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Europe Can Make the Difference: How Social Accountability Improves the Lives of Children

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TUESDAY, 6 May BRUSSELS – Communities around the world can hold governments accountable to their promises to improve child wellbeing, and the European Union must become their biggest champion, development and advocacy organisation World Vision said today in a newly released report.

The report "Europe Can Make the Difference: How Social Accountability Improves the Lives of Children" finds educating communities about their rights and equipping them to engage their governments in non-adversarial ways helps to improve essential services like healthcare and education.

As the international community works to draw up new global development targets to replace the Millennium Development Goals, the report details why accountable institutions at the local, national and global level hold the key to children surviving and thriving.

“Ending the preventable deaths of children under five will also depend on whether we invest sufficiently in people’s ability hold their governments to account,” said World Vision’s European Union representative, Marius Wanders.

“The post Millennium Development Goals world will need robust accountability mechanisms that equip the most vulnerable to be the drivers of effective and sustainable change.”

World Vision works with communities in 34 countries to implement social accountability programmes, and the results are remarkable, said World Vision director of local advocacy, Jeff Hall.

“We’ve seen communities, governments, and service providers come together to examine services from an evidence-based perspective, and collectively work to solve the problems they face. They compare reality against commitments, and push for change where there is a gap between the two. As government services improve, so does the well-being of children,” said Mr Hall.

“As the world’s biggest aid donor, the European Union and its member states have an influential role to play in shaping the next development framework. But we need political champions willing to stand up for the rights and ability of people to hold their leaders accountable when children are excluded from the health and education they deserve,” said Mr Wanders.

“The European Union must set an international example by increasing investment in social accountability to ensure the needs of vulnerable children and communities are at the forefront of the post 2015 development agenda.”

ENDS

For interview request and more information contact: Alexandra Matei, +32(0)486 76 89 95, Alexandra_Matei@wvi.org