Devex Examines U.S. Government’s Action Plan On Children In Adversity

“Six months after its launch, the U.S. government’s Action Plan for Children in Adversity lacks ‘teeth,’ child development and health experts told a Senate appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday,” Devex’s “Development Newswire” blog reports. The blog post discusses the hearing, some of the challenges facing the action plan, including funding, as well as its future prospects. According to the blog, Neil Boothby, one of the action plan’s creators, and other advocates have suggested creating a PEPFAR-style program “to address children’s needs — including needs related to HIV and AIDS — in countries PEPFAR currently doesn’t prioritize.” However, “whether or not the U.S. government heeds the calls by some advocates to kickstart a PEPFAR-style movement in countries that aren’t prioritized by the flagship HIV and AIDS program, the action plan is likely to impact aid procurement, particularly application requests for child health and safety programs, as [USAID] has committed to align its priorities with the plan’s strategy, beginning in a list of ‘focus countries’ that will be announced in June, according to an agency official,” the blog writes. “It is important for agencies to start looking at how they can align and reorient what they’re doing, and it’s very, very important that we all work together to figure out how we’re actually going to measure achievement of results. … We’ve got to get much more attention and serious about the measurement piece,” Boothby said, Devex writes (5/22).