Children’s Alliance for Realization of Child Rights

This is a path breaking project that was started by Open Learning Systems from 1st January 2011 in partnership with Save the Children, India and funded by European Union. The overall objective of the project is to improve children’s access to their basic rights in quality education, protection, and survival by facilitating child-inclusive governance through child participation in two of the poorest states in India i.e. Odisha and Bihar. The specific objective is to ensure full and meaningful participation of children to effectively engage in planning, implementation and monitoring of child development programmes and be directly represented in local, state and national decision-making and follow up processes. Open Learning Systems is implementing the project in 30 locations (14 villages of Nimapada block, 14 villages of PuriSadar block and 2 slums of Puri Municipality).

The project aims to make redundant the often heard excuse from key duty bearers that adults know what is best for children and that children do not have the capacity to take part in decision-making processes by inculcating within all key duty bearer agencies not only children’s capacity to engage, but their ability to deliver meaningful inputs into programme planning, design and implementation—inputs which are non-discriminatory in nature and are in their own best interest. The project envisages formation of a Children’s Alliance, led and managed by children, which will move beyond tokenistic measures of child participation by encouraging children’s inclusion and decision-making in addressing concerns with key duty bearers, and delivering new capacities and skills to children with which to plan and monitor, such as the use of print media, video, photography, and community and mainstream radio and television. Importantly, children will make the final decisions on how they will approach their activities—this in itself will have an empowering impact on the lives of children, particularly the most marginalized, and provide them with the skills and tools to sustain their efforts at the close of the project.