Evaluating the longer-term mental health, developmental and systems impact of Child Friendly Spaces in humanitarian emergencies

Grant awarded: £323,309

Lead organisation: World Vision International

Partnering organisations: Columbia University, Columbia University Middle East Research Center (CUMERC), Save the Children, Makerere University, Unicef, Plan International

Project length: 2014–2016

Study locations: Uganda; Jordan; Asia-Pacific Region

Principal Investigator: Kevin Savage, World Vision International


The overall objective of this research is to improve outcomes for children in humanitarian crises by strengthening the evidence base on the impact of Child Friendly Space interventions (CFS). Although CFS are already widely used, it is acknowledged that there is very little evidence to support their use. Research into CFS has therefore been identified as a matter of high priority. If significant lasting impact is found, there may be a case for increasing their widespread use in the immediate stages of a crisis.

Expected outcomes:

The research will validate (or otherwise) the use of CFS, and help to refine CFS by identifying some of the factors associated with more and with less favourable outcomes for children. It will help inform the revision of standards and guidelines on the use of CFS implementation and to refine recommended monitoring and evaluation tools. The longer term findings will also provide important input to ongoing discussions around systems strengthening in humanitarian action.


Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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