities:
- Education of adolescent girls
- Improve adolescent girls' health
- Keep adolescent girls free from violence
- Promote adolescent girl leaders
- Count adolescent girls
The XIIth UNRT aims to demonstrate the power and potential of C4D principles and practice in enhancing and accelerating UN programming efforts to advance the rights of adolescent girls. It will enhance UN coordination and will contribute to Delivering as One, across all countries where the UN system is present.
Using the power of communication and applying the human rights principles of equality, participation and accountability, our vision is for all adolescent girls everywhere to be empowered as productive and effective citizens, supporting the well-being of their families, communities and societies.
- Demonstrate how C4D strengthens programming, linkages and initiatives for and with adolescent girls
- Increase inter-agency collaboration at global, regional and national levels on C4D, identifying opportunities to strengthen efforts to 'Deliver as One' through C4D, especially with respect to adolescent girls
Participants are better equipped to:
- Understand the role, relevance and challenges of C4D within the context of development and humanitarian programming
- Strengthen inter-agency UN partnerships and foster collaborations with external think-tanks, academia, NGOs and research groups on C4D
- Identify and assess opportunities to effectively and holistically integrate C4D principles, practice and partnerships within the work of their own institutions
- Advocate for integration of C4D within national programming processes, partnerships and capacity development
- Assess investments required and identify resources to enhance institutional (UN) capacities
- Share experiences to build a robust evidence base of examples of good practice, innovations and lessons learned as well as a dynamic and engaged community of C4D practitioners across the UN
Flow of Meeting and Major Discussion Threads
Part I: Understanding Adolescent Girls: Framing the Context
- The importance of adolescent girls in achieving the MDGs
- Adolescent Girls: What are the key issues and who/where are the most vulnerable?
- The five UN strategic priorities on adolescent girls issues, including the role of boys and men
- Adopting a human-rights (and equity) based approach to analysis of issues
- Understanding underlying systemic issues and power relations (e.g. patriarchy)
- Improving conditions through local and national governance systems and structures, enabling legal and normative frameworks, and community capacity development
- Addressing socio-cultural determinants (e.g. deep rooted socio-cultural norms and practices, for example, early marriage, stigma related to girls with disability, FGM/C) of adolescent girls' lives
- Role of different stakeholders - Governments, UN, NGOs, CSOs, Private Sector, Academia, Media
- What does adolescence in different cultures
- Contributions by adolescent girls to their family's, community's and country's economies
- Existing frameworks and programming mechanisms across the UN
- Gains made and challenges ahead
- Presentations by Adolescent & C4D Experts
- Case Study Presentations (e.g. Because I Am a Girl; Kishori Abhijan; Tostan; The Girl Effect) followed by Q&A
- Group Work
- Understanding and ability to take action in areas that require strong C4D focus
Part II: Promoting Participation: Reaching and Engaging Adolescent Girls
- Voices of adolescent girls: what are they saying and doing?
- Understanding levels of participation: consultative, collaborative, child-led
- Raising the profile of adolescent girls' issues, especially marginalized girls, including members of indigenous, religious or ethnic minority communities and those with disability
- Positioning adolescent girls as leaders agents of change through strengthened governance and citizenship-building initiatives
- Communication by, for and with girls: range of communication approaches in the UN
- Dynamics of social change
- Community- and technology-based strategies and mechanisms to reaching the most marginalised and hard-to-reach adolescent girls
- Digital divides and technologies that are participatory, non-discriminatory and inclusive
- Views from Adolescent Girls
- Case Studies (e.g. Meena or Sara Communication Initiatives), Panel Discussion
- AV Soundbytes/Short Films produced by agencies' country offices (based on criteria to be provided)
- Recommendations for Programme Managers and C4D practitioners
Part III: Enhancing Effectiveness of C4D Interventions: Investments and Measurement
- Robust data collection and dissemination systems
- Monitoring and evaluation challenges: establishing clear hierarchy of results, standardisation of indicators
- Participatory/Self-Evaluation by Girls
- Building R, M & E capacities: R, M & E Tools and Methodologies
- Operational: sustained funding, partnerships and collaborations
- Case Studies (e.g. Theatre for Development, North West Frontier Adolescent Girls Programme, Pakistan-on Self Evaluation; Measuring Change: A C4D Strategy on Health Issues with At Risk Youth in Colombia )
- Note: The draft Inter-agency Resource Pack on Research, Monitoring and Evaluation for C4D will be available. It should be seen as a resource for this discussion. It is a "work in progress", to which documents and other resources can regularly and easily be added.
- C4D Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Resource Pack or Toolbox (or critical components of such a toolbox made available)
- Community of Practice
Type and Number of Participants
Six broad categories of participants were proposed, for a total of no more than 80 participants on a full-time basis. Participation from India and other South Asian countries may bring the total to 110 participants on any given day.
The categories of participants include: UN agencies/funds plus the World Bank; inter-agency bodies; NGOs/CSOs; bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors; foundations; and the private sector. Each agency may have a maximum of four participants, for example, two from their own staff and two invitees. Names should be submitted to UNICEF, who will issue invitations and maintain a centralized list of invitees and confirmed participants.
Criteria for participation: All participants should have direct personal or professional experience in Communication for Development and/or on issues related to adolescent girls. Other strategic reasons for including an individual or organization may be proposed to the inter-agency C4D network.
Technical experts and motivational speakers will be identified as the agenda is developed. Agencies should submit ideas to UNICEF, for discussion in telephone conference calls and by e-mail.
Participation by adolescent girls and boys from key youth organizations is being considered. Plan International will be consulted by UNICEF, after which a proposal made to the inter-agency group.
Videoconferencing, social networking platforms and other possibilities for virtual participation will be used.
Products Required for the UNRT
- Thematic Papers
New papers may be requisitioned or previous studies or research may be updated. Guidelines, including a call for proposals and the list of topics suggested by agencies during the 3rd Preparatory Meeting on 28 Feb-1 Mar, is available in a separate document.
Videos may be requisitioned through agencies' headquarters or country offices. Proposed guidelines and criteria will be
The inter-agency C4D advocacy book, "Communication for Development: Strengthening the effectiveness of the United Nations", will be available.
Agencies will have the opportunity to disseminate other relevant documents throughout the Round Table.
Web Portal for the XIIth UNRT
A web portal for the XIIth UN Round Table will be created. Its scope will be determined in the coming months. See separate note with facts for consideration. Decisions will have to be taken by end April whether to "go with" UNDP's Teamworks; UNDG's C4D site; or another option. This will be discussed during a telephone conference call and by e-mail.
Venue and Length of the Meeting
The Round Table will be held in New Delhi, India, in the Meridien Hotel.
It is suggested that the Round Table be divided into:
- 2-1/2-day session of all participants, 14, 15 and half-day on 16 November
- 1-1/2-day session for UN agencies/system only (internal consultation), afternoon of 16 November and all day on 17 November