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Dear friends and colleagues:

We are pleased to share with you a number of important efforts undertaken by actors across the international protection and welfare sector.  Below, you will read about pioneering research to measure the effectiveness of psychotherapy for survivors of sexual violence in the Congo. You will also learn about some of the first rigorous attempts to evaluate the impact of child-friendly spaces for children in humanitarian settings. These are just a few of the ongoing and upcoming pieces of research detailed below by CPC Learning Network members, partners, affiliates, and others.

We hope you will also take a moment to read about two new representatives of the CPC Learning Network.  Mrs. Praneetha Abeywickrema and Mr. Algassimou Diallo are the Program Learning Group coordinators in Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso, respectively.  We are sure that you will join us in welcoming them to the network.

Finally, learn about some exciting upcoming events and an important call for proposals from the Displaced Children and Orphans Fund at USAID.  With so many learning initiatives underway, it is clear that the evidence base for international child protection and family welfare is beginning to grow some roots.
Best wishes,

Dr. Lindsay Stark, Director
Lessons Learned: Conducting Research On Community Based Child Protection Mechanisms
An inter-agency desk review of 160 community-based child protection mechanisms (CBCPMs) conducted in 2009 found that they not only lacked effectiveness and sustainability but that some had caused unintended harm to children and communities.  In response, the Inter-Agency Learning Initiative on CBCPMs and Child Protection Systems launched a learning program in West Africa and East Africa, in Sierra Leone and Kenya, respectively. The initiative used rapid ethnography, an empirically oriented, bottom-up approach to learn about community based child protection mechanisms, with the goal of strengthening the links between government and community-based systems of child protection. Building upon this work, the Child Protection in Crisis Learning Network adapted and used the ethnographic approach and tools through work by the Program Learning Groups (PLGs) in Uganda and Liberia. 
To facilitate learning and collaboration across the initiatives, a three-day workshop was convened in Monrovia, Liberia from November 7 – 9, 2012, hosted by Child Fund, Liberia. During the workshop participants discussed methodology, approach, key findings, and challenges.  They also devoted time to developing this guiding lessons from the ethnographic research conducted in the three countries. This guidance is intended as an aid for other groups and initiatives in the planning and execution of ethnographic research on community-based child protection mechanisms, and to assist the learning of other groups and initiatives that study community-based child protection mechanisms. 
The full report is available here.
Evaluation of Child Friendly Spaces
Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) is an intervention frequently used by humanitarian agencies for supporting and protecting children in emergencies. Leading agencies are collaboratively developing standards and guidelines for CFS while strengthening the evidence base through a joint agenda for learning and research. World Vision International and Columbia University have begun a series of structured evaluations of CFS interventions in various contexts, to document evidence of protective and restorative effectiveness and to identify good practice in design and implementation. This report presents findings from the first study an evaluation of a CFS implementation for Somali refugees in Buramino Camp in southern Ethiopia.
The study found that all children showed improvements in relation to education and psychosocial well-being indicators. Three selected measures of psychosocial well-being showed an appreciable overall reduction in difficulties, increases in pro-social behavior and increases in developmental assets from baseline to follow-up in all children. In addition, the children participanting in CFS activities demonstrated major gains in basic literacy and numeracy, an important priority for caregivers. Areas where programming could have been strengthened include greater commitment to structured psychosocial activities within the schedule, more active outreach to secure the enrolment of girls from the widest range of circumstances, and efforts to ensure gender sensitivity in the instructional approaches adopted. Alastair Ager, Columbia University Professor and CPC Learning Network faculty affiliate, served as one of the lead authors on this study.  
The full report is available here.
Resilience: From Conceptualization to Effective Intervention
There is a growing interest in the framing of humanitarian and development activity with respect to the concept of resilience. A number of funders and development agencies have formulated explicit policy frameworks for promoting a resilience-based approach to their work. This policy brief draws from a broad range of contexts, perspectives and disciplines to offer a definition of resilience and explore key unanswered questions on the meanings, programmatic applications, and impact of resilience-based approaches. Alastair Ager, Columbia University Professor and CPC Learning Network faculty affiliate, worked with colleagues at International Rescue Committee and Yale University to develop this guidance.
The policy brief is available here.
Enumeration of Children Living Outside of Family Care
CPC Director Lindsay Stark and colleagues at Columbia University are leading an initiative on behalf of the US Government's National Action Plan for Children in Adversity to design a toolkit to enumerate children living outside of family care. Limited evidence currently exists on the number of children living outside of family care, despite universal agreement that optimal support for a child comes from a caring and protective family.  Project-based estimates have occasionally been undertaken to enumerate certain categories of children outside of family care; yet, efforts have generally lacked a common methodology and systematic focus, making it impossible to compare national data, monitor trends and measure the success of programmatic efforts to reintegrate children into family care. This toolkit will be a first step towards filling this gap, with the aim of supporting the National Action Plan's key objective to achieve significant reductions in the number of children living outside of family care. The US Government plans to pilot the toolkit in 2013/2014.
Scoping Studies of “Hard to Measure Issues”: Psychosocial wellbeing and Household Violence in Emergencies
The Child Protection Working Group Assessment & Measurement Task Force, which is co-led by the CPC Learning Network and Save the Children, is currently working on structured mapping of methodologies and tools to assess 'hard to measure issues’ which includes focus on the domains of: Sexual violence against children; Separation; Psychosocial wellbeing of children; Violence within the household; and Exclusion. On behalf of the Assessment & Measurement Taskforce, the CPC Network is coordinating two of these studies - psychosocial well-being of children and violence within the household.
These studies will first involve a structured mapping of existing methodologies and tools for measuring the nature and scale of the issue.  Based on initial mappings, a systematic framework will be constructed to evaluate methodological, ethical and logistical strengths and weaknesses of the various approaches to measurement. Findings are expected to propose guidance on what methodology to use, by whom, and at what stage/context within the humanitarian process; recommendations on how to make existing methodologies and tools appropriate and accessible to humanitarian child protection practitioners; and the identification of gaps that require the development of new methodological approaches. Researchers leading each study will be advised by an interagency reference group of measurement and issue-based experts.

Controlled Trial of Psychotherapy for Congolese Survivors of Sexual Violence
Survivors of sexual violence have high rates of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although treatment for symptoms related to sexual violence has been shown to be effective in high-income countries, evidence is lacking in low-income, conflict-affected countries. In this trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo, researchers randomly assigned 15 villages to provide cognitive processing therapy (1 individual session and 11 group sessions) or individual support to female sexual-violence survivors with high levels of PTSD symptoms and combined depression and anxiety symptoms.
The study found that mean scores for combined depression and anxiety improved in the individual-support group, but improvements were significantly greater in the therapy group. Similar patterns were observed for PTSD and functional impairment. At 6 months after treatment, 9% of participants in the therapy group and 42% of participants in the individual-support group met criteria for probable depression or anxiety, with similar results for PTSD. In this study of sexual-violence survivors in a low-income, conflict affected country, group psychotherapy reduced PTSD symptoms and combined depression and anxiety symptoms and improved functioninhe 
The full report is available here.
Scattered Dreams, Broken Promises
In October 2012, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) conducted research in the Kyaka II Refugee Settlement in southwestern Uganda to explore the relationship between the empowerment of adolescent refugee girls and the prevention of gender-based violence (GBV). This was the final research mission in a three-country series of assessments; the first two were completed in Ethiopia and Tanzania. The objective of the assessment in Uganda was to understand more about the protection and empowerment needs of, and opportunities for, refugee adolescent girls in Kyaka II as identified by girls themselves; to learn from existing programs that support refugee girls’ protection and empowerment; and to identify organizations that may be interested in piloting a program at Kyaka II focused on enhancing girls’ safety.
The study found that Adolescent girls in Kyaka II Refugee Settlement are concerned about a range of issues affecting their lives, including various forms of physical insecurity, barriers to education, limited peer and social support, poverty and overwork, and inability to meet their basic needs. This wide range of social and economic factors, together with poor program funding for services at the settlement, contributes to widespread experiences of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and other vulnerabilities. Some of the study recommendations include a call to prioritize funding allocation to programs that incorporate outcomes that are specific to adolescent girls, to increase security at camp and in schools, to improve access to education and to increase girls’ access to economic assets. 
The full report is available here.
Praneetha Abeywickrema
The CPC Learning Network is pleased to introduce Mrs. Praneetha Abeywickrema as the new CPC Learning Network coordinator in Sri Lanka. Mrs. Praneetha brings many years of experience in law, human, rights, and journalism.  She will be working with Malika Samaranayake, the director of the CPC Learning Network, Sri Lanka, to strengthen and expand the group’s work on child care, protection, and development.
Algassimou Diallo
The CPC Learning Network is pleased to announce the creation of a Program Learning Group(PLG) in Burkina Faso, which is housed at Terre des Hommes Foundation. The Burkina Faso PLG will be headed by Mr. Algassimou Diallo, who brings over ten years of experience in community and youth development. We will share more as this learning group develops its plans and work.
Displaced Children and Orphans Project
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and  its Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF) have released an RFA for actors working to strengthen national child protection systems in order to prevent unnecessary family separation and enable children outside of families to be placed in appropriate family care. John Snow International (JSI) is acting on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF). It is anticipated that three awards of up to $4.4 million each, to be implemented over a three year and six month period, will be awarded through this solicitation. The aim of the solicitation is to strengthen national child protection systems in order to prevent unnecessary family separation and enable children outside of families to be placed in appropriate family care. This RFA prioritizes applications targeting the countries of Uganda, Moldova, Burundi, and Mozambique.
The full RFA is available here
UNICEF and Friends International Social Enterprise Luncheon
UNICEF and Friends International invite you to The Social Enterprise Saving Lives and Building Futures of Street Children and Youth luncheon on July 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm.  Sebastien Marot, the founder of Friends International, will present on the organization’s innovative social enterprise approach to meeting the needs of  marginalized children and youth in a rapidly changing development environment. This event will be held at UNICEF Headwuarters, 3 United Nationals Plaza. To register, please e-mail:, or call Iris Sagi, US Funding Officer for Friends International at  718-916-0817.
International Society for Protection of Children from Abuse and Neglect European Regional Conference
Dr Alastair Ager, Professor of Clinical Population & Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health will represent the CPC Learning Network at the International Society for Protection of Children from Abuse and Neglect European Regional Conference in Dublin, 15-18 September 2013. Dr Ager will present within a symposium on Protecting Children in Adversity that will summarize outcomes from the USG Evidence Summit on Children Outside of Family Care of December 2011 and the subsequent formulation of US government strategy on this issue. ‘Strategies for Strengthening the Global Evidence-Base Regarding Needs of and Interventions for Children Outside of Family Care’ summarizes a structured review of the literature regarding monitoring, evaluation and research strategies to better document outcomes for children growing up outside of family care and the interventions targeted to address their needs.
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