A Child Status Index (CSI) tool that is meant to assist those involved in children’s rights protection programmes, has been introduced in Rwanda.
A regional conference on CSI Thursday brought together about 30 Rwandan stakeholders representing various institutions that deal with child protection including 40 others from the East African Community.
The two-day conference held at Prime Holdings aimed at explaining the content of the tool and how it can be applied while monitoring the outcomes of different programmes that are being implemented to support children in the country.
Karen O’donnell from Duke University, Durham, NC, who was one of the tool’s developers, explained that the CSI was conceived at the request of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), after realising that about 10 percent of their total aid was destined for orphaned children.
“The United States government wanted to know whether children got better after receiving the aid,” she said.
O’donnell clarified that during the process of designing the tool, the conceivers went to the field in different countries, talking to children and asking them what would be important for them, a fact that contributed to the clarity of the tool.
“The tool is really very simple, everyone can use it,” she added. Esron Niyonsaba, an official in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, said it was of great importance, in a way that it will help implementers to know if their services have helped their beneficiaries.
“The outcome is not actually to give help to vulnerable children, but to have their lives improved,” said Niyonsaba who is a Technical Assistant in OVC (Orphans and other Vulnerable Children) programme.