A Grounded View of Community-Based Child Protection Mechanisms and Their Linkages with the Wider Child Protection System in Three Rural and Urban Areas in Kenya 

 

Contemporary discussions on strengthening national child protection systems agree that community-based child protection mechanisms (CBCPMs) are fundamental elements of child protection systems. Unfortunately, relatively little is known about the effectiveness and use of CBCPMs and their alignment and linkage with formal aspects of wider child protection systems. 

To address this knowledge gap and to help strengthen policy and practice around child protection, the Interagency Learning Initiative is implementing action research in Kenya and Sierra Leone. The first stage of the research, which is the focus of this report, involves systematic learning about existing CBCPMs and their linkage with formal, government led aspects of the wider child protection system. Subsequently, randomly selected communities will choose a child protection issue to address and will design and lead the implementation of an intervention that includes an appropriate link with the formal system. Before the intervention has begun, and following two years of implementation, children's well-being and risk outcomes will be measured using a survey instrument that provides quantitative data.

Following a quasi-experimental design, matched communities that do not engage immediately in a community-driven implementation process will be tracked over the same period of time using the survey instrument. A unique feature of this process is the use of population-based measures of children's risk and well-being that are based in part on local views of harms to children and children's well-being. This public health approach to child protection measurement could be instrumental in ensuring that steps to strengthen the child protection system produce measurable improvements in children's protection and well-being. 

Published 2018-10-25