Child Rights Capacity Development Programme – Phase 2

Child to Child has been commissioned by the Oak Foundation to build the capacity of grantee organizations in applying the six principles of its Child Abuse Programme. We are now in Phase 2 of the project, working with 60 organizations across Eastern Europe and East Africa.

OAK Programme and 6 Principles

Oak’s aim through its Child Abuse Programme is to invest in initiatives that improve practice, influence policy and address the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Oak’s partners are supported to create better child protection systems and address the underlying drivers of sexual abuse and exploitation.

The Child Abuse Programme is underpinned by six interrelated and mutually reinforcing principles:

  1. Child rights-based
  2. Child participation
  3. Non-discrimination
  4. Best interests of the child
  5. Respecting and building on strengths
  6. Do no harm

Child to Child has been commissioned to support its grantee organisations to: improve their understanding of the six child rights principles; develop the practical skills needed to implement them effectively; and support the operationalisation of the six core principles within their child rights-focused work.

Whilst there are common features in the application of each principle, there are also distinct differences. The project has demonstrated that for all of the principles, specific guidance is often required, tailored and appropriate to the nature of the organisation’s work, its approach, and what it is striving to achieve. Staff may need training specific to their responsibilities; organisational systems and processes may need to be established; and tools and resources might need to be developed. Some resources are already available to support the capacity development of some of the 6 Principles. However, they often require adaptation to be relevant to the diverse organisations and institutions participating in this programme. The self-assessments have indicated that in many instances appropriate material is yet to be developed.

This capacity development programme provides a platform to enable participating OAK grantees involved in the project to develop and then access the resources they need. In the longer term the work undertaken through this emerging community of practice will also be of significant value to the wider community of agencies and institutions working to improve children’s lives and prospects.

Phase 1 – Achievements

Representatives of participating organizations from East Africa

Representatives of participating organizations from East Africa

Over the first two years of this project, Child to Child supported 60 organisations (30 in Eastern Europe and 30 in East Africa) to self-assess their implementation of the 6 Principles and identify strengths and weaknesses in their application. During this phase we have:

  • Developed and piloted a child rights blended learning a capacity assessment/benchmarking tool in collaboration with the National Network of Children, Bulgaria. The finalised tool has been rolled out with the 60 participating organisations from Eastern Europe and East Africa
  • Developed and facilitated a blended learning programme on the application of each of the Oak child rights principles and how to undertake the benchmarking process. This comprised of an online course and face to face workshops. Two staff from each of the 60 participating organisations have now had the opportunity to participate in the online course.
  • Provided ongoing tailored mentoring and support to all 60 participating organisations. As a result, every participating organisation has had the opportunity to self-assess their implementation of each of the principles and identify strengths and weaknesses in their application. Many have produced organisational development plans setting out how they will address the gaps which they have identified
  • Collected a growing collection of relevant resources (external and internal) which can potentially support operationalisation of the six principles and have ensured they are accessible for all registered project participants and (non-registered) guests.
  • Supported the formation and activities of task groups that have emerged relating to Child Participation; Action Plan/Strategy; and External Partnerships. This was a significant result from the workshops that took place in Sofia in September 2015 and is an important step towards developing a pool of expert advisors within the project’s emerging Community of Practice.

Phase 2 – Ongoing work

Workshop in progress in Arusha, Tanzania

Workshop in progress in Arusha, Tanzania

The project has just entered into a second phase. Over the next two and a half years, participating organisations will have the opportunity to collaborate in the development of capacity development resources to support their improved application of the principles. The ongoing work involves:

  • Assisting organisations working in a diverse range of interventions in the field of child abuse to deepen their understanding and continue to improve their application of the six principles in line with the ambitions which they identified in Phase 1 of the programme
  • Building an online resource centre to support sharing and learning around the six principles
  • Facilitating peer to peer support through the development of a Community of Practice
  • Developing a comprehensive range of online and face to face training opportunities to support the staff of participating organisations and their partners in their application of each of the six principles in a variety of professional settings
  • Supporting inter-organisational Task Groups which focus on addressing identified gaps in applying the six core principles.