Muscat: To ensure that children in Oman are being provided correct opportunities to enable them to thrive, the Sultanate’s government — in collaboration with UNICEF Oman — is developing a new digital information system.
The development of the new digital management system was one of the few landmark initiatives agreed upon at the recently concluded child welfare conference that was held in Oman, by the International Society for the Protection of Children from Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN).
A statement from UNICEF Oman said, “The cross-sectoral digitised information system is designed from a common perspective between child
protection, disability and early childhood development with the sole purpose of providing a comprehensive approach to ensuring every child thrives in life!
“One of UNICEF’s key programming areas in Oman is working with the government to make data work for children,” added the organisation. “Why? A digitised information management system will enable regular and robust data collection and analysis in the area of child protection so that no child is left behind!” the statement added.
The announcement of this digital system was accompanied by a case management system panel discussion, where child welfare and education experts could receive clarity on how this digital information system would work.
The Ministry of Health will collaborate with the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Education, as well as UNICEF Oman, to populate the system and ensure it is implemented properly.
At the ISPCAN conference, UNICEF teams from Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, Iran and Oman shared their experiences with parenting programmes so that teams could learn from each other’s practices of running them on the ground.
“To give families the skills and knowledge, UNICEF focuses on parenting programmes tailored to the varying needs of children, caregivers and parents,” Lana Al Wreikat, the UNICEF representative to Oman, said.
Dareen Khattab, a child protection specialist at UNICEF, said, “Data alone is not enough to tackle negative behaviour as it is important to understand the key driver for this behaviour.”
A statement from Children First Oman, a charity organisation that looks after the welfare of children in the country, said they were focused on “improving child welfare and protection through primary prevention and child health in the Sultanate of Oman.”
Children First Oman also took part in the session on positive parenting, which involved the “participation of the organisation’s president HH Sayyida Muna bint Fahad Al Said, Carlos Javier, the Regional Advisor for Child Protection at the UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, and a number of specialists in children’s issues.”
The Youth and Digital World Forum was held on the sidelines of the ISPCAN conference, where youth were invited to discuss problems children are facing as well as the issues that they face online.
“A number of youth initiatives were discussed at the Youth and Digital World Forum, which was implemented on the sidelines of the conference, through the involvement of 100 young men and women to develop solutions to children’s problems and issues online,” Children First Oman said.