Child Frontiers in Sierra Leone

2019 : [ UNICEF Sierra Leone ] : Study of Practice of FGM

Child Frontiers is conducting a comprehensive and groundbreaking study of the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Sierra Leone. The study will generate evidence that will enable the government of Sierra Leone to review, adapt and verify its current National Strategy to end FGM ensuring that its implementation has a transformative impact on reducing, and ultimately ending, FGM in Sierra Leone. The study seeks to answer questions of cultural values and attitudes surrounding the practice, how FGM is practiced and regional variations, how the decision-making process within families to support the practice takes place, the perceived social benefits and consequences of practicing or not practicing FGM, and what changes, if any, have taken place over the years. The results will include an analytical report, qualitative baseline data, and key recommendations for ways forward in addressing the issue.

2018 : [ UNICEF Sierra Leone ] : Capacity Gaps Analysis, HR Strategy and Costed Implementation Plan

Child Frontiers undertook a project with UNICEF to analyze human resource (HR) and capacity gaps and develop a HR strategy for Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA). Sierra Leone’s formal child protection systems are weak and inaccessible to the majority of children and their families, due mainly to the absence and non-implementation of laws for the protection of children, the absence of services at community level, inadequate resource allocation to the social welfare sector and an inadequate and inappropriately trained cadre of social workers at the local level. This effort was imperative to strengthen the technical, human and management capacities of the MSWGCA both at national and sub-national levels, so that it can effectively carry out its functions under the framework of the Child Welfare Policy. Child Frontiers carried out a national assessment of the HR capacity gaps within the ministry and develop a strategy to address these gaps. Child Frontier also provided technical support to Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA) to develop a costed implementation strategy for the National Child Welfare Policy. This important initiative demonstrates the on-going commitment of the Government of Sierra Leone to improving the lives of children and families. The Final Report on Capacity Gaps Analysis and HR Plan can be accessed HERE.

2015 : [ UNICEF West and Central Africa ] : Review of Policies and Plans of Action

Child Frontiers conducted the first ever review and analysis of the existing policy environment for child protection in the twenty-four West and Central African countries. This involved an assessment of the processes undertaken across the region for policy development, as well as reflection on the status, quality, relevance and viability of those policies and plans of action. The review documented learning from the past five years of interventions for the development of child protection policies and national plans of action, factors that determined the strategic decisions and the contexts in which they were made, as well as the nature and status of the resulting policy and planning frameworks. Access the Country Briefs and Final Report.

2013 : [ UNICEF Sierra Leone ] : Child & Family Welfare System Strengthening and Policy Development

Child Frontiers collaborated with the Ministry of Gender, Social Welfare and Children’s Affairs to develop a national Child Welfare Policy entitled ‘Supporting Families and Communities to Protect Children’. The framework of the policy was developed through a series of consultations with traditional leaders, communities and children, as well as workshops in Freetown with civil society actors and government agencies. Throughout 2013, these groups studied the research evidence, considered international good practices and dialogued to agree upon the aspirations and key principles of the policy. The Child Welfare Policy establishes an over-arching, long-term vision of a comprehensive system to support families and communities in promoting the welfare and protection of children in Sierra Leone. This new policy came at an opportune moment, with the Government reaffirming its commitment to social and economic reform and the promotion of human development through the Agenda for Prosperity (2013–2017).

2011 : [ UNICEF West Africa ] : Mapping and Assessment of Child Protection Systems

Child Frontiers was involved in a two-year collaboration with a consortium of international agencies (Save the Children Sweden and Finland, Plan International and UNICEF WCA) to map and assess child protection systems in five countries in West Africa. This program of study represented a significant departure from previous national mapping initiatives in that informal, family and community practices for child protection were studied in relation to formal national protection systems and services. With an understanding of how and why formal child protection systems function in relation to informal, community-based practices, country specific recommendations for reform were shaped. The final reports for the respective countries can be downloaded at the following links: COTE D'IVOIRE, GHANA, NIGER, SENEGAL, SIERRA LEONE and the 5-COUNTRY ANALYSIS The West Africa Research Manual is available in both ENGLISH and FRENCH.

2011 : [ UNICEF Sierra Leone ] : Child Justice Assessment

Child Frontiers conducted a rapid assessment of the Sierra Leone child justice system, taking into account both formal and informal justice sectors, and advised UNICEF on its strategic approach to supporting systems reform. The findings of the assessment were used in the design of UNICEF’s child justice initiatives and in the development of a 5-year national Child Justice Strategy. The Final Report can be accessed HERE.

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