Community Action to End 'Early Sex' in Kenya

Endline report on community-led child protection
K. Kostelny, K. Ondoro, M. Wessells | Oak Foundation | 2020
Community Action to End 'Early Sex' in Kenya

Community-level child protection has long been a priority in both humanitarian and development settings. Until recently, however, there has been little research using robust methodologies to analyze the effectiveness of community-level child protection interventions. A 2009 global, inter-agency review found a weak evidence base for the effectiveness of Child Welfare Committees, one of the most widely used child protection interventions at that time. The evidence indicated that Child Welfare Committees achieved low levels of community ownership, had modest levels of effectiveness, and were unsustainable. Local people tended to see them as ‘NGO projects’ and depended on the NGOs for continuing them.

Accordingly, an inter-agency meeting decided to develop and test systematically the effectiveness of more community owned processes of child protection that link with formal, government aspects of child protection, and to use the learning from the research to strengthen practice. Overseeing the process was an Interagency Learning Initiative on Community-Based Child Protection Mechanisms and Child Protection Systems, coordinated by Save the Children (London). The technical arm of the initiative—the Child Resilience Alliance—agreed to lead the technical aspects of the research and decided to use a participatory action research approach. Kenya and Sierra Leone were selected as the sites for the action research. This report is the final evaluation or endline report on the action research in Kenya.

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