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Principal Investigators: Cassie Landers, Columbia University & Kevin Savage, World Vision

Purpose

Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) are the most widely used intervention to provide Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) as well as provide a protective environment for children in emergencies. Despite their wide use, they are implemented by many agencies often with significant variance in their design and quality. Little evidence of their effectiveness has been documented, and few specific components or critical elements of their design have been tested to strengthen the program model. The research will examine specific psychosocial packages and their comparative effectiveness to further contribute to the evidence base improving the design and implementation of these widely-used children’s interventions.

The study will compare the effectiveness of an enhanced package of psychosocial activities to the standard in achieving MHPSS outcomes, in the West Nile refugee response in Uganda. A 3-arm randomised control trial will be implemented using mixed methods approach to collect, triangulate and corroborate data

Expected Outcomes

The study will help determine whether CFS enhancement package effectively improves the ‘standard’ approach and the practicality and cost of implementation, by considering facilitators capacity to implement the package with fidelity. Providing evidence of the effectiveness of the enhancement package in the short-term, immediate, context of the West Nile response. The Re-AIM framework will be used to outline study characteristics to support an assessment of the generalizability of results. Research team will continue refine M&E tools, support ‘real-time’ monitoring systems to facilitate data collection, and strengthen the capacity of operational partners to generate evidence

Related Resources

Report Protection

Evidence of Effectiveness of the Child Friendly Spaces Toolkit

Case Study Protection

Child Protection in Emergencies: Researching the impact of Child Friendly Spaces

Article Protection

From place to space: field insights on adapting child-friendly spaces during COVID-19

Latest Updates

Annual Meeting for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action

20 Jun 2022

The team will present findings at the 2022 Annual Meeting for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action organised by The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (the Alliance). The event will be hosted over a virtual platform from the 20th to 22nd of June. Register here.

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2022Jun

Webinar: Advancing child protection & MHPSS in humanitarian response: latest evidence and practice

2 May 2022

The team reflect on the latest findings of research into child friendly spaces by World Vision, Columbia University and AfriChild Uganda and discuss alternative approaches to promoting children’s mental well-being and protection in humanitarian response. Watch the webinar here using the passcode: !E67lTnH.

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May
CFS staffers lead a fun play exercise. Credit: Derrick Nyatuka.
Reading time at the CFS. Credit: Aggrey Nyondwa.
Children reading under a tree at Green Valley Child Friendly Space (CFS) Bidibidi refugee settlement. Credit: Aggrey Nyondwa.
Children playing at a World Vision-run Child Friendly Space in Bidibidi settlement. Credit: Aggrey Nyondwa.
Children playing at a World Vision-run Child Friendly Space in Bidibidi settlement. Credit: Derrick Kyatuka.
Children playing at a World Vision-run Child Friendly Space in Bidibidi settlement. Credit: Derrick Kyatuka.
Children playing at a World Vision-run Child Friendly Space in Bidibidi settlement. Credit: Derrick Kyatuka.

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