Indicators: Tools for Action

Indicators are based on the rights of children enshrined in the Convention. Governments can use these indicators to get a clearer picture of the state of child rights, to make better policy choices, to identify good practices and rights violations, and to make adjustments to policies, programmes and projects to scale up good practices or address violations. By using the indicators to monitor child rights in early childhood, governments will be able to:

  • Improve the lives of young children
  • Allocate resources more efficiently
  • Help their countries develop and prosper

The indicators are grouped under the headings of Structure, Process and Outcome:

  • Structure
    • Indicates a commitment to action
    • Refers to constitutional and legal provisions
    • Institutions in place and policies aligned with the CRC
    • The realisation of young children's rights
  • Process
    • Refers to efforts made and actions taken
    • Following from commitment:
      • Specific activities (action plans and programmes)
      • Resources and/or initiatives that help to realise young children's rights
  • Outcome
    • Refers to a resulting, measurable change in either:
      • "Rights Environment"
      • Early childhood development measures directly, such as an increase in the number of children registered at birth since the previous state report

These three categories of indicators complement other human rights indicator categories governments will need to use in reporting their observance of other human rights monitoring mechanisms. Indicators are monitoring tools that are essential to the realisation of rights in early childhood. In particular, they help to identify inadequacies in laws, policies and practices as the first step towards changing them for the better. Used with benchmarks or goals, they are powerful statements that help to monitor state obligations subject to progressive realisation of rights in early childhood.