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‘We don't report because that's a family affair’: A grounded look at community-based child protection in three rural and urban areas in Kenya Inter-Agency.

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Presentation on theme: "‘We don't report because that's a family affair’: A grounded look at community-based child protection in three rural and urban areas in Kenya Inter-Agency."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘We don't report because that's a family affair’: A grounded look at community-based child protection in three rural and urban areas in Kenya Inter-Agency Learning Initiative on Community-Based Child Protection Mechanisms and Child Protection Systems April 23, 2014

2 The Inter-Agency Learning Initiative Widespread NGO and government use of community Child Protection Committees or Child Welfare Committees Questions about effectiveness, sustainability, relation to existing community groups and wider child protection systems Global review—weak evidence base, harmful practices, importance of community ownership and linking community mechanisms with formal aspects of national child protection systems Multi-stage learning in Sierra Leone and Kenya Bottom-up approach to systems strengthening—testing the effectiveness of community driven interventions for strengthening linkages between community based child protection mechanisms and formal mechanisms 2

3 Global Reference Group CPWG Human Sciences Research Council IICRD Oak Foundation Plan International REPSSI Save the Children TPO Uganda UNICEF USAID (DCOF, PEPFAR) War Child Holland World Vision 3

4 Kenyan Partners UN/NGO: UNICEF-Kenya, Action Aid International, AMREF, ANPPCAN, APHIA PLUS, CARE, CEFA, ChildFund, Child Line, CLAN, CRADLE, Girl Child Network, IRC, KAACR, Plan International, Save the Children, World Vision, UNICEF/Kenya Government: Department of Children’s Services, Area Advisory Councils (and LACs), District Children’s Officers, Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs, and elders National Research Team: Ken Ondoro (Team Leader) with Jemaiyo Chabeda-Barthe, multiple Kenyan researchers Youth, children, women, community people 4


6 Stages of the Research Qualitative/Ethnographic Definition of Well-Being Outcomes for Children & Construction, Validation and Field Testing of Survey Instrument Action Research (with Quasi-Experimental Design) - Baseline Measures (T1) of Children’s Risk and Well-Being Outcomes—two matched sites - Community selects, develops, and implements for two years a linking intervention to strengthen child protection - Endline (T2) Measures Interagency, multi-level consultation, participation, & learning throughout 6

7 Research Areas and Sites Mombasa—two urban slums (informal settlement areas) - Bangladesh (5,000 people) - Tudor Moroto (3,000 people) Kilifi—two rural villages - Bamba (900 people) - Marafa (900 people) Kisii –two rural villages - Kisii (4,000 people) - Nyamira (4,400 people) 7

8 Ethnographic Phase: Key Questions Who is a child and how do children develop? What are the main harms to children, aside from poverty and health issues? How do they vary by gender, age, SES? What endogenous and exogenous protection mechanisms and practices are used? What preventive factors support children? When and how do people use the more formal child protection system? What barriers are there to the use of the formal aspects of the child protection system? How do the more formal and more nonformal aspects of the child protection system align? 8

9 Research Participants—Contrasts by Age, Gender, SES, Positioning in Regard to Child Protection Women: Age 25 years and above Young women: Age 18-25 years Teenage girls: Age 13-17 years Young girls: Age 5-12 years Men: Age 30 years and above Young men (typically not married): Age 18-30 years Teenage boys: Age 13-17 years Young boys: Age 5-12 years Lower and higher SES (70% vs. 30%): based on criteria of housing material, house size, location, source of income, type of foods eaten Workers within the more formal child protection system 9

10 Mapping of Pathways of Response When problem X occurs, what happens—who responds or who does child go to for help? What are the steps involved? Who makes the decisions and who is consulted? What are the decisions taken or outcomes? How do different stakeholders (parents, family, community, child) view the outcome? 10

11 Research Team 17 Kenyan researchers (9 males, 8 females) Team of 5-6 national researchers per area Understanding of local languages (Kiswahili & Sheng in Mombasa; Mijikenda in Kilifi; Ekegusii in Kisii-Nyamira) Two weeks of participatory training Team Leader (Ken Ondoro)—checking, backstopping, mentoring, analyzing Two international researchers (Drs. Kathleen Kostelny & Mike Wessells) 11

12 Research Tools (1) Participant observations (267) & living in villages (2) Group discussions (recorded, 90 min.) of risks and pathways of response (104 groups; 1,045 participants) - identification of ‘most serious harms to children’ - mapping of typical pathways of response (3) Group discussions (recorded, 60-90 min.) of preventive factors (57 groups; 500 participants) (4) In-depth interviews (recorded): tailoring to people’s interests, probing (5) Timelines: childhood, roles, markers of transition (6) Risk mappings (56 groups; 540 participants): 5-8 & 9-12 yrs. (7) Body mapping (68 groups, 668 participants): learning from younger children (5-8 and 9-12 years) (8) Key informant interviews (recorded): Government (e.g., Children’s Officers, AAC & LAC members, police, teachers), Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs, elders, religious leaders, health workers, NGO workers(117 participants) 12

13 Ethics of Research KEMRI review and approval Save the Children’s Child Safeguarding Policy Respect for people’s dignity Use of general questions that avoided opening personal wounds Informed consent and assent—no coercion, systematic explanation of potential risks and benefits Confidentiality Expectation management 13

14 Data Collection & Work Plan Timeframe: July, 2012 to August, 2013 Four weeks per site Flow of work: first week devoted to participant observations, group discussions, & body mappings; in the second and following weeks, individual methods such as in-depth interviews became more prominent Digital recordings with verbatim English records (identifiers removed), with checking for accuracy, validity, etc. Follow-up by Team Leader 14

15 Analysis Grounded analysis by Kostelny, Ondoro, & Wessells, with follow-up when needed Emergence of natural categories Triangulation by data source and method Analysis of pathways of response/community-based child protection mechanisms Identification of typical narratives for various categories of risk and response Discussion and resolution of differences between researchers Method of contrasts to track different views of subgroups such as young women, young men, adult women & men 15

16 Limitations Short time frame Incomplete skill development Relatively short timeframe for analysis No measurement of incidence rates Not a national sample 16

17 Q & A

18 Key Finding 1 Children faced multiple severe and interacting risks


20 Local Views of Harms to Children ‘Most serious’ harms Out of school children Sexual abuse and exploitation Early pregnancy Alcohol and drugs Additional harms Poor parenting Hard and heavy work Lack of food/poverty Negative influences Orphans Child beating Witchcraft Child rights 20

21 Key Finding 2 Widespread poverty was a driver of many of the harms to children Key role in other harms: Out of school (not pay school fees) Sexual abuse Heavy labor (parents required children work) Alcohol abuse (poor people start chang’aa businesses; bring children into it)

22 Out of School - Lack of School Fees Although the government announced that education was free for all, there are still small expenses that force parents to choose between educating the child and buying food for the family. (Key informant interview, Tudor Moroto)

23 Sexual abuse: Prostitution Some of the parents can’t buy these girls things like 'Always' and some of them do not even have enough food to eat. So when it becomes too much for these children, they drop out of school and get into prostitution in order to survive.... (Young woman, in- depth interview, Marafa)

24 Early Pregnancy It is because fending for themselves. You get parents not providing for their children, and girls set themselves and start looking for men and after getting a baby is when they realize the difficulty and pain of getting a child without anything to give or care for them. (Woman, in-depth interview, Nyamira)

25 Heavy Work Children from poor family background are doing very hard work in well off families for pay. These children are very young and are supposed to be in school but because of poverty and they need to feed, they get themselves doing these odd jobs to get money and buy food. (Young women, group discussion, Kisii)

26 Key Finding 3 Gender related issues of sexual abuse and exploitation, teenage pregnancy, and early marriage were prominent Consensual sex with age mates Rape of young girls associated with brewing dens, disco funerals, working as househelp Sexual abuse by uncles, teachers Incest Transactional sex common - motorbike drivers - older men cheated girls

27 There are also other people who give children money and every now and then, they keep on buying for them “viazi” for ten shillings. Later on, they call these children inside their houses and start touching them on their private parts. (Adult man, in-depth interview, Bangladesh) When the mother leaves and you are left alone with the father, then father turns to you and rapes you. (Teenage girls, group discussion, Tudor Moroto)

28 'Watoto kuingia kwa biashara ya mwili' [children doing the business of the body] is the main harm. Some children, especially those in secondary schools, when they don’t have money, they sell their bodies so that they can get money. (Key informant interview, Nyamira)

29 Sexual abuse by those with money and power That’s why we don’t want tuition because teachers tell us to stay in school up to eight o’clock in the night and then they come at that time and start touching you on the thighs. And some do bad things to girls at that time (Teenage girls, group discussion, Bangladesh) When your mother dies and then you are taken to stay with your uncle, the uncle will now be the person who buys you everything…. Then after some time, the uncle comes to you and tells you that you have to sleep with him…(Teen girls, Tudor Moroto)

30 Sexual Abuse of Boys There is also the issue of young boys “kuwekwa na wamama wazee.” (Being misused by the old women, including sexually). They (young boys) brew chang’aa for the women and they also perform “husband duties.”.(Key informant interview, Bangladesh)

31 Early Pregnancies We have had so many cases where girls engage in sex with men and later they get pregnant and drop out of school…You know these are very young girls who don’t even know how to cook and we don’t expect them to become somebody’s wife… Old men who ought to be fathers of these girls are the ones moving around with the girls. They cheat them with money and after they are pregnant they run away. (Young woman, in-depth interview, Kisii)

32 Abortions There are so many fetus which are thrown in the ocean. You see from my house, this is where the garbage starts to be dumped so I always see so many fetus. (Woman, in-depth interview, Tudor Moroto) Mostly we receive calls to go and pick children thrown in the garbage and most of the time it is a mature fetus. (Key informant interview, Tudor Moto)

33 Key Finding 4 The views of harms to children varied according to gender, SES and age

34 Figure 2.The percentage of participants in urban slums in Mombasa by age and gender sub-group that rated sexual abuse and exploitation as one of the top three harms to children (n=334).

35 Gender - Teenage girls and women ranked sexual abuse as top harm more often than did teenage boys and men - Teenage boys and young men more often ranked alcohol and drug use as harm than did teenage girls and young women

36 SES - Low SES were more likely than high SES families to rank out of school children as harm - High SES families were more likely than low SES families to rank early pregnancy as harm - High SES families were more likely to rank alcohol and drug use as harm

37 Age Young children were concerned about: heavy work parents fighting being called abusive names being beaten and caned

38 Key Finding 5: HIV and AIDS and related problems were significant sources of vulnerability for children

39 HIV and AIDS cont. - HIV and AIDs were widespread in all three areas - boys and girls were sexually active at early age - children born to HIV positive mothers often became HIV positive - HIV spread by transactional sex - some people spread HIV deliberately so they would not die alone

40 Maltreatment of orphans affected by HIV and AIDs The villagers look at this [HIV positive child] as if he is not a person. The disease brings some hatred. The people form opinions towards the children. The orphans -- especially those who are known to have been born with the disease -- are hated and are told 'your parents died of HIV'. (Woman, group discussion, Kisii)

41 Q & A

42 Preventive Factors and Response Pathways

43 Preventive Factors Valuable preventive factors at family and community levels were operative yet had limited capacity, effectiveness, and reach.

44 Preventive Factors Family (grandmothers, parental guidance) Education, Discipline and Economic support Religious groups and leaders Preached good values and morality to the youth Preached about good parenting Counseled the youth Raised money for children’s fees Helped orphans

45 Preventive Factors Youth group: Alpha and Omega, Young mothers, Amkeni Youth Group Educated the youth on safe sex Distributed condoms Educated youth on dangers of early pregnancy Women’s groups: ‘Merry Go Round’ Was a good source of money to help keep children in school Preventive factors were strained or overwhelmed by the burden of accumulating risks

46 Response Pathways For 70-80% of harms to children, the response was through non-formal family and community mechanisms Pathways of response were particularly weak in regard to sexual abuse within the family Family honor and avoidance of shame were often prioritized over the well-being of girl survivors of sexual abuse ‘Traditional’ mechanisms such as traditional courts or councils of elders were rare to nonexistent

47 Non-formal Mechanisms Nonformal family and community mechanisms were of central importance in responding to risks to children yet were overstretched and variable in their effectiveness Some nonformal family mechanisms caused harm to children Abortion Early and forced marriage Family agreement in cases of rape Corporal punishment

48 Child is out of school because school fees had not been paid Mother talks with teacher and promises to pay Mother goes to Head Teacher, pleads case Child out of school until money is raised Teacher does not accept Mother tells the father While out of school, child makes money and decides not to return or falls in with bad peers and does not return to school; or a girl out of school becomes pregnant and does not return Head Teacher allows child back into school Head Teacher does not allow child back into school Father looks for casual labor Mother borrows or obtains money from relative, pays fees Mother gets money from Merry Go Round Child tells mother or mother notices Child returns to school Mother looks for more work if no father Child returns to school Teacher accepts and child goes back to school Child returns to school Mombasa: Pathways of response for out of school children who had been unable to pay school fees.

49 Q & A

50 Linkage of CBCPMs With the Formal System Importance of linkages: referrals, prevention, authority, capacity, etc. Diverse connectors: Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs, elders, police, DCOs, VCOs, AACs, LACs These connectors did in fact respond to harms to children, encourage prevention, and make appropriate referrals. Area Advisory Councils (AACs) and LACs emerged as potentially useful in bridging formal and nonformal child protection supports, yet most were in the planning stages regarding child protection. Overall, there was mixed evidence regarding the use of linkages with the formal system – local social norms frequently pulled in a contrary direction.

51 Alignment Between Formal and Nonformal Elements of the Child Protection System Alignment is important for a coordinated, consistent approach. Overall, there was a moderate level of alignment. - Views of harms to children (out of school, teenage pregnancy, drugs and alcohol, sexual abuse, poor parenting, etc.). - Some consistency of response by formal and non-formal actors to those harms. But, social norms frequently ran counter to the laws and policies of the formal system.

52 Challenges of Non-Alignment between Nonformal and Formal Elements: Who is a Child? Chronological definition: Kenyan national law Local views: varied ages, emphasis on dependency, limited responsibility, small stature, etc. A child is one who cannot determine what is right or wrong.(Teenage boy, group discussion, Nyamira) A child is the one who is very small... when you see their body, the way they appear, you definitely know that this is a child. (Man, group discussion, Marafa) A child is a child until he is an adult when he/she is married and has his own people/ kids. (Women, group discussion, Nyamira)

53 Challenges of Non-Alignment: Harms to Children Kenyan law prohibits early marriage, female circumcision, and sexual exploitation of children, yet each of these was a customary practice in the research sites. In Kisii, workers in the formal system viewed local culture as a harm to children, though other citizens did not. Kisii culture is a harm to children. When the father passes away and leaves the wife and children behind, most of the times you find that children are sent away from home by their father’s relatives. This really affects children because some of them go to the streets and become street children and completely stop going to school. Fathers also defile their children and this has become a problem around here. (Key informant interview, Kisii)

54 Inconsistency within the Formal System—Child Rights In Kilifi, some workers in the formal system identified child rights ('haki za watoto' ) as a harm to children. But I will say again that this 'haki za watoto' have contributed immensely to this issue of early pregnancies. Nowadays these children don’t fear getting pregnant, they know very well that they will give birth and go back to school and there’s nothing that parents can do to them. (Key informant, Bamba)

55 Challenges of Non-Alignment: Child Protection Practices Kenyan law forbids corporal punishment of children, yet parents saw child beating as essential for teaching children obedience and good behavior. Actors within the formal system (Chiefs, teachers, elders) frequently used corporal punishment on children. Approximately one quarter of the participants were not willing to report a statutory crime such as the rape of a child to the authorities. People reportedly took direct collective action themselves against strangers who were caught raping a child.

56 Underuse of the Formal System: Four Main Obstacles (1) Bribery and corruption: Chiefs or Assistant Chiefs ask for ‘something small’; perpetrators of statutory crimes reportedly paid off police to drop the case against them, or they paid money to the victim’s family, who then refused to press charges or testify. (2) Preference for family and community solutions: Teenage pregnancy: family first, and preference for reaching a ‘compromise’ between families; for children who were out of school due to inability to pay school fees, the main response was often through religious groups or the village ‘merry go round.’

57 Underuse of the Formal System: Four Main Obstacles, cont. (3) Taboo against reporting family abuses and problems outside the family—honor, stigma, lost support. Because that is a family affair and the uncle can be called and asked why he has done that. Then he can be told to stop it…. That’s a family issue. (Adult women, Bangladesh) 'Titogweitera' [We cannot kill for ourselves]. What we do is that we call a meeting and see how to solve the issue before it is known because if it is known, it will spoil the name of the family. The uncle will be asked to pay some fine, maybe an animal. (Young man, group discussion, Nyamira) The rapist might be the bread winner in the family. If he gets arrested, people will suffer in the family. I might end up dropping out of school because there will be no one to pay my fees. In fact, that is family thing that people outside the family should not even know. It should be kept a secret. (Young men, Bangladesh)

58 Underuse of the Formal System: Four Main Obstacles, cont. (4) Perception that reporting violations to authorities leads to inaction. - Citizens and workers in the formal system reported that the courts were backlogged. - Chiefs described how upward referrals of cases sometimes led to inaction or the case being handed back down to them.

59 Q & A

60 Action Priorities Enable a coordinated, holistic approach Integrate economic support and child protection Address gender issues Place families and communities at the center Strengthen prevention Improve the use, functionality, and accountability of the formal child protection system Support internally driven social change Stakeholders in Kenya develop specific, contextualized recommendations

61 Community Child Protection Exchange Kostelny, K., Wessells, M., Chabeda-Barthe, J., & Ondoro, K. (2013). Learning about children in urban slums: A rapid ethnographic study in two urban slums in Mombasa of community-based child protection mechanisms and their linkage with the Kenyan national child protection system. London: Interagency Learning Initiative on Community-Based Child Protection Mechanisms and Child Protection Systems. Kostelny, K., Wessells, M., & Ondoro, K. (2014a).Community-based child protection mechanisms in Kilifi, Kenya: A rapid ethnographic study in two rural areas. London: Interagency Learning Initiative on Community-Based Child Protection Mechanisms and Child Protection Systems. Kostelny, K., Wessells, M., & Ondoro, K. (2014b).Community-based child protection mechanisms in Kisii and Nyamira: A rapid ethnographic study in two rural areas of Kenya. London: Interagency Learning Initiative on Community-Based Child Protection Mechanisms and Child Protection Systems. Wessells, M., Kostelny, K., & Ondoro, K. (forthcoming). A grounded view of community-based child protection mechanisms and their linkages with the wider child protection system in three rural and urban areas in Kenya: Summary and Integrated Analysis.

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