Implementing the Call to Action
- How can we translate the Call to Action into practical actions to end violence in and around schools?
- How can we support ministries of Education in appraising current measures in place to respond to violence, and identify gaps?
- How can we establish a baseline and measure progress against the Call to Action at both country and global level?
With support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) and UNICEF, Safe to Learn partners have developed a technical package, which includes a Programmatic Framework and Benchmarking Tool, that provides guidance on translating the Call to Action into practical actions; highlights technical resources to assist in the design of interventions; and sets out a framework for monitoring of results.
It is supplemented by a detailed Diagnostic Tool to inform country-level collective dialogue with national counterparts by assessing the quality of national efforts to prevent and respond to violence in schools.
Developing the diagnostic tool
In order to establish a baseline and measure progress towards ending violence against children in school, the Call to Action was translated into a series of standardized “benchmarks” and checkpoints, which national, sub-national/district and school-level efforts could be measured against.
These benchmarks, developed in relation to the international child rights frameworks, United Nations guidance and minimum standards and good practices from the field of child safeguarding, formed the basis for a diagnostic tool, which was an affordable and practical tool to: measure progress, allow for cross-country comparisons and assess the impact of policy reforms at the school-level.
What we learned from implementation in four countries
From November 2019 to March 2020, Cambridge Education was contracted to provide technical support to national research teams in completing a diagnostic exercise in Nepal, Pakistan, South Sudan and Uganda. Findings were presented to stakeholders for feedback at national round tables or regional events.
The diagnostic exercise found examples of good practices in all four countries, across all five points of the Call to Action. Each had strong legal and policy documents in place prohibiting violence against children. Each had included reference to violence prevention within education sector plans. In all four countries, development partners are providing targeted funds and technical assistance to address violence in schools - although there was no specific earmarked domestic budget for this purpose.
There were great initiatives that could be shared with other countries, including:
- In Nepal, prevention and response mechanisms were highly visible at school level, including a safe and confidential complaints mechanism for children, and the frequent display of codes of conduct on school walls;
- In Pakistan, most teachers had received training on positive discipline, which was reinforced in some provinces through the policy "Maar Nahi Pyar – Affection rather than punishment”.
- In South Sudan, where the reach of national policies is sometimes weak, some states and schools have gone ahead to work with NGOs and established their own guidelines for child protection and safeguarding, and mechanisms and procedures for responding to incidents of violence in schools;
- In Uganda, a comprehensive approach was adopted through a National Strategic Plan on Violence against Children in Schools (2015 – 2020) that provides a multi-sectoral approach, accompanied by the Reporting, Tracking, Referral and Response Guidelines.