Dear Partners of the Alliance,
As we draw 2018 to a close, we wanted to reflect on the year we are leaving behind and lay out our ambitions for the one we are entering. We must admit, 2018 has not been a good year for children. Despite tireless efforts by families, communities and front-line child protection workers, children continue to face threats to their well-being and healthy development. Wars, natural disasters, epidemics, forced migration, global warming, economic hardship, and laws that harm rather than protect children are among many reasons we continue to be concerned. The hard reality is that far too many of the world’s children are regularly exposed to abuse, exploitation, neglect and violence, both in society and in their homes. But this is exactly why the Alliance is ever more committed to its vision of “a world in which children are protected from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence in humanitarian settings.” We do this collaboratively with our partners, by supporting the efforts of humanitarian actors to implement high-quality and effective child protection interventions in humanitarian contexts.
2018 in a nutshell
In 2018, in partnership with you, your organizations, and our generous donors, we have made a solid contribution to evidence, knowledge and guidance to pave the way for more predictable and timely prevention and response efforts for children in humanitarian settings. The accomplishments of the past year have been informed by the Alliance’s 2018-2020 Strategic Plan and Work Plan. The priorities outlined within the work plans—integrated programming, evidence-based programming, and localization—will continue to guide the work of the Alliance Secretariat, four working groups, and six task forces in 2019. Across all priority areas, the Alliance is placing stronger emphasis on preventative approaches that address root causes of harm while continuing to respond to immediate needs.
Throughout 2018, the Alliance has focused on compiling and disseminating practitioner-friendly, evidence-based guidance and resources. The new Alliance website serves as the central distribution point for this work. Recent products of the Alliance include:
A research prioritization exercise helped inform the Alliance’s child protection research and evidence agenda. Priorities include cash transfers, family strengthening, child labour, integrated programming, children with disabilities, urban operations, and localization and sustainability.
This note provides guidance on engaging in responses to infectious disease outbreaks that ensure children’s protection needs are taken into account in preparedness for and in response to the outbreaks. Companion materials include a Briefing Note, Study Guide, and more.
This training package (with companion webinars and materials) was developed to increase case management supervisors’ confidence, capacity and support to caseworkers to provide safe, ethical and competent case management services to vulnerable children and their families.
- Child Neglect in Humanitarian Settings: Literature Review and Recommendations for Strengthening Prevention and Response
This literature review synthesizes evidence on the prevalence, patterns and impacts of child neglect in humanitarian contexts. It also identifies areas for further research and analysis. A companion Study Guide highlights essential points and encourages deeper understanding.
These collaboratively-developed briefs address the separation and detention of children/families along the southern US border. They reflect best practice principles derived from research, field work and international standards of care and protection for children.
While there continues to be a need for general guidance on Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (CPHA) programming, the Alliance recognizes that interventions are most effective when tailored to their particular context, and local actors play a unique role in contextualization. We are therefore proud that local and national organizations now make up over 40% of Alliance membership; some of those organizations have even assumed leadership roles for certain activities under the Alliance workplan. Their involvement will help ensure that global goals are responsive to on-the-ground realities.
The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (CPMS) continues to be widely used by local, national, regional and international humanitarian actors. The first version has been translated and contextualized for many contexts, including the launch this year of a contextualized version in Niger. However, years of learning from the application of the CPMS to various humanitarian contexts, as well as new and emerging evidence in the field of child protection, have led to work towards updating the CPMS. After a highly-participatory revision process in 2018, we aim to produce CPMS version two in 2019. The new version provides a more user-friendly, evidence-based, adaptable set of standards and guidance for protecting children in humanitarian settings.
The CPMS revision and the strategic planning process also revealed a need for greater cross-sectoral communication and collaboration. In response to that need, the Alliance and the Inter-Agency Network of Education in Emergencies (INEE) met for a joint Roundtable to discuss “A Framework for Collaboration Between Child Protection and Education in Humanitarian Contexts”. In October 2018, over 230 practitioners, researchers, donors, and policy makers from both sectors convened in Nairobi, Kenya to share best practices and identify common goals. The social media promotions related to the Alliance-INEE Roundtable and the conjoined Alliance Annual Meeting resulted in over 103,533 on-line engagements (likes, views, comments, etc.).
Looking forward to 2019
The progress of the past year serves as a foundation and a launching pad for 2019, which is already filled with ambitious goals. In the upcoming year, we anticipate:
- Release of the revised CPMS, accompanied by support materials;
- Release of the Inter-Agency Field Guide for Strengthening Community Based Child Protection;
- Release of the finalized Child Labour in Emergencies Toolkit; and
- Translation of the Toolkit and Field Handbook on Unaccompanied and Separated Children into French, Spanish, and Arabic.
We look forward to a 2019 full of collaborative spirit, enthusiasm to tackle difficult problems, and - hopefully - solid results for children. We encourage you to visit the Alliance website, engage in our peer forums for technical exchange, and consider how you can be part of our future activities. We wish you a festive holiday season and look forward to continuing our collaboration in the New Year.
The Alliance team