Commitment 2.5:
We promote the participation of children.

Compliance Indicators

The Indiciators under this Commitment are only relevant to Members who undertake work which prioritises children.

Compliance with the Commitments will be assessed against the following Compliance Indicators. All of the applicable Compliance Indicators must be met by every ACFID Member to be considered compliant with the Code. Each of the Compliance Indicators has one or more compliance Verifiers. Verifiers are the description of evidence that is required to substantiate compliance with each Compliance Indicator. Guidance is also provided.

2.5.1 Members whose initiatives prioritise children demonstrate an organisational commitment to their participation.

Policy, statement or guideline document that commits the Member to the participation of children in development and humanitarian initiatives which target them.

Noting that this Indicator and its Verifier is only relevant to Members who undertake work which prioritises children. 

Guidance

A policy, statement or guideline document could include an outline of the principles underpinning an organisation’s commitment to the participation of children; and how these principles will be implemented to ensure that children are active participants in initiatives that affect or target them.  It may outline strategies to involve children in initiatives, such as working with girls and boys to help them develop leadership, networking and influencing skills; including young people in decision making committees; and promoting positive cultural attitudes towards the participation and inclusion of children.

UNICEF has developed a fact sheet on children’s right to participation, which may help inform the development of an organisation’s policy, statement or guidance document. This can be found in the Resources Section below.

2.5.2 Members whose initiatives prioritise children enable children’s views to influence initiative designs.

Design or planning framework, tools, templates which require or approaches which consistently show evidence consultation with children, contextual analysis of their needs and rights, and identification of opportunities for their participation.

Noting that this Indicator and its Verifier are only relevant to Members who undertake work which prioritises children.

Guidance

Approaches which show evidence in this area might include allocation of resources to analysing the needs and rights of children; engaging staff with specific skills and methods to facilitate consultation with children; referring to research undertaken by other child focused organisations; and developing strategies that promote the participation of children.

Design or planning framework, tools, and templates might provide guidance on how to consult with children and include dedicated sub-sections that prompt analysis of their needs, rights and opportunities for participation. 

2.5.3 Members whose initiatives prioritise children have complaints handling processes that are child friendly.

Complaints handling processes are child friendly.

Noting that this Indicator and its Verifier are only relevant to Members who undertake work which prioritises children.

Guidance

There are some great guidelines available on developing child friendly complaints handling processes. The Commissioner for Young People in Western Australia resource, which can be tailored to your organisation’s operating context, can be found in the Resources Section below.  

Good Practice Indicators

The following Good Practice Indicators describe a higher standard of practice than that set out in the Compliance Indicators. While Members do not need to meet the Good Practice Indicators to be considered compliant with the Code, they will self-assess against these indicators once every three years. This provides a clear pathway for Members to strengthen and improve practice over time.

  • A staff person with specialised expertise in child-centred development is in place. 
  • Activities that seek to build the capacities of children to participate and influence issues that affect them are supported.
  • Child-centred development and/or child rights training is provided for key personnel and partners.

Good Practice Guidance

Here are some practical suggestions for your organisation to further deepen and improve practice over time.

Organisational

  • Establish child participation, child empowerment and/or child rights-based performance indicators in strategic, organisational and other plans and periodically evaluate and reflect on progress against these targets.
  • Report periodically to your governing body, broader constituency and relevant primary stakeholders on your achievements relating to the participation and empowerment of children and child right issues more broadly.
  • Promote the value of child-centred development in communications with the public and external stakeholders.
  • Support activities that seek to build the capacities and confidence of children to participate and influence issues that affect them.
  • Undertake targeted research to understand the perspectives of children.
  • Ensure the perspectives of children inform project designs of initiatives that affect them.
  • Conduct periodic reviews of the nature of your complaints handling processes and the usage, involving children in seeking their perspectives.
  • Test the design of your initiatives against the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure they are in alignment. For example, is the activity in the best interests of the child? Is any form of discrimination present? Do the most disadvantaged and marginalized children have opportunities to participate and are their voices heard? Are children genuinely participating? Can children make a difference in decision-making processes?

ACFID Resources

Exploring the links between child and youth participation and development effectiveness: a joint-research and learning partnership

This joint-research and learning partnership explores the links between child and youth participation and ...

Practice Note: Youth Participation in Development

Developed in collaboration with ACFID's Child Rights Community of Practice and Oaktree, this Practice note ...

Other Resources

Are you Listening? Guidelines for making complaints systems accessible and responsive to children and young people

The importance of child friendly complaints systems.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Oultines the UN's Convention on the Rights of a Child.

Listen to children and young people in policy making

An article exploring how  NGOs can be the bridge between children and young people and key decision-makers to ...

Towards ‘speaking up’: 3 strategies to ensure children with disabilities have their say

Motivation Australia shares their story

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