Newsletter | July - Aug 2017
Dear CPC friends and colleagues:
In the opening section of this newsletter, we're sharing updates from CPC partners and affiliates in Colombia.  These colleagues have been undertaking important policy-focused research on issues that range from exploring the "micro-spaces" in schools (like sports fields and hallways) where children develop social and emotional skills to improving programs to ensure caregiver-child attachment for young children in areas marked by poverty, violence, and displacement.  I'm confident you'll be fascinated by the work that these pioneers are doing.
With no fewer than six new reports and articles from CPC faculty affiliates below--as well as four other new reports from partners, additional announcements, training opportunities, and conference updates--the below newsletter gives a glimpse of the intense momentum that has developed around measuring the care and protection of children.  It is an exciting time to be a part of the movement.
Please don't hesitate to be in touch or to share resources at We hope to hear from you.
Mark Canavera, Associate Director
Focus on Colombia
CPC faculty affiliates at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá continue to pursue various fascinating strands of work that will help policymakers in Colombia to improve how children are learning, growing, and developing throughout the country.
Sandra Garcia and her colleagues Dario Maldonado and Andrés Molano are delving deep into school environments and beyond the classroom in their project, "School micro-contexts and socio-emotional development: 'unclaimed spaces' at school and their role on risks for adolescents’ development."  Working with a representative sample of public and private schools in Bogotá, they are using surveys, school maps, and other methods to understand how “micro-contexts” within schools—so-called “unclaimed spaces” like sports fields, cafeterias and eating areas, bathrooms and hallways—represent spaces where adolescents develop social and emotional skills.  The study includes explorations of risky behaviors (aggression, weapon use, and substance abuse, among others), protective behaviors (participation in sports, teacher-student relationships and social support, among others), and how school teachers and directors understand and engage with these events.  The study—whose results will be available in 2018—will provide evidence about the role that unclaimed spaces play on the development of socioemotional skills and will also provide relevant information to schools and policymakers for the design of interventions outside the classroom.
Arturo Harker Roa, also a professor at the university's School of Government, continues to expand learning from the Semillas de Apego, or "Attachment Seeds," initiative, which you can hear Arturo present on our YouTube channel (starting at the 30-minute mark).  Partnering with the Child Trauma Research Program at the University of California-San Francisco and the Genesis Foundation, Arturo and his colleagues are studying the impact of this group-based early childhood development program to protect children growing up in environments of violence and extreme adversity.  In a country where over half a million children between zero and five years of age have been affected by violence and forced displacement, protecting children from the negative consequences of violence and displacement has become a key challenge for the country to transition to a post-conflict stage and for the construction of a more equal and peaceful society. Starting next year, the team will implement the next phase of the program in Tumaco, a poverty and conflict-ridden municipality on the Pacific Coast of Colombia, reaching a total of 640 families and nearly 2,000 children. The impact evaluation of this phase will be a randomized controlled trial, which will provide rigorous learning for policymakers about early childhood interventions in the most challenging settings.
Last but not least, Amy Ritterbusch has been supporting the Transforming Households: Reducing Incidence of Violence in Emergencies (THRIVE) project, which is being undertaken jointly by the CPC Learning Network and UNICEF to bridge the gap between humanitarian interventions that aim to prevent and reduce violence against women and girls with those that work to combat violence against children. In late May, CPC Learning Network research associates conducted an in-depth training of the data collection team, including piloting of the research instruments. Now fieldwork is in full swing in a neighborhood in southern Bogotá with a large concentration of displaced people as well as in Tierralta, Córdoba, a department toward the Atlantic coast of Colombia.  Amy has also been supporting work to better understand violence against children in Uganda; in addition to co-authoring the article described in the following section, she is working to finalize another component on that project related to children outside of family care.
To learn more about what CPC faculty affiliates are up to in Colombia, please feel free to reach out to them!  You'll find their contact information on their biography pages by clicking the links on their names above.
Publications from CPC Learning Network faculty affiliates
Preventing Parent-Child Separation: Myths and Facts from a KAP Survey in Central and Western Liberia 
The 14-year civil conflict in Liberia resulted in the separation of many children from their families. CPC faculty affiliate Mónica Ruiz-Casares and colleagues recently published this article in the journal Global Social Welfare, presenting the results of a population-based, multi-stage random cluster knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) survey of 1,157 child caregivers that was conducted in 12 districts in Liberia. They found that knowledge of alternative care and adoption is low and varies significantly by residence. Access to school is the main reason children are separated from their parents. Common misunderstandings include thinking that biological parents may migrate in cases of inter-country adoption and that there is a legal obligation to place children in institutions whenever they cannot be cared for by their parents. Willingness is high to foster children across all settings as well as to send children to live with relatives, non-relatives, or in orphanages, particularly in rural areas. The authors recommend that regulatory measures and public education campaigns be developed and evaluated over time with due consideration given to citizens' area of residence.
Read the article here, or contact Prof. Ruiz-Casares. 
Social Norms and Girls' Well-Being: Linking Theory and Practice
Recent scholarship and advocacy has highlighted a particularly powerful and long understudied force shaping girls’ well-being: social norms—rules of behavior rooted in culture.  This report, undertaken by CPC faculty affiliate Ben Cislaghi and colleagues on behalf of Data2x, synthesizes in an accessible manner the literature on social norms and their interactions with the lives of adolescent girls.  While paying special attention to the linkages between the theory and the practice of social norms, the report also presents two case studies looking at programs that have changed norms – child marriage in Guatemala and female genital mutilation/cutting in Senegal. The paper also reviews ways to measure social norms.  The authors suggest that improving girls’ well-being requires providing information about the consequences of harmful norms while creating safe spaces for community members to, together, question existing norms, expand personal capacities and aspirations, and reimagine existing relationships.
The full report is available here.  
You can also watch Ben and Alina Potts, Research and Evaluation Specialist for Child Protection (Violence Prevention) at UNICEF's Office of Research-Innocenti, provide an overview on social norms as they relate to violence prevention on our YouTube channel in a webinar from June 2016.
Measuring Child Protection Outcomes in Senegal: A population-based survey in Pikine and Kolda departments
Co-authored by CPC associate director Mark Canavera, faculty affiliate Ben Cislaghi, former CPC graduate research assistants Courtney Clark and Yasmine Anwar, Katherine Muldoon, and Mohamadou Sall, this report presents the findings for a baseline study about child protection and well-being in two departments in Senegal. The objective of this research—which was undertaken by the CPC Learning Network in collaboration with UNICEF's West and Central Africa regional office, Senegal office, and the Ecole Nationale des Travailleurs Sociaux Spécialisés (National School of Specialized Social Workers)—was to develop and pilot a rigorous, population-based survey to monitor the performance and effectiveness of the child protection system at a decentralized level. One of the study's innovations was its effort to measure social norms underpinning a number of child protection issues, including norms around female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), child marriage, and corporal punishment. This report presents detailed descriptive statistics for the survey administered to the 833 adolescents and 835 caregivers across both departments.  The modules covered in the survey included: demographics; relative poverty; household composition; child work and labor; child marriage; violence against children (physical, emotional, and sexual); FGM/C; interpersonal and community behaviors; friendship; parenting practices; and norms on violent discipline of childrenImplementing the same survey at several points in time will allow policymakers in Senegal to measure changes in prevalence of various forms of child abuse and social norms in a statistically representative manner.
Read the report here.
Measuring Impact through a Child Protection Index: Final Report, Time 1 & Time 2 Studies, Kiziba Camp, Rwanda
This report by CPC faculty affiliate Sarah Meyer, director Lindsay Stark, and collaborators Liberata Muhorakeye, and Sabrina Hermosilla is the result of a multi-year collaboration between UNHCR, the CPC Learning Network, AVSI Rwanda, and Plan International Rwanda.  By designing a child protection index (CPI), the study sought to assess whether a strong child protection system functioning in a refugee camp could better protect and prevent harm.  Through the time 1 (2013) and time 2 (2015) data collection points in Kiziba Camp in Rwanda, the CPI study sought to assess changes in child protection system strength and related changes in child protection outcomes.  Comparison of child protection system strength between 2013 and 2015 demonstrated mixed findings: some areas of the system showed stability, including a range of policies and procedures designed to prevent child protection risks as well as provision of services. Other areas, however, showed lack of improvement or decrease in strength, including gender parity in teaching staff, accessibility of education for children with disabilities, reporting of violent experiences, and utilization of services following sexual violence victimization.  The authors conclude that service providers would do well to maintain the current levels of services and programs while increasing their attention to service utilization, the weakest performing domain measured.  
The full report is available here.  More information about the CPI study, including studies in other settings, is available here.
You can also watch a 2015 webinar in which Sarah presents the CPI here, or you can watch Sabrina discuss an earlier iteration of this work in 2016 on our YouTube channel (beginning 16 minutes in).
Ugandan Households: A Study of Parenting Practices in Three Districts
Ugandan households play a central role in child care and protection, and household-level practices influence the ways in which children are protected from adversities. This study published in Child Abuse & Neglect was designed by CPC founding director Neil Boothby, faculty affiliates Sarah Meyer and Amy Ritterbusch, and executive director of the affiliated AfriChild Centre Joyce Wanican with other colleagues to identify community perceptions of protective and harmful parenting practices in three districts in Uganda. It employed free-listing interviews to determine priorities and practices deemed to be important in providing care and protection to children. Findings suggest that parenting practices can be grouped into seven basic themes, which are: investing in children's future, protection, care, enterprising, relationship with neighbors, intimate partner relationships, and child rearing. Investing in children's future, including educating children, was cited most often as a hallmark of positive parenting; while failure to care for children was most often cited as a hallmark of negative parenting. Concrete behaviors, such as walking a daughter to school; sewing a son's torn pants before going to church; and structuring study time at home were identified as concrete actions Ugandan parents undertake daily to promote their children's well-being. Conversely, specific contextual aspects of neglect and abuse were identified as central components of negative parenting, including lack of investment in children's education and not serving as a good role model. Building on community strengths is recommended as a principal means of enhancing household resilience and reducing childhood risk.
Read the article here, or contact Dr. Boothby here.
You can also watch Joyce and Neil present an earlier version of this study on our YouTube channel here (start at the 44 minute mark).
Integrating Livelihoods and Protection for Displaced Persons in Urban Humanitarian Response
Increasingly, cities and peri-urban areas have become the forefront of humanitarian response, diverting from the traditional paradigm of relief provision in rural and camp settings. The protracted refugee crisis in Syria has highlighted unique challenges and opportunities facing humanitarian efforts in complex urban environments, suggesting a need for greater innovation to respond effectively to the evolving economic and protection challenges faced by displaced persons. Laura Gauer Bermudez recently authored this guidance note on behalf of the Urban Crises Learning Fund.  This guidance note provides ten core principles that practitioners can follow when aiming to integrate livelihoods and protection programming in urban humanitarian response, with a focus on supporting economic outcomes for beneficiaries. Key actions in program design, illustrative performance indicators, notes on sustainability, and brief case examples are included. While the note is derived from experiences serving Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, its principles were chosen from a global desk review of relief efforts in urban humanitarian settings to provide informed guidance that has universal applicability.
Read the report here. 
Affiliate Announcement
CPC affiliate becomes director of population research institute in Senegal
We are delighted to announce that Professor Mohamadou Sall, who collaborated with us on the Senegal child protection baseline report described above, was recently promoted to become the director of his research institute, the Institute for Training and Research in Population, Development, and Reproductive Health at Cheikh Diop University in Dakar, Senegal.  Professor Sall holds an MSc in Demography and a PhD in Population-Development-Environment Interactions. In addition to overseeing the institute, he teaches population studies, demographic analysis, research methods, population and development, and population policy. He has been involved in many studies related to international migration, fertility transition, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, poverty, education, youth, and climate change.
Congratulations to Professor Sall! Those who would like to be in touch with him can do so here.
Past Webinars and Upcoming Webinar Opportunities
In case you missed it: "Adapting to Learn, Learning to Adapt "--Considerations for Child Protection Systems Strengthening in Emergencies 
On June 15th, Pia Vraalsen, an associate at Child Frontiers, and Mark Canavera, associate director of the CPC Learning Network, presented a webinar about the latest learning and thinking concerning strengthening child protection systems in emergency responses.  Systems strengthening has become a dominant paradigm for many child protection actors, but in spite of prevailing support, the conceptualization of a "system strengthening approach" remains an area of continued discussion, contestation, and consensus building. Various studies have indicated ongoing challenges in implementing and realizing systems strengthening approaches in practice. Co-hosted by the Alliance for Child Protection In Humanitarian Action, whose Systems Strengthening and Disaster Risk Reduction Task Force was co-led by the CPC Learning Network and Plan International, this webinar presented key learning and considerations for practitioners working through what "child protection systems strengthening" means for those working in humanitarian settings.
The webinar recording is available here

In case you missed it: Measuring Separation in Emergencies: Piloting Innovative Methods in Humanitarian Settings
On June 9th, the CPC Learning Network's Beth Rubenstein and Matt MacFarlane hosted a webinar on behalf of the  Measuring Separation in Emergencies (MSiE) project, an inter-agency initiative funded by the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and coordinated by Save the Children in partnership with the CPC Learning Network as part of the work plan of the Assessment, Measurement, and Evidence Working Group of the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. The overall aim of MSiE is to strengthen emergency response programs for unaccompanied and separated children through the development of a suite of practical, field-tested methods to asses of the scale and nature of children's separation from their parents and caregivers during emergencies. This webinar presented results and learning from two pilots fielded in Ethiopia and Haiti, including recommendations for next steps in the development of tools and methods.  
The webinar recording is available here.

Do you have a bright idea for a webinar?
We are currently planning our webinar series for the 2017-2018 academic year, and we would love to hear your ideas.  Please reach out to associate director Mark Canavera by clicking here if you have an idea that you would like to propose or to share.

Recent Events
CPC faculty affiliate Mónica Ruiz-Casares helps to organize major conference on child indicators
Mónica Ruiz-Casareswhose recently published work about parent-child separation in Liberia is featured above, served as one of the core organizers of the 6th conference of the International Society for Child Indicators (ISCI), which was held in Montréal from June 28th through June 30th.  Over 300 delegates from 47 countries came together in to share their newest research, practice, and policy-making initiatives for children.  Among the many themes were several presentations devoted to multi-dimensional child poverty indices and children's perceptions of well-being in diverse countries and settings around the world. All presentations will be archived on the conference website. In addition, all presentation abstracts will be archived indefinitely on the ISCI website.  Brava, Mónica and colleagues, and we're looking forward to the next edition to be held at the University of Tartu in Estonia, from August 27-29, 2019.  Save the date!
Other Articles and Reports
Economic Impacts of Child Marriage: Global Synthesis Report
The World Bank recently published a working paper synthesizing learning about the economic impacts of child marriage. Ending child marriage is now part of the Sustainable Development Goals, yet investments to end the practice remain limited across the globe. To inspire greater commitments towards ending child marriage, this study demonstrates the negative impacts of the practice and their associated economic costs. The Global Synthesis Report found that in a set of 25 countries for which detailed analysis was conducted, at least one in three women marry before the age of 18, and one in five women have their first child before the age of 18. The analysis suggests that by 2030, gains in annual welfare from lower population growth could reach more than $500 billion annually. The authors suggest that investing to end child marriage is not only the right thing to do but also makes sense economically.
Read the report here
Narrowing the Gaps: The Power of Investing in the Poorest Children
The new UNICEF report Narrowing the Gaps: The Power of Investing in the Poorest Children, reveals that investing in the health and survival of the most deprived children is not only right in principle but also cost-effective. The report presents compelling evidence that investments in children living in the poorest communities save almost twice as many lives per US$1 million as equivalent investments in non-poor communities. Drawing on new data from 51 countries where around 80 percent of all newborn and under-five deaths occur, the study shows that improvements in coverage of life-saving interventions among poor groups helped decrease child mortality nearly three times faster than among non-poor groups.
Read the report in English, Spanish, or French .
Early and Unintended Pregnancy – Recommendations for the Education Sector
Early and unintended pregnancy is a major concern in many countries that has a significant impact on the lives of adolescents—especially girls—in terms of their health, social, economic and education outcomes. There is a lack of operational guidance for the education sector on how to address early and unintended pregnancy.  This well-designed brief--produced by UNESCO in collaboration with UNFPA, the Ford Foundation, IPPF, and Step Up--lays out five priority areas for action that promote re-entry policies, comprehensive sexuality education for pregnancy prevention, access to school health services, and safe school environments for girls. It also provides recommendations that can help ministries of education and education stakeholders understand the effects of early and unintended pregnancy and the action necessary to prevent it. The policy brief is based upon a full evidence review available here and here.
Download the brief here.
SDG Baseline Report on Children in Indonesia
On July 18th, the Government of Indonesia and UNICEF launched a new report that sets a baseline for the government as it moves toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The first of its kind for Indonesia, the report uses government data to set a baseline for monitoring progress on key SDGs and targets for Indonesia’s 84 million children. According to the report, 57 percent of children in Indonesia grow up in families living on less than twice the national poverty line, showing the high degree of vulnerability and income insecurity of families with children. The report also highlights the government's commitment to prevent and reduce violence against children.  At the report's launch, Indonesia’s Minister of National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro said, “As the world’s fourth largest country, we are committed to reduce child poverty and end all forms of violence against children.” 
Access the report here.
Opportunities to Learn and Share
World Congress: International Association for Adolescent Health World
Registration is now open for the 11th World Congress on Adolescent Health, whose theme will be "Investing in Adolescent Health--the Future is Now" and which will be held in New Delhi, India, from October 27th - 29thThe event will be hosted by MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child and the Public Health Foundation of India and with the support of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India. The Congress will combine clinical and public health perspectives as well present new approaches and best practices that can contribute to accelerated action for adolescent health and rights, both globally and with specific reference to India and the sub-region. 
Learn more and register here
Webinar: Building Welcoming Schools--A Guide for K-12 Educators and After-School Providers
On August 29th at 5pm Eastern Daylight Time, Welcoming America will hold a webinar entitled "Building Welcoming Schools."  This webinar marks the release of the Building Welcoming Schools guide, a collection of six activities designed to offer schools and after-school learning centers an easily accessible way to promote a welcoming environment for refugees. Teachers, staff in resettlement youth programs, or others who work with refugee children and youth will benefit from this hour dedicated to exploring how to make our learning communities places that fully engage and welcome refugee children and youth.
Read more and register here
Call for Submissions: Society for Research on Adolescence
The call for submissions for the 17th biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence is currently open.  The meeting will be held from April 12th to 14th in Minneapolis, MN, USA. People with an interest in any aspect of research on adolescence are encouraged to submit. Empirical, theoretical, historical, and methodological submissions from all disciplines related to adolescence are welcome. Both graduate and undergraduate submissions are welcome to submit.  Submissions for papers, posters, roundtables, workshops, data blitzes, and innovations are due on September 7th.  There will also be opportunities to apply for travel awards for SRA early career members and student members.
Read the guidelines and submit here.
Call for Submissions: International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM)
The 2018 International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) conference will be hosted by the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies at the University of Macedonia and the Laboratory for the Study of Culture, Gender, and Borders in Thessaloniki, Greece from July 24th to 27th, and the call for papers is open until September 30th, 2017.  Entitled "Whither Refugees? Restrictionism, Crises, and Precarity Writ Large," the conference is welcoming proposals for organized panels, roundtables, media and artistic presentations, and individual papers for sessions.
Read the guidelines and submit here.
Forum: Sexual Violence Research Initiative
It's not too late to register for the 2017 Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum, which will be held from September 18th to 21st in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  This event, will bring together over 450 researchers, gender activists, funders, policymakers, service providers, practitioners, and survivors from around the world who are working to understand, prevent and respond to sexual and intimate partner violence.  We are also excited to be supporting a special session co-hosted by Together for Girls and the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, about the INSPIRE framework, seven evidence-based strategies for approaching violence prevention and ways to translate research into programmatic action.  Co-leading the INSPIRE Working Group with the World Health Organization has been an exciting opportunity for the CPC Learning Network, and we're happy to start spreading the word!
Read about the SVRI Forum and register here.
Applications Open for Young Leaders Program: Women Deliver
Applications are currently open for the 2018 class of Women Deliver's Young Leaders Program.  This program trains, elevates, and empowers youth advocates to catalyze action for gender equality, including the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls, women, and young people.  Young leaders between 15 and 28 are eligible to apply, and the deadline is October 13th.  Spread the word!
Read about the Young Leaders Program and apply here.
New Master of Science Program: Population and Family Health
You may not know that the CPC Learning Network Secretariat is housed in the Department of Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.  We are pleased to announce that our home department has recently created a Master of Science program that can be completed in nine months or part-time over the course of two to three years.  Consider coming to study with us!
Learn about the program requirements and apply here.
UNICEF Headquarters: Child Protection Specialist - Social Welfare
UNICEF headquarters child protection team is recruiting a child protection specialist for social welfare. The Child Protection Specialist (Social Welfare) will develop and support the work of the office around prevention and response to violence against children and social welfare systems strengthening, including family support services, adoption, alternative care, and social protection. The deadline to apply is August 29th. 
Learn more about the position and apply here.  
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