THE GAMBIA ECD POLICY FRAMEWORK COSTING
Policy Framework Context • Population • Population - 1,364,507 • Population growth rate - 2.8 % • Density - 128 persons per square kilometre. • Estimate for population of children 0-3 - 141,000 • Estimate for population of children 3-6 years - 177,000 • Poverty is on the increase - 50 per cent of the Gambian population rated extremely poor and 17 per cent poor •  Preliminary results, 2003 Census •  National Poverty Survey, 1998
Basic services for young children Education – • Responsibility of the Department of State for Education • Overall coverage is about 19% for 3-6 • Very young children aged 0–3 years generally missed out on educational interventions • Coverage in urban - 20%1 of children and 14 1% in rural • 90% of these centres are provided by the private sector and 10% by the community based systems.
Education(contd) • Estimate for children in nurseries in 2004 was 28,000 • .Short term fee charging training programme for facilitators • DOSE’s role was limited to monitoring, supervision and regulation of services. • Recently pre-schools are being annexed to particularly primary schools • School-feeding programme supported by the world-Food Programme in some Pre-schools in the rural areas
Nutrition: • Mandate for providing regulations for nutrition services in the Gambia is with the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA • 4% of children are wasted, 17 % undernourished and 17 % stunted. • NaNA supports the improvement of nutritional status of children 0-5 years through the • Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI): • 50,000 children are benefiting
Nutrition(contd) • 8 men and women in each of the 500 BFCI communities serve as Village Support Group members who are trained on the strategy that is coverage of 40 %. • Nutrition Surveillance • Micronutrient supplementation: Vitamin A to postnatal mothers and children 6 months to 5 years. Coverage is 52.3 %. • Salt Iodisation: Target is 80 % consumption of iodised salt. Coverage not known
Water Supply • Responsibility of Department of Community Development • Assumption is that children within all communities with water supply have access to safe water • 70% of the population have access to safe water supply • Over 40 % of the population have access to proper sanitation.
Health • Responsibility of Department of State for Health • Provision and maintenance of quality health services for children includes: • Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) e.g against Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza type, Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, tetanus, pertursis and poliomyelitis. • Coverage for immunisation is over 80 %.
Health(contd) • Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) services: vaccination of antenatal mothers against Tetanus toxoid (coverage is 72 %), growth monitoring, screening of children, Birth Registration, health education and. • Coverage for growth monitoring of children age 0 -18months is 80 % • Birth Registration, screening and health education is not known
Health • Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI): • coverage is 35, 000 children in CRD and LRD benefit from this strategy • Paediatric services are also available for children, which include among others, the provision of paediatric drugs and paediatricians. Coverage not known • Prevention of parent to child transmission of HIV/Aids. Coverage is 13 facilities including 4 private facilities. N.B: Other key providers of ECDare CCF, GAFNA, Department of State for Agriculture
Need for an Early Childhood Development Policy • A National meeting on ECD involving all stakeholders held in the Gambia 1999 as above, highlighted shortcomings in • Access • Quality • Cohesion • The Working Group on ECD that emerged out of the resolutions of this meeting identified the need for a policy to address gaps in access, quality and cohesion • Unicef resourced the expertise of a consultant to facilitate the policy development process in 2002.
Need for an Early Childhood Development Policy (contd) • Policy has, however, not reached cabinet level for many reasons • One is lack of attached cost
The ECD Policy Framework Costing exercise in The Gambia • Mr. Alain Mingat supported this process in The Gambia from 5th to 9th December 2005 through the support of ADEA and /UNICEF Regional Office for West Africa after the ECD Policy Financing meeting held in Dakar in March 2005. The Gambia is grateful to ADEA and UNICEF for this worthy venture.
The Costing Exercise involved • Consultations with the heads (Permanent Secretaries of Health, Education, Local Government ECD Multi-sectoral Working Group in The Gambia to: • - Glean relevant statistics to use in building the model • - Report on current provisions and levels of coverage • - Convergence on a nature of provision and coverage levels envisaged for this policy.
Major Challenge • Accessing reliable data from relevant sectors: • concerns of underestimation e.g • data on service coverage • overestimation e.g census data • total absence of data e.g salaries.
The policy costing: Aim • Advocate for appropriate budgetary consideration for services for young children • 0-3 years, 3-6 years and communities
Principles underlying the Policy Framework • Enhanced access for the poorest and underprivileged young children and families • Build on existing structures and sectoral polices • Integration for efficient use of resources
Costing of Policy(contd) Based on two distinct grouping of provisions • Contextual services i.e conventional services by Departments of State such as Health and Social Welfare, Education, National Nutrition Agency,Water Resources, and Community Development • Focus is co-ordination to ensure comprehensiveness in the policy • These have no funding implications within this policy framework
Policy costing based on Specific activities: new activities representing gaps in contextual services • The focus is expansion and improvement of contextual services • Activities through which the objectives of the policy can be achieved by 2015 • These have funding implications
Elements in the model • Population figures for 2004 to 2015 • Agreed coverage for the different age groups • Real costs and total revenue to be realised from 2004 to 2015 • Scenerios created to adjust for affordability by making for trade-offs between coverage and quality • Levels of funding that can be mobilised from the Education budget and the other sectors such as Health, Department of Community Development, NaNA and Water Resources are indicated as percentage of the GDP of the country. • Flexible to allow for development of other scenarios
The next crucial steps • Development of implementation plan with specific activities for attainment of the stated objectives children 0-3 and 3-6 years by the year 2015 • Adoption
Should we invest? Why? • There are positive gains for supporting the policy • Enrolment into the primary sector • Retention to completion levels • Improved performance by systems • Improved outcomes for overall education section • Greater productivity in the workforce • Achievements of EFA, PRSP goals • Achivement of national ambitions for 2020
Conclusion • Lack of investment mean a lost opportunity for our 2015 targets • It is great wisdom to invest in constructing children • It is expensive to reconstruct damaged adults. This just what excluding ECD means