On 6th December 2021, GNRC coordinators and contact persons from 57 countries that the GNRC is operating in, convened for a 3-hour virtual meeting to discuss the GNRC Assessment Report and plan its implementation. The meeting was graced by the GNRC Secretary General, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali; the President of Shanti Ashram and Vice Chair of the Arigatou International Advisory Group, Dr. Kezevino Aram; and the GNRC Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean region, Mrs. Mercedes Roman.
Dr. Aram commended the efforts of the members in supporting the in-depth assessment of the global Network. She lauded members for the work they have done over the years to promote the well-being of children. She remarked that the recommendations presented in the assessment report serve as valuable markers as GNRC marches towards a stronger, more invigorated Network and the GNRC 6th Global Forum. “In the last 20 years, the GNRC has evolved considerably and there are renewed expectations and demands to deliver on the Panama Declaration and commitments,” she said.
In his presentation, Dr. Ali noted that the goal of the assessment process was to solicit members’ views on how best to reinvigorate and strengthen the GNRC as it enters its third decade. He mentioned that a total of 100 adults participated in in-depth interviews, 81 children and three Arigatou International directors took part in focus group discussions, 68 adults and 86 children filled out online surveys, while eight others answered prepared questionnaires. “Their comments, insights and recommendations will be instrumental in shaping and guiding the GNRC’s work over the coming years,” he added. Dr. Ali described the assessment as a success, noting that the exercise had been a multi-stage collaborative process of GNRC members and coordinators, children, directors and staff of the Arigatou International, and partners, that had produced a broad list of recommendations presented in the assessment report.
During the meeting, it was noted that the suggestions put forward during the exercise were cross-cutting yet wide-ranging and cover the entire length and breadth of the Network, its functions and activities. Implementing these recommendations thus would help strengthen the GNRC’s core competencies and capacity to make impact on child rights and wellbeing.
At the meeting, the GNRC Secretariat invited all coordinators and contact persons to join hands in refining the recommendations and prioritizing what is most important to members. Six cluster areas were identified within which the majority of the recommendations fall. As a next step, participants at the meeting agreed to organize working groups around each of the cluster areas as follows:
- Working Group on Membership and Member Engagement
- Working Group on Shared Purpose
- Working Group on Communication
- Working Group on Resources
- Working Group on Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL)
- Working Group on Infrastructure (Internal working group within Arigatou International)
Major recommendations from the assessment have been listed by working group in Annex 1
The working groups are the link between the recommendations and action. The extent to which the results of the working groups will influence action will depend on the acceptability and feasibility of implementation. It should also be noted that while the working groups will focus on the areas within their jurisdiction, they will often address cross-cutting issues. As such, strong coordination will be required between working groups.
The responsibilities of each working group are as follows:
- Undertake a more complete analysis and review of the assessment recommendations that fall within the purview of the specific working group to determine feasibility. Refine the recommendations where necessary.
- Develop a clear workplan with timelines for implementation of key recommendations
- Mobilize and engage regional and national committee members, especially those at the grassroots, around the implementation of proposed actions
- Ensure that children have an active role in the process