Romania has a resident population of 19.3 million, according to the National Institute of Statistics. Of this figure, around 4 million are children. Its economy is the fastest growing in Europe and many issues have improved since the collapse of the communist regime – mortality has declined, mobility rates have steadily decreased, and education is more accessible and of higher quality.
But there are still large areas of disparity between various population groups throughout the country, resulting in several key issues still needed to be addressed. For example, Romania’s Bacău region rates amongst the poorest in Europe, where children, especially from Roma families, live in extreme poverty.
Fondation Botnar contributes to a partnership between UNICEF, and the Norwegian and Romanian Government agencies. The partnership aims to develop a scalable minimum package of services (MPS) for children and their families in 45 communities in Bacău County using the digital platform Aurora. Designed for use by social and community health workers, Aurora is a digital real-time monitoring and evaluation tool that assists in selecting an appropriate MPS for each child and family.
The analysis of the Aurora databases shows a positive development for children in the 45 communities. Over 28,200 children and pregnant women and mothers received services and there has been an improvement especially for children without identity documents, children who dropped out of school, and children from families with risks to violence.
Following the proven results and advocacy efforts, October 2020 marked a milestone in the work as the Romanian Parliament adopted a law amendment that aims to set up a MPS for children and their families in all rural and urban communities in Romania.
Norway Grants, UNICEF, Fondation Botnar, and private sector funds.