Giving young people a future in Montenegro
Shortly after the 2008 financial crisis, youth unemployment rose to historically high levels in Montenegro and across South-Eastern Europe. In 2013, 41% of young Montenegrins were unemployed and faced shrinking job opportunities. Their education and skills were not well-matched to labour market needs. As a result, many young people were pushed into informal work, or not at all active in the labour market, which meant they faced long-term economic insecurity, and difficulty in making the transition to financial independence. Strengthening youth empowerment and employability was the focus of a DRT-F intervention in Montenegro that demanded integrated policy changes across education, skills training, labour legislation, and economic sectors.
The United Nations and national government worked on two main approaches designed to improve the position and prospects of young people in Montenegro. One important first step was to upgrade and develop greater coherence across youth-related policy and legislation, which resulted in the design of the Youth Strategy for Montenegro 2017-2021.
“The crux of the Youth Strategy is that Montenegro should be a country where young people are autonomous, involved in decision making and have decent jobs,” explained Nenad Koprivica, Head of the Directorate for Youth in the Ministry of Sport.
The strategy promotes higher quality education, economic and social security for young people, and greater participation of young people in community development.
New and innovative national policies and programmes were designed, based on the strategy, to support better educational outcomes, improved employability, and greater participation of youth across the country.
The creation of Pakistan’s first policy on home-based workers
Recognizing challenges that marginalized and vulnerable home-based workers face is what led the United Nations to include Pakistan among DRT-F recipient countries in 2015. Home-based workers and nutrition were identified as key areas for joint policy initiatives, and the government and Fund stakeholders joined forces to strengthen the policy and legislative environments for home-based workers in Pakistan. The result was Pakistan’s first draft policy on home-based workers.
DRT-F also supported the implementation of the first ever socio-economic survey of home-based workers in Punjab, which is where the bulk of home-based workers are concentrated. Findings from the survey led to the approval of a home-based workers policy by the Provincial Chief Minister of Punjab in April 2017.
Coordinated action helps tackle the issue of violence against women
Violence against women in Albania is associated with cultural traditions of patriarchy and hierarchy within the family along with traditionally strict gender identities, and perpetuated cycles of honour and shame. An Albanian Institute of Statistics survey, found that more than 59% of women had experienced some form of domestic violence in their lifetime, with 53% currently experiencing violence in their romantic relationships.
Addressing widespread and deep-seated patterns of domestic violence, effectively, requires coordinated action from a wide range of partners: from government to international organizations, and local civil society groups to law enforcement, legal officials, health care workers, and community leaders. Collective action is how they make a difference—and this approach is what the DRT-F capitalized on when stakeholders advised on policy development and sought to improve the legislative framework surrounding gender-based violence.
No single agency can hope to reverse gender-based violence trends on its own.
The result was the development of inclusive, coordinated multi-disciplinary responses and referral mechanisms, as well as campaigns that heightened public awareness about violence against women. Such work helped to change attitudes, improve laws, and in some instances, save lives. At the heart of the improved legislative and policy frameworks for combating gender-based violence is a strengthened Coordinated Community Response system that manages cases of domestic violence.
Scaling Up Nutrition: collaboration to end hunger and improve the health of children
The Delivering Results Together Fund supported the implementation of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative in Papua New Guinea. Scaling Up Nutrition is a multi-sector initiative that emphasizes the power of collaboration to end hunger and malnutrition. In Papua New Guinea, the initiative has led to the establishment and adoption of a new and integrated National Nutrition Policy 2016-2026—a plan being transformed into a nation-wide Strategic Action Plan.
A shared basis for the mobilization of resources, partnerships, and capacity building, prioritized under the initiative is child malnutrition in poorer communities. At the Port Moresby General Hospital the majority of patients are less than five years old, with many coming from poorer families where there is a lack of knowledge about children’s health and nutrition, and lack of access to basic resources like clean water. However, health workers and families have seen the positive results of SUN. Julie and Simon’s little girl, Binabina, was checked into Ward 1D in the largest referral hospital in Port Moresby at 16 months old because she way underweight for her height. Her parents knew something was wrong when her body swelled up abnormally, she lost her appetite, and her skin started to dry up and peel off. “Family members told me it was caused by hot water,” Julie recalls, “But I knew that wasn’t it.” The couple brought Binabina from their village to the capital in search of assistance.
At the hospital, Binabina was diagnosed with a form of severe acute malnutrition that affects children who lack protein and energy. It’s a condition that, in the same hospital two years ago, Binabina’s chances of survival were low. But because of policy changes to health and nutrition protocols, and the implementation of a new treatment programme for malnourished children, the mortality rate has dropped to less than 6% percent. This DRT-F supported programme focused on stabilizing the children’s condition, and then helping them to grow to their ideal weight.
Expanding testing and outreach in key communities
Community-based and led service delivery models are crucial for expanding access to HIV/AIDS services in Viet Nam. Civil society organizations have traditionally taken the lead in delivering community-based services in innovative ways. The Centre for Applied Research for Men and Community Health and other organizations are modernizing approaches and making new inroads to bring HIV testing to hard-to-reach communities. In one DRT-F funded programme stakeholders train testers to provide rapid diagnostic and counselling services at appropriate outreach locations in local communities.
As a result, in nearly 900 men who have sex with men were tested in Ho Chi Minh City, and 53 men accessed life-saving HIV treatment in the aftermath. Nguyen Thanh Huu, a local tester, said, “I have overcome my fear and that makes me proud of what I’m doing. Doctors and nurses look at us differently, and I feel I have more brothers. We reach our peers, which many people cannot.”