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The Alliance’s Leaders Council applies the following criteria to determine priority country selection:

  • Responsive and responsible government and civil society willing to increase investments in children
  • Efficacious programs on the ground ready to scale up to achieve percentage reductions in core outcome areas
  • At least one bilateral and one multilateral partner willing to champion a national children’s alliance

To date, three countries—Cambodia, Rwanda and Uganda—have been selected as priority countries.

Alliance partners in priority countries, with support from Leaders Council members and the Global Secretariat, develop national children’s alliances (government, multilateral, civil society, faith-based, private sector, and academic leaders) to promote:

  • Multi-stakeholder supported national action plans with clear, measurable results. The Alliance will mobilize private and public resources to align key national programs to achieve significant results in the Alliance’s three core work areas. Activities include fundraising; provision of technical support; and convening of summits, workshops, national dialogues, and other consultations and action planning.
  • Surveillance tools and information systems to set baselines and to monitor progress against each national action plan. Illustrative activities include the development and implementation of surveillance tools and information systems for children living outside of family care; program efficacy evaluations; and other forms of national measurement and reporting initiatives.
  • Communication strategy to support the sharing of evidence, experience and research within and across countries and reach an exponentially greater number of children. Illustrative activities include quarterly progress reports per priority country; annual synthesis reports; summits and national dialogues, the use of a website and social media, and different forms of dissemination of research and evaluation findings.

The Alliance’s Global Secretariat will develop a matrix to track progress (processes and outcomes) at global and country levels.

Process indicators will include:

  • Establishment of Alliance steering committees and terms of reference in priority countries
  • Adoption of national action plans
  • Alignment of government, multilateral, bilateral, NGO/CBO/FBO and private sector donor resources with Alliance agenda
  • Additional funding, projects and programming for Alliance agenda
  • Development of surveillance systems and research plans per country

Outcome indicator is:

Quantitative reduction per objective per country to be measured by a combination of:

  1. Household surveys (Demographic and Health Surveys – DHS/Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys – MICS);
  2. Children Living Outside of Family Care – CLOFC surveys
  3. Violence Against Children – VAC surveys
  4. Agreed Program outcome reporting/evaluation criteria
  5. Independent research

Case Study 1

Keeping Children in Families in Russia

More than 2,150 institutions house almost 100,000 children aged 4 to 16 in Russia. Additionally, 15,000 infants and toddlers ages 0 to 4, 80 percent of whom have developmental delays, reside within “baby homes.” Approximately 90 per-cent of Russia’s 700,000 registered orphans have at least one living parent, yet the infl ow of children into orphanages has remained stable for years.

To support eff orts to prevent child abandonment and shift away from institutionalization, USAID supports child welfare projects focused on early crisis intervention and case management. One program, Compass for Childhood, also addresses the underlying causes of child abandonment: poverty, unemployment, and disability discrimination.

The results are promising. In Siberia, the number of infants abandoned has been reduced by 58 percent. In other priority regions, the number of abandoned children has decreased by 46 percent, and the number of children in family care has increased by 120 percent. The Government of Russia has calculated that each prevented abandonment results in $5,000 per year in cost savings.

–from the U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity

Case Study 2

Safely Reintegrating Children Living on the Street

Street children around the world are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking because they lack social and family support. The U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons funds Casa Alianza to provide phased-in support to help children reintegrate into their families and communities. Located in Mexico City, Casa Alianza uses a four-pronged approach, including education, public policy advocacy, legal assistance, and a residential shelter. This comprehensive and individualized approach helps to restore the physical and mental health of children while providing them with income-generating skills and legal support. The best interests of the child guide every effort, beginning with a risk assessment to determine the feasibility of family reintegration. To help children transition into family life, Casa Alianza conducts pre-reintegration visits monitored by a trained staff person. Once the child is returned to his or her family, a minimum follow-up of 2 years allows for continued support and services as well as the identification of children at-risk of being retrafficked. If it is determined that it is not in a child’s best interest to rejoin his or her family, Casa Alianza identifies alternative long-term care solutions. In 5 years, nearly 90 percent of children served by Casa Alianza have been successfully reintegrated into their communities and protected from the dangers of living on the streets.

–from the U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity

Case Study 3

Responding to the Needs of Children Outside of Family Care in Emergencies

Conflict and disaster impact hundreds of millions of persons around the globe each year, half of whom are children. Emergencies in-crease children’s vulnerability to death, injury, illness, violence, exploitation, abuse, trafficking, and separation from their families. Prevention of and response to such complex and critical issues require a coordinated effort among a range of humanitarian entities, including U.N. agencies, national government bodies, nongovernmental organizations, and donors. Those on the ground are able to draw on proven and effective global standards to inform their work, including the Inter-Agency Guiding Principles on Unaccompanied and Separated Children and the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. These standards provide detailed guidance on identification, documentation, family tracing, verification, reunification, and follow-up. As one of the largest donors to child protection program-ming globally, the U.S. Government has played a critical role in making the following important processes and programs available to children affected by conflict and disaster.

  • Within the 6 months following the Asian tsunami, humanitarian partners in Aceh helped to identify close to 3,000 separated and unaccompanied children and reunite nearly 2,500 of them with their relatives.
  • Tracing and family reunification were conducted throughout the 12 years of war in Sierra Leone, and UNICEF reports that of the children who remained separated at the end of the war (including former child soldiers), 98 percent were reunited with their immediate or extended families.
  • Following the Rwandan crisis of 1994, more than 100,000 children were registered as unaccompanied. Nearly half of these children were reunited with their families

–from the U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity

Case Study 4

Rescuing Children from Hazardous Work in Garbage Dumps

In Ecuador, for many years children worked in garbage dumps where they were exposed to toxic substances and the risk of physical injuries and disease. In 2007, the Government of Ecuador announced a national goal to eliminate child labor in city garbage dumps as the first form of child labor to be eradicated in the country.

Since 1998, projects funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) have worked to strengthen Ecuador’s national capacity to combat child labor. These projects have improved data collection on child labor, strengthened inter-institutional coordination, trained authorities on child labor laws and issues, designed and implemented awareness-raising campaigns, facilitated the incorporation of child labor into institutional agendas, created a special unit for monitoring and inspection of child labor as part of the National Child Labor Steering Committee as well as a system of community oversight, and improved access to and quality of education for out-of-school children and children at risk of dropping out of school to work.

Building upon these previous efforts, governmental, private sector, and civil society organizations undertook a collaborative and comprehensive approach to eliminating child labor in garbage dumps by conducting increased inspections for child labor in landfills. They also guaranteed access to educational, health, and recreational services. A 2008 baseline survey found about 2,000 children across the country to be working in garbage dumps. During 2010–2011, 2,160 children and adolescents who were found working in landfills were provided with a variety of services to keep them out of work and to increase life opportunities. In May 2011, the government conducted inspections across the country and found no children working in garbage dumps. Although civil society organizations assisted with the initial implementation and with linking children to relevant services, the government is now responsible for ensuring children remain out of work in landfills and has established a protocol to maintain garbage dumps without child labor by removing and assisting children or adolescents who are found working there.

Local governments are responsible for the continual monitoring of landfills to ensure that children do not return to work there. The Interagency Committee on Child Labor systematically documented the elimination of child labor in garbage dumps and developed guidelines, so the strategy could be applied to other forms of child labor in Ecuador and other countries. Furthermore, a USDOL-funded project in Peru has recently facilitated an exchange of this positive experience with government officials from Peru and Bolivia to aid in applying these strategies in these countries.

–from the U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity

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