Share This:
CPC Network January-March Newsletter
Note from the Associate Director
We are delighted to share this update with you concerning the activities and initiatives of the many partners who comprise the Child Protection in Crisis Learning Network.  In this update, you will find links to several new reports that we have recently published, all of which are available on the CPC Learning Network’s website.  You’ll also read about exciting new initiatives emerging in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
We are also thrilled to be welcoming on-board a part-time communications and advocacy manager.  Ms. Solome Lemma comes to us with a truly impressive background and invigorating passion for our work.  In addition to her solid experience working with partners around the world with the Global Fund for Children, Solome has also launched impressive platforms that support people from developing countries to share their own stories.  Her work to empower individuals from the Horn of Africa to tell their own stories through online and social media caught the eye of the White House, which honored her as a “Champion of Change.” Most recently, Solome founded the non-profit organization Africans in the Diaspora, which introduces a new paradigm for social and economic development for the continent. 
With Solome’s help and all of your input, we’re aiming to improve our communications internally and externally throughout the CPC Learning Network.  Moving forward, the important evidence that we are developing together can reach the right practitioners and policymakers to better protect children and strengthen families.
Mark Canavera, Associate Director
LIBERIA:  An Integrated Review of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Programming in Liberia
We are very pleased to announce the completion of a new report, Examining Promising Practice for Young Survivors: An Integrated Review of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Programming in Liberia, prepared by Columbia Ph.D. candidate Debbie Landis under the supervision of CPC Network Director Dr. Lindsay Stark.  The report, based on a three-month study conducted through the CPC Network’s Program Learning Group in Liberia, discusses the methods and outcomes of current sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention and response interventions in Liberia, and also identifies promising practices that can inform future programs and policies.  The study consisted of a review of program-related reports and materials, key informant interviews with government and NGO representatives, and interviews with young SGBV survivors.   The Women’s Refugee Commission, which serves as a key partner organization for the CPC Learning Network, promoted this report with interested stakeholders in New York in an event in late March.
Key Findings
  • Legal framework and national structure for response to SGBV cases are strong, but access varies significantly by location.
  • The promotion of community-based protection structures and empowerment and skill-building interventions were thought to be positive methods of prevention and response. However, there is a notable lack of rigorous research demonstrating measurable change to support these promising practices.
  • Although the Government of Liberia and its partners should be commended for their efforts in preventing and responding to SGBV, a strong evidence base must be pursued in order to determine promising practices and their impact.
LIBERIA: Mapping Community-based Child Protection Mechanisms in Liberia: Montserrado and Nimba Districts 
The CPC Network’s Liberia Program Learning Group are proud to announce the completion of a report delivering the findings of a study of community-based child protection mechanisms in Liberia’s Montserrado and Nimba districts, which will be available on the CPC website soon. Community-based Child Protection Mechanisms (CBCPMs) consist of people, groups and networks in communities that prevent and address concerns related to child protection at the grassroots level. The CBCPMs can only be strengthened once there is a clear understanding of existing child protection mechanisms and their services. By examining the current mechanisms for community-based child protection and the connection between local and national systems, these findings can guide CBCPMs towards better protecting vulnerable children in a stable and effective manner.
This research used community mapping to explore local perceptions and experiences of child protection in five sites in both the Montserrado and Nimba counties. Communities in each county suggested linkages between key themes in child protection, shedding light on major concerns within the communities and where potential points for prevention or intervention might exist. The study elicited responses about concerns and suggestions surrounding such themes as teenage pregnancy, child labor, rape, kidnapping and other child protection issues. These insights, along with a better understanding of how child protection is carried out within these communities, will provide for a clearer path to strengthening and expanding CBCPMs in Liberian communities in the future. 
For more information about the Liberia Program Learning Group’s activities, please contact Henrietta Tolbert at
SIERRA LEONE: A Grounded Approach to the Definition of Population-Based, Child Protection and Well-Being Outcome Areas
CPC director Dr. Lindsay Stark has been working closely with an inter-agency learning initiative in Sierra Leone, coordinated by Save the Children on behalf of an inter-agency group, to advance learning about supporting community-based child protection mechanisms.  The report from the newest phase of the research, A Grounded Approach to the Definition of Population-Based, Child Protection and Well-Being Outcome Areas, is available on the Community Child Protection Exchange Forum, an online hub to share learning and promote discussion related to community-based child protection. 
This study discusses the findings following community-based child protection mapping in 12 communities in Sierra Leone. As the field moves increasingly toward the development of national child protection systems, it is important to define outcomes that can guide the construction of measures that can be used to gauge whether a child protection system is effective. Ideally, the outcomes should reflect children’s assets and well-being as well as deficits, apply to populations rather than particular projects only, and reflect a mixture of local views and insights from international child protection standards Broadly, the goal of this research is to identify empirically how to forge better connections between communities and the government-led elements of the national child protection system in Sierra Leone. The findings from this research will inform policy to strengthen the formal child protection system, including identifying ways in which the formal system should change or adapt to improve linkages and be more accessible (practically and culturally) to communities.
Key findings:
  • In regard to child protection risks, the desired outcome areas are reductions in: teenage pregnancy, out of school children, maltreatment of children who are not living with their biological parents, heavy work, child beating, sexual abuse.
  • In regard to children’s well-being, the desired outcome areas are increases or improvements in: education, contribution to household activities, obedience, respect, noninvolvement in ‘mama en dadi business,’ and contribution to family livelihoods.
  • It is important, to complement the risk reduction and well-being outcome areas  defined in this study with others derived from a careful situation analysis and attention to international child rights standards and national law.
UGANDA:  Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Children
CPC faculty affiliate Dr. Fred Ssewamala of the Columbia University School of Social Work recently published an article in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health entitled “Family economic empowerment and mental health among AIDS-affected children living in AIDS-impacted communities: evidence from a randomised evaluation in southwestern Uganda.” The study was centered on the concern that children who lose their parents to HIV/AIDS are at once susceptible to the psychological distress and the economic challenges of orphanhood. Because of the complex needs of these children, psychological counseling alone is an inadequate method of supporting these vulnerable children. While the trials they have endured by losing their parents negatively impacts mental health, the prospect of a poverty-stricken future only furthers the feeling of hopelessness many of these children experience.
The study examined the extent to which a family economic empowerment intervention consisting of matched child savings accounts, financial management workshops and mentorship —in addition to psychological counseling— may impact the mental health functioning of children whose families have been affected by HIV/AIDS
Using multivariate analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial, the team found that the economic empowerment intervention reduces feelings of hopelessness and depression levels in vulnerable children, increasing mental health functioning. As hopelessness and depression severely impact the development and well-being of children, these findings have significant implications for public health programs supporting children living in low-resource, AIDS-impacted communities. The study suggests that innovative economic empowerment interventions can provide the hope of a more healthy and secure future for the children who need it most.
For more information about the Uganda Program Learning Group’s activities, please contact Timothy Opobo at
GLOBAL: Opting Out of War
CPC Network Associate Director Mark Canavera’s research in Burkina Faso to examine conflict prevention mechanisms in that country is featured in the new book Opting Out of War: Strategies to Prevent Violent Conflict by Mary Anderson and Marshall Wallace.  Co-author Mary Anderson is best known for her book Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace – or War.
On March 24, 2013, Open Society Foundations (OSF) organized a high level meeting on access to justice and post MDGs agenda Bali. Santi Kusumaningrum, Director of the Center for Child Protection, participated in the meeting that included legal professionals from Sierra Leone, Egypt, Indonesia and Bangladesh, as well as the Former UN Special Ambassador for MDGs in Asia Pacific and George Soros. At the meeting, participants confirmed that a desire to integrate an access to justice component in the next global framework (post 2015) is present among most United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) member states. The challenge is, however, to provide the panel (and member countries) with concrete suggestions on how to package the theme of access to justice into tangible objectives based upon which countries can develop their own national development agenda. Follow up discussions and conversations will take place to ensure address these challenges and ensure a justice framework is integrated into the post 2015 agenda. Santi is expected to provide input on these subsequent discussions, including the access to justice document being presented to the UNGA.
To learn more about the work of the Center on Child Protection at the University of Indonesia, please contact Santi Kusumaningrum at
SRI LANKA:  Preventing violence and abuse through information and advocacy
At the request of the National Child Protection Authority, the CPC Network agreed to fund the printing of 20,000 leaflets that raise awareness about child protection methods that have been put in place, particularly seeking to inform tourists visiting Sri Lanka.  The expectation is that this will remind tourists to be mindful and vigilant of any violent or abusive behavior towards any child. The leaflet promotes the toll-free, 24-hour child line for Sri Lanka’s National Child Protection Authority (NCPA).
These leaflets have been distributed amongst the tourists visiting Sri Lanka, hotels, guest houses, boutique hotels and places of interest and attractions in Sri Lanka.  Furthermore, reference is made to this leaflet by NCPA in conducting advocacy programs amongst communities in the vulnerable areas of Negombo, Hikkaduwa and Galle.  After this initial round of advocacy, NCPA will gradually spread this information all districts of the country with the aim of reducing abuse of vulnerable children.
To learn more about the work of the Sri Lanka Program Learning Group, please contact Mallika Samaranayake at
Save the Children Child Protection Panel Discussion (video)
In Save the Children hosted a panel discussion in October 2012 focused on the question: “What does it take to Breakthrough in Child Protection?” The panel engaged professionals working in child protection in a discussion about the opportunities and challenges to ensuring that “All children thrive in a safe family environment and no child is placed in harmful institutions.” 
Mark Canavera was one of the contributors to the Breakthrough panel. His remarks referenced the growing support in the field for child protection and the need to now bolster evidence about what works in child protection internationally. The panel echoed Mr. Canavera’s belief that there is a powerful need for more integrated approaches to child protection and a stronger foundation for their goals, including estimates of vulnerable children and basic alternatives to traditional care.
To hear more about filling in the gaps and working towards reaching a Breakthrough in child protection, please find highlights of the panel discussion here and the full panel discussion here. The discussion can also be found on Save the Children’s Resource Centre on Child Protection and Child Rights Governance here.
Regional Inter-Agency Learning Workshop on Child-Friendly Spaces Impact Evaluations in East Africa – Successes, Challenges, Lessons Learned
From April 16th to 18th in Uganda, the CPC Learning Network will co-host regional learning event about Child-Friendly Spaces in Uganda.  World Vision International is partnering with Columbia University in a global research and learning project to strengthen the evidence base on the effectiveness of Child Friendly Spaces in emergencies and to identify good practice in design and implementation. The project focuses on documenting the impact of CFSs on children’s social and emotional wellbeing, sense of security and protection and – where appropriate – acquisition of skills and competencies.
Having conducted the first three out of six planned studies in East Africa – Ethiopia and Uganda – it is time to pause, reflect and take stock of successes, challenges and lessons learned, and share the preliminary findings with partner agencies and a wider audience working or interested in the field of child protection in emergencies.
Although the event is invitation-only, interested individuals will be able to request the workshop documents after the event from Jenny Lue at

60 Haven Ave. Ste. B4 | New York City, NY 10032 US

powered by emma

Subscribe to our email list.