Evaluation of Child friendly spaces: Ethiopia Field Study Summary Report

World Vision International and Columbia University have begun a series of structured evaluations of CFS (Child Friendly Spaces) 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. It is the first piece of research in a multi-year project that aims to provide an evidence base for CFS programming. Top line findings of the study include:

  • All children showed improved psychosocial wellbeing after several months in the camp, whether or not they participated in the CFS. This demonstrates children’s resilience and adaptability. It raises issues of attribution when measuring the impact of CFS interventions on children’s wellbeing.
  • Children with extreme psychosocial difficulties demonstrated slightly greater improvement than others if they attended the CFS, indicating that CFS had a normalising role in supporting children’s adjustment for the most affected children.
  • Younger boys demonstrated particularly increased wellbeing through CFS attendance. This raises issues around whether activities fully consider gender dynamics.
  • Young girls who attended CFS had greater ‘developmental assets’ than those who didn’t. This indicates that CFS were reaching more resilient girls, and raises issues of targeting.
  • Reporting by children and caregivers of protection risks in the camp and stresses on caregivers increased in relation to those children who were not attending the CFS, but not for those who did. This indicates that the CFS provide a buffer for children and caregivers in relation to their frustrations at camp conditions
Published 2013-03-15

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