More than 60 participants gathered in London Sept. 11–15, 2017, to consider ways to further develop and strengthen country leadership in assessing and ultimately accelerating national reform in alternative care for children in four countries: Armenia, Ghana, Moldova and Uganda.
Country teams came from government agencies (ministries of labor and social development, health, education and justice), civil society organizations, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and country missions of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to learn and share experiences. Those attending the workshop are working to ensure children grow up in protective family settings, free from deprivation, exploitation and danger.
MEASURE Evaluation, through funding and support from USAID’s Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF), facilitated a workshop that involved country teams reviewing and adapting a structured self-assessment tool developed by MEASURE Evaluation. The tool measures a country’s status on implementation of the United Nations’ Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. It helps teams assess their status in leadership and governance, workforce, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and information systems, financing, service delivery and social norms.
The workshop provided participants with a opportunities to share experiences in national care reform strategies; learn from leading international experts in care reform from Lumos, Better Care Network, Child’s i Foundation, Hope and Homes for Children, and Family for Every Child; review and begin adaptation of the self-assessment tool; and participate in M&E capacity building sessions in the areas of data demand and use, M&E basics and M&E system strengthening. The workshop ended with countries presenting implementation plans for implementing and using results from the self-assessment, as well as preliminary activities for continuing information sharing across the four countries.
MEASURE Evaluation activity lead Molly Cannon, of Palladium, said one of the highlights of the workshop was seeing the immediate applicability of the tool review. Participants discussed the need to adapt policies, consider different ways to collect and analyze data, and enhance work with other stakeholders.