Although generating usable evidence about child protection and family welfare is challenging in any setting, the contexts in which the CPC Learning Network operates often make this challenge especially daunting. CPC Learning Network affiliates often work in countries affected by natural disasters, armed conflict, and deep-rooted poverty and in areas where the creation and use of reliable data is not systematic. The lack of reliable data hinders the ability of service providers and policymakers to ensure that children receive appropriate care and protection to reach their full potential and that families and caregivers have the resources and supports needed to fulfill their roles.
A pre-requisite for building the evidence base needed for effective policies and programs is the establishment of rigorous, reliable, and valid tools and methods to assess, measure, and evaluate these issues. Through its Assessment and Measurement Task Force, the CPC Learning network is committed to developing creative and innovative methods and tools to measure issues of child protection and family welfare in humanitarian settings. In 2011, the CPC Learning Network and the Child Protection Working Group merged their respective measurement task forces to create the Assessment and Measurement Task Force. Through this Task Force, which the CPC Learning Network co-convenes with Save the Children, we produce research tools and methods that strengthen the capacities of practitioners and policy makers to measure and assess their work in humanitarian settings. The CPC Learning Network also extends this measurement work in additional development settings.
Concerning emergency settings, the Assessment and Measurement Task Force has established a list of “hard to measure” issues for which it is undertaking systematic reviews of current methods and tools; these reviews will be followed by projects to create and to pilot new methodologies. The “hard to measure” issues include: separated and unaccompanied children, psychosocial well-being, sexual violence against children and household violence. The Task Force is also continuing to refine emergency needs assessment methods and continues to review methods to measure grave violations of children’s rights in areas of armed conflict. Outside of humanitarian contexts, the CPC Learning Network is also developing methods to enumerate children living outside of family care and creating innovative child protection indices and frameworks.