October 8-9, 2013: Biennial Meeting of the CPC Learning Network
Venue: UNICEF and Refugee Women’s Commission Offices
Objectives: This meeting produced the following outcomes among CPC Learning Network partners and affiliated individuals and organizations:
- Took stock of the current state of the knowledge around child protection and family welfare, learning produced by both CPC Learning Network partners as well as others working on developing the evidence base for the sector;
- Collectively identified key knowledge gaps that would prove fertile ground for upcoming learning; and
- Discussed ways of working together moving forward to continue to fill these knowledge gaps.
Participants: The gathering brought together representatives of the CPC Learning Network’s Secretariat, Steering Committee, Program Learning Groups, Task Force leaders, and affiliated institutions, organizations, and individuals. 60 representatives from 9 countries and 31 agencies came together, with UNICEF and the Women’s Refugee Commission generously hosting the event.
9:30 – 10:00 Overview of the CPC Learning Network – current status of the Network
Presentation by Dr. Lindsay Stark and Mark Canavera
10:00 – 12:30 Information Exchange about Current Task Forces, Program Learning Groups (PLGs), and complementary learning initiatives
Facilitated by Solome Lemma and Mark Canavera
This session offered a general overview of the full spectrum of work taking place within the CPC Network. Taskforces, Program Learning Groups, and global partners gave 5-minute presentations on current activities, challenges, and key policy priorities. Some of the cross-cutting activities and priorities include university engagement and curriculum development for child protection, increased attention to childcare issues, and work on violence against children. Presentations were given by:
- Engaging Universities (Dr. Fred Ssewamala, Associate Professor of Social Work, Columbia University);
- Livelihoods and Economic Strengthening, hosted at the Women’s Refugee Commission (Josh Chaffin, Task Force Coordinator); and
- Assessment and Measurement (Courtney Blake, Task Force Member, OFDA Child Protection Advisor)
- Center on Child Protection, University of Indonesia (Santi Kusumaningrum, Center Co-Director);
- AfriChild Center of Excellence for the Study of the African Child, affiliated with Makerere University (David Mugawe, Executive Director);
- Burkina Faso PLG, hosted by Terre des Hommes, (Algassimou Diallo, PLG Coordinator);
- Liberia PLG, hosted by ChildFund (Henrietta Tolbert, PLG Coordinator);
- Colombia PLG, hosted by the Universidad de los Andes (Dr. Amy Ritterbusch, Assistant Professor at the School of Government, PLG focal person);
- Sri Lanka PLG, hosted by the Institute for Participatory Interaction in Development (Mallika Samaranayake, PLG Senior Technical Advisor)
Complementary Networks or Learning Initiatives
- Better Care Network (Severine Chevrel, Senior Coordinator)
- Global Social Service Workforce Alliance (Amy Bess)
- Child Protection Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group, CP MERG (Ghazal Keshavarzian, Knowledge Management Specialist)
- InterAction (Jessica Lenz, Senior Protection Specialist)
1:30 – 3:00 Recent Research and Learning
Moderated by Dr. Philip Cook and Dr. Karin Heissler
This session offered participants an opportunity to learn about current research being undertaken by CPC Network partners and other agencies.
- Santi Kusumaningrum, Center on Child Protection – University of Indonesia: a longitudinal cohort study on access to birth certificates.
- Dr. Amy Ritterbusch, Universidad de los Andes: a multi-dimensional poverty index for children in Colombia
- Dr. Les Roberts, Columbia University Program on Forced Migration and Health: new learning from DRC on monitoring grave violations of children’s rights
- Dr. Fred Ssewamala, Associate Professor of Social Work, Columbia University
- Mark Canavera, Associate Director, CPC Network: community-based child protection mechanisms in protracted refugee settings
- Dr. Jeannie Annan, Director, Research, Evaluation, and Learning Unit, IRC: advancing research and learning on parenting interventions in low-resource settings
3:15 – 4:45 Planned research and learning
Moderated by Josh Chaffin
In this session, researchers outlined exciting new work in the field of child protection. Researchers discussed the rationale for their studies, research questions, existing literature, methodologies, partners, funders, what the studies hope to accomplish, how they advance the field, and how they will be used to influence policy.
- Jo Sanson, Trickle Up: RCT in Burkina Faso on economic strengthening and child protection with the ultra-poor
- Ni Luh Putu Maitra Agastya, Center on Child Protection at the University of Indonesia: vulnerabilities assessment of children and families
- Timothy Opobo, Africhild Centre: Violence Against Children study
- Dr. Amy Ritterbusch, Colombia PLG: municipal level social policy research
- Monika Sandvik-Nylund: a new protective index for refugee settings
- Mark Canavera, CPC Secretariat: mapping social work training across West and Central Africa
4:45 – 5:30 Plenary reflections
Moderated by Dale Buscher
During this interactive session, participants discussed their thoughts, reflections and questions from the day. Some of the major themes that emerged included: university engagement and child protection curriculum development; mentorship and skills transfer programs for child protection scholars and practitioners; violence against children; and care of children in the home and in alternative care situations. Participants also identified the post-2015 agenda as an opportunity for the sector, and discussed strategies for translating research to practice.
8:30 – 10:30 Plenary presentation on developing a national strategy to enumerate children outside of family care
Moderated by Severine Chevrel, Better Care Network Senior Coordinator
Dr. Lindsay Stark and Dr. Rick Rinehart discussed a new initiative to enumerate children outside of family care in relation to Objective 2 of the US National Action Plan on Children in Adversity. Presentations:
- Dr. Lindsay Stark, CPC Learning Network Director
- Dr. Rick Rinehart, Senior Technical Advisor – M&E, USAID Center on Children in Adversity.
10:45 – 12:30 What are the policy implications of our learning?
Moderated by Dr. Joanna Rubinstein, Assistant Director of the Earth Institute for International Programs and Senior Advisor to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
This moderated discussion addressed the policy implications of our learning at the local, national and international levels. To advance policy goals, participants underscored the need to define key priorities; engage multiple stakeholders, including the private sector; work at multiple levels, including community, state and national levels; develop succinct and specific messages; and involve children who can provide a strong and assertive voice. Panelists included:
- Santi Kusumaningrum, Co-Director, Center on Child Protection-Indonesia
- James Kabbogozza, Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, Ugandan government
- Henrietta Tolbert, PLG coordinator, Liberia
- Rory Anderson, Director for External Relations, ChildFund International
1:30 – 3:15 Future directions for the CPC Learning Network
Moderated by Mark Canavera and Katy Barnett
Participants discussed their thoughts and suggestions on the Network’s future priorities for research and advocacy. Some of the suggestions included: honing in on The CPC Network’s niche as a hub for innovative child protection research, advocacy on the post-2015 agenda, research on technological innovations for child protection, focus on helping practitioners improve their research methodologies, expansion of CPC’s reach to other regions, notably the Middle East, and more research on child care and economic strengthening issues.