The Child-Friendly Community Initiative (CFCI) in the Sudan is a community-driven programme led by communities themselves and supported by the Government of the Sudan at the federal and states level and UNICEF. The solution was launched in 1993 then called the Child-Friendly Village Initiative (CFVI). The CFVI's strategy of organizing villages to take responsibility for planning and implementation of local development activities has proven to be an effective approach to improving the well-being of children and their mothers. This model has been evolved and became Child-Friendly Community Initiative since 2002.
CFCI is an integrated, cross-sectoral and community-based approach inclusive of local culture and customs and used to achieve sustainable improvements in local communities, especially in the lives of rural children and women in 9 states and targeted 2,328 most vulnerable communities in the most affected war areas. This solution provided basic services in Health, where health centers constructed in a number of communities, Nutrition provided to children, Education, classroom constructed and furnished. All activities have been successfully achieved. In the area of community empowerment, all communities have been trained and awareness was raised.
This approach enabled and empowered - through developed and strengthened human and institutional capacity- 70 localities & 1,600 communities to prevent and manage conflict; plan, implement, manage monitor and sustain basic social and economic services; CSOs and CBOs strengthened to engage in dialogue with the government so as to participate effectively in the design and implementation of recovery and reintegration programmes.
Owing to the solution the followings have been achieved:
- 100% of population in 150 communities, average of 525,000 people(estimated 3500/community) have access to agricultural and livelihood support;
- 50% of the community, average of 262,500 people benefited from natural resources conservation interventions and water harvesting interventions for agriculture and livestock;
- 75% of the communities, average of 420,000 m people benefited from farming (agriculture and livestock) inputs and extension services;
- 150 schools, average of 36,000 students(40 students/class and the school have 6 levels) benefited from school gardening and school feeding; and 300 vulnerable young people/youth benefited from income generation activities;
- one million people (23% of the population have access to improved drinking water sources expanded to reach;
- 15% of the population have access to improved sanitation facilities and 60% -to hygiene education;
- 60% of the population including, child and maternal health/nutrition care get access to primary health care services expanded to
- strengthened referral sites within the catchment areas;
- Community-based surveillance system;
- a network of community health promoters and functional drug revolving fund schemes;
- Access to quality and child-friendly basic education for one million children and same number retained through school feeding.
This model has encouraged the federal government to adopt this approach as the federal rural development policy for the whole country and attracted prominent donors such as the European Union to consider it as a mechanism and policy for rural development in the country.
The solution can be replicated in post-conflict countries and countries with remote areas where accessibility of basic needs is critical and lack of policies. Community participation and empowerment can be achieved through human development and institutional building, domestic resources mobilization and community empowerment confirm the sustainability of the provision and maintaining of services for the long term and as an exit strategy.
Partners: The Government of Sudan, local communities, UNICEF
Budget: Budget per one community for integrated development package (Health, Education, and water and community empowerment) is USD 30,000.
Since 2002, the government has invested an amount of USD 6.7million in the initiative, which is 23% of the whole expenditures, communities USD 5.6 million - 19%, UNICEF USD 5.8 million - 20% and other partners USD 10.8 million - 37%. Government and communities contributed by 42% from the total resources ($ 28.8 million).
Mrs.Sawsan Omer Abulkilk
Director International Relations
Federal Governance Chamber, Khartoum Sudan