Young Partners in Development

Child-centred Accountability and Protection Evaluation (CAPE)


Child-centred Accountability and Protection Evaluation (CAPE)

CAPE is a pilot project seeking to measure the impact of child protection services and programmes addressing sexual abuse and exploitation. IICRD and partners are piloting CAPE in Thailand, Colombia and Brazil.

Members: 21
Latest Activity: Nov 28, 2012

CAPE in Action: Understanding the Lived Realities of Young People

Discussion Forum

CAPE Methods Review 1 Reply

Started by Elaina Mack. Last reply by Andy Dawes Oct 4, 2011.

CAPE Ethical Review

Started by Elaina Mack Sep 5, 2011.

CAPE: Spring Update

Started by Elaina Mack May 18, 2011.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Child-centred Accountability and Protection Evaluation (CAPE) to add comments!

Comment by Taryn Danford on November 28, 2012 at 12:02pm

Check out the English CAPE Guide available at /group/oakproject/page/capeguide

Comment by Vanessa Currie on January 26, 2011 at 12:01pm


Hi CAPE Brazil Team!

Here is the BIAG Survey from the CPP project & Plan that I promised to share. Hope you can open it!


Comment by Andy Dawes on November 30, 2010 at 11:22am
Andy Dawes comment on the conference call questions:

1: What are the best monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools to help us answer the CAPE framework questions?

1. How do children, families and communities understand what constitutes the wellbeing and protection of children? (Objectives 1, 2)

Important question. I would be careful of the use of the term ‘communities’. Rather specify the key community structures / agents / groups. For example, would one not want to involve to teachers; health care personnel; police; municipal authorities; elected officials. Make it more specifically targeted at those responsible for the welfare of children.

If one is to develop monitoring tools on this question, it seems to be appropriate to start in a particular community with a qualitative participatory process involving the above sorts of actors. Out of this generate the common understandings that emerge (within each subgroup of actors). Also generate a list of solutions to the local child protection concerns that arise.
Once this is done, develop a survey instrument that can be used on a regular (though not too frequent basis – e.g. very 5 years) that can assist you to gauge stability and change in key understandings attitudes and practices in that area. Such questions could be put into a limited number of modules for administration in existing local / national surveys (reduces cost). The evaluation aspect could follow. For example, if interventions are made in a community following baseline, the next survey could provide an indication of change. Obviously all this is complex and would need much more discussion.

I deal with questions 2 and 3 in one comment below but focus more particularly on 3. “How do we effectively promote child‐centred M&E of child protection systems? (Obj.3)”

I would suggest that if at all possible, you start with the existing systems in the country and help to support and improve them. Obviously if there is nothing, you have to work collaboratively with local actors to get them going. My essential message is don’t come from outside and try to impose (I am sure nobody would suggest that of course – but even gentle attempts in this direction can be perceived as external imposition). The key I think is to form relationships with the local actors (and this takes time). If it does not grip locally, the initiative will fade. So local ownership is critical. Best to partner with local champions who have clout. Monitor progress and don’t be too ambitious…. Keep the system as simple as possible.

Monitoring the level of child participation and engagement across sites and countries.

Prior to establish the level of participation, it may be helpful to assess the degree to which the society is accepting of children’s participation in public processes, and if so under what conditions. Child participation in public processes is a probably relatively unusual in most societies, but more likely to be unusual in the global south. The right to participate is a modernist notion that may not have much grip in the societies (and subsections of those societies within which this work is to be done.
So it is worth exploring in order to provide for an understanding of the levels (and forms) of child participation that you see in a particular setting.
While government officials may say they support the idea (and arrange for its practice from time to time), this may not be the case at local community level; furthermore, the type of participation (if it occurs) needs to be interrogated. Is it a ritual gathering of selected children (often as part of unicef initiated process) to satisfy the press of children’s participation (quite common)? Or is it a genuine structured normative and institutionalized process (rather rare – except perhaps outside the context of school where student representative bodies may exist)?
When it comes to the countries and sites to be involved in the study, there may well be literature on this that pertains to the community in question.
Alternatively one could consider approaching key informants at different levels of the society on this question – both members of local communities and persons in government and the civil service who are responsible for child protection matters.
As part of this process it may be helpful to assess the readiness of these actors (and communities) to embrace the idea of child participation in protection matters. The WHO has embarked on a series of studies of maltreatment prevention including prevention readiness that you may wish to follow-up. See
When it comes to monitoring children’s participation and engagement, e have to think of groups of children. For example, are we including groups such as child agricultural workers as a constituency? In what ways to they work as a collective to improve the safety of their conditions of work? Or are we talking of children in the mainstream? In that instance, it may be useful to think of two key sites within which protection issues commonly arise: the local neighbourhood and the school. So one would investigate whether children participate in the formal structures of neighbourhoods (including municipal government) and schools (representative bodies), and whether issues of protection are dealt with, and how children give input. Methods would involve interviews / groups etc with children – for convenience – the same children could speak to the issue of neighbourhood processes and schools. The home will be much more tricky to penetrate.

So indicators of child participation could be:
1: Evidence in policy of formal processes at local government / neighbourhood council / residents committees that make provision for representation of children and youth (need to sort out how a ‘child’ might be defined); and then evidence of children’s involvement in matters relating to local protection, safety etc. This can be derived from the interviews, and from policy documents, records of events over (e.g. the past year) that involve children in actions around child protection; minutes of meetings etc.
2: Evidence in school policy of provision for student representation; and then their involvement in matters relating to protection, safety etc as above.
3: One might want to look for indicators of the outcomes of such processes based on children’s comments and other means of verification. In my view this is a critical issue. You can have plenty of participation, but what is the outcome? Is this a ritual or a genuine attempt to raise the status of the young through taking their voice seriously?

Conduct critical and comparative analysis of the particular tools and indicator sets developed across sites and countries, reflecting on areas of overlap, intersection and divergence.
A key issue here is to establish what the government administrative data system has in place for monitoring child wellbeing and protection. Commonly, child health and education are well covered. Child welfare and protection are usually poorly recorded. There is commonly in my experience a lack of coordination across government departments with respect to data relevant to child protection (health, education and welfare may not communicate or share monitoring systems; different definitions are used etc). In my experience it is quite a job to interrogate government administrative data systems – takes a lot of time to understand, but a very useful exercise (I have done this in South Africa a few years back and people are welcome to the study report).

The other source of measures and indicators could be surveys on children conducted from time to time. For instance in South Africa we have child victimization surveys that give us a better idea of the levels of different forms of victimization (from violence) in 12 to 20 year olds that are available from official sources. Problem is that these surveys are run on soft money and there is not guarantee that they are regular.
That said, it would be useful to conduct a survey of the available measures, indicators and data used both within the government system and also by independent research groups.

In terms of survey tools that can collect data from both adults and children:
I suggest a close look at the ISPCAN ICAST measures (Kimberley can comment further).
Also, the JVC – Juvenile Victimization questionnaire (Finkelhor) is an option for school-based surveys.
Obviously one would want to couple these with local ethnographic investigations.
But at the end of the day, a regular monitoring system is going to require regularly collected quantitative data.

In relation to your question: “ 2. How should we apply/test these M&E tools in the three country case studies – Thailand, Brazil and Colombia? (i.e. strategies)”?

I think it is too early to make this call. You need to see first what is there on the ground and currently in use before introducing something new. Same applies to Question 3 and 4. I do not feel competent to comment at this stage. It is critical to be aware of the burg=den of measurement when introducing new systems to often very overburdened administrative systems that pertain in the global south.
That said, ISPCAN ICAST measures have been piloted in the counties of interest (as far as I remember), so we do not have to re-invent wheels. They are written up in CA&Neglect.

Regarding question 5. “What are the key considerations in applying such M&E tools to address sexual abuse and exploitation? “

This is a long conversation, but at the heart of it must be definition. How are these terms to be defined? I suggest that the UN Secretary General’s report on violence to children and the associated ISPCAN ICAST measures would be a very good place to start.

Other people know more than me about getting at ‘hidden' populations (such as child sex workers), so I leave that to you.
Comment by Christopher L. Yeomans on November 4, 2010 at 3:21pm
Very useful information Elaina. Thanks for sharing in this format on the exciting results from a few days of stimulating conversation with a broad selection of international experts in our field! This project will generate resutls that will go far beyond the life of the project for the Institute and our partners.
Comment by Micheal Montgomery on November 4, 2010 at 9:34am
confirning that I have joined the group - greetings from Ottawa

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