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A Grounded Approach to the Definition of Population-Based, Child Protection and Well-Being Outcome Areas

The field of child protection has suffered from having a weak evidence base, including too little attention to systematic evaluation and a reliance on process indicators rather than outcome indicators that can show meaningful improvements in children’s lives. 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 such as those of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (the African Charter) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

To contribute to the development of such outcome definitions, interagency research was conducted during May-August, 2011 in four chiefdoms in Sierra Leone—two in Moyamba District and two in Bombali District. Moyamba is in the south and is predominantly Mende speaking, whereas Bombali is in the north and is predominantly Temne speaking. Although the research did not attempt to study a national sample, Bombali and Moyamba Districts are regarded as being relatively typical of a society that is still primarily agricultural in nature. The research is part of an inter-agency, grounded learning initiative that aims to strengthen child protection practice in the global child protection sector through research in Sierra Leone and Kenya.

Published 2018-12-01