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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of international peer reviewed journals

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‘Children Heard, Half-Heard?’: A Practitioner’s Look for Children in the Responsibility to Protect and Normative Agendas on Protection in Armed Conflict

AUTHOR(S)
Jeremy Shusterman, Michelle Godwin

Published: 2018
When the United Nations (UN) agreed on a definition of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) at the 2005 World Summit, the two paragraphs it endorsed articulated what R2P stands for, giving the concept a focused but narrow remit around protecting populations specifically from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in armed conflict. In its next paragraph, the UN Membership reiterated concerns on the impact of armed conflict on children echoing the landmark 1612 Resolution by the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) adopted a few weeks before. Though side-by-side in the text, CAAC and R2P were not linked. To this day, for international practitioners in emergency responses, the interaction between both remains unclear. While this simultaneous peak moment for R2P and CAAC may have occurred by chance, this article describes how both concepts (as advocacy tools and instruments for practitioners to ‘respond’) emerged out of similar concern for protecting civilians – including children – in conflict. However, the link between both concepts should not be overstated. While R2P and CAAC fit together for the intentions they share, this happened more coincidentally than purposefully. This article argues, taking an international practitioner’s perspective, that both concepts should not be understood as always operating at the same level. CAAC has grown from an advocacy platform to an umbrella of different programmes, responses, tools and frameworks, including the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) on Children and Armed Conflict. Even if applied with variable success, these tools and approaches under the CAAC agenda chart some ways practitioners can hope to do more towards protecting children in conflict. But for those same practitioners, delivering on a Responsibility to Protect is a different question – one where their ‘responsibility’ is at best secondary and implicit, because R2P sits squarely as a primary and explicit responsibility of states – who are also the ultimate duty bearers for children’s rights. While the echoes of a child rights agenda can be heard in the conversation around R2P, and while R2P can help frame and drive efforts by child protection practitioners to respond to some of the worst situations children face, R2P is, for the protection agency field officer, an aspirational goal, necessarily out of reach.
Understanding the linkages between social safety nets and childhood violence: a review of the evidence from low- and middle-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Amber Peterman, Naomi Neijhoft, Sarah Cook, Tia Palermo

Published: 2017
As many as one billion children experience violence every year, and household- and community-level poverty are among the risk factors for child protection violations. Social safety nets (SSNs) are a main policy tool to address poverty and vulnerability, and there is substantial evidence demonstrating positive effects on children’s health and human capital. This paper reviews evidence and develops a framework to understand linkages between non-contributory SSNs and the experience of childhood emotional, physical and sexual violence in low- and middle-income countries. We catalogue 14 rigorous impact evaluations, 11 of which are completed, analysing 57 unique impacts on diverse violence indicators. Among these impacts, approximately one in five represent statistically significant protective effects on childhood violence. Promising evidence relates to sexual violence among female adolescents in Africa, while there is less clear evidence of significant impacts in other parts of the developing world, and on young child measures, including violent discipline. Further, few studies are set up to meaningfully unpack mechanisms between SSNs and childhood violence; however, those most commonly hypothesized operate at the household level (through increases in economic security and reductions in poverty-related stress), the interpersonal level (improved parental behaviours, caregiving practices, improved psychosocial well-being) and at the child-level (protective education and decreases in problem or risky behaviours). It is important to emphasize that traditional SSNs are never designed with violence prevention as primary objectives, and thus should not be considered as standalone interventions to reduce risks for childhood violence. However, SSNs, particularly within integrated protection systems, appear to have potential to reduce violence risk. Linkages between SSNs and childhood violence are understudied, and investments should be made to close this evidence gap.
Children as Internet users: how can evidence better inform policy debate?

AUTHOR(S)
Jasmina Byrne, Patrick Burton

Published: 2017
As more and more researchers from all over the world are becoming interested in how children use the Internet and mobile technologies, global evidence of both the opportunities that the Internet brings, and their associated risks, is increasing. A new research initiative, Global Kids Online, contributes to this through provision of tools and guidelines to national researchers and comparative analysis of country-specific research findings. For the first time, rigorous and comparable evidence from lower and middle-income countries (South Africa, Serbia, the Philippines, Brazil and Argentina) is available on a range of topics: children’s civic engagement, participation and digital literacy, as well as risky behaviour and negative experiences. But to what extent do current Internet-related or broader child rights policies (regarding education and protection) correspond to this growing evidence base? What are the opportunities, through evidence use, for influencing new policy direction related to children and the Internet? Drawing on recent research and an associated policy review, this paper explores the link between the two and provides some suggestions for policy and questions for further discussion.
Navigating Support, Resilience, and Care: Exploring the impact of informal social networks on the rehabilitation and care of young female survivors of sexual violence in northern Uganda

AUTHOR(S)
L. Stark, D. Landis, B. Thomson, Alina Potts

Published: 2016
Sexual violence is an issue of significant concern in conflict-affected societies, with girls often among those most affected. While formal support services such as medical care, psychosocial support, and legal assistance for survivors are undeniably important, informal actors also play a key but poorly understood role in assisting survivors. This study examines the experiences of young female survivors of sexual violence in northern Uganda in order to explore the variety of roles (both positive and negative) that informal support networks played in contributing to survivors’ healing and recovery. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 female survivors of sexual violence between the ages of 13–17 who were living in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Lira, northern Uganda. Each girl participated in a series of 4 interviews over a 1-year period. Girls participating in this study identified social stigma to be the primary source of psychosocial distress following an incident of sexual violence, as well as the most significant barrier to their recovery and reintegration. Findings also suggest that the relationship between a girl and her perpetrator had a significant impact on the type of follow-up support she received—particularly with regard to her ability to access justice. Survivor accounts also indicate that family members played a complex role in girls’ lives following an incident of abuse—in some cases providing significant support, while in others exposing girls to additional stigma or marginalization. Findings offer important insights to inform the development of response initiatives that build upon community-based networks, while also strengthening linkages between formal and informal forms of support in the lives of survivors.
Make the promise true: A monitoring and evaluation framework for measuring quality in child protection service delivery in Zimbabwe

AUTHOR(S)
E. Sammon, Michelle Godwin, L. Rumble, A. Nolan, A. B. Matsika, N. Mayanga

Published: 2015
Promising Quality: making sure that we deliver excellent services for children, (UNICEF 2012a), is an innovative monitoring and evaluation framework of original and standardised measures developed in Zimbabwe to support child protection providers to deliver quality services for children within a multi-agency child protection system. It is intended to meet the demands of governments, donors and other stakeholders for information on the effectiveness and efficiency of development programming but importantly is a practice which ensures downward accountability to children. It can also be utilised to track programme performance, and in broad terms, value for money in child protection service delivery. Further, Promising Quality has important implications for the creation and strengthening of different types of social capital between children, organisations and government. Promising Quality is constructed to encourage children’s full and meaningful participation in the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) process; it poses three questions and uses four specifically designed instruments to find out if an organization is delivering what children need where and when they need it. In so doing, gaps in the functioning of a comprehensive child protection system are highlighted such that improvements in programming, policy advocacy and investment can be made. This paper argues that Promising Quality - its inception and continuing evolution - is a core component of a rights-based, participatory national child protection system in developing contexts and beyond because of its ability to track gains in efficiency as well as child protection outcomes.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 623-640 | Tags: child protection, quality assurance
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