Children First: Better Public Spending for Better Outcomes for Children & Families
Eurochild's Annual Conference 2014 (26-28 November, Bucharest, Romania) addressed important questions around public spending choices. What evidence is needed for good decision-making? How should evidence be used? How can we measure long-term social return on investment? How does this influence budget decisions? What is the role of the public and private sectors? How do we ensure accountability in service delivery, as well as efficiency and effectiveness? How can we meaningfully involve and empower the children and families we support?
The European and international context
The conference reflected on implementation of the 2013 European Commission Recommendation ‘Investing in Children: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage’ and the broader Social Investment Package. It looked at how EU structural and investment funds can be better deployed in the next programming period to stimulate reforms and develop innovative practice.
The event was also set within the context of States obligations to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which celebrates 25 years in 2014. According to Article 4, all States Parties ‘shall undertake measures [to implement the UNCRC] to the maximum extent of their available resources’. The UNCRC Committee has agreed to develop a General Comment on ‘Public Spending to Realize Children’s Rights’ to which this conference can provide valuable input.