Southern Africa Develop

Livelihood-based social protection for orphans and vulnerable children: Success stories from Malawi


Livelihood-based social protection for orphans and vulnerable children: Success stories from Malawi.pdf

This Situation Analysis Report is part of a broader review and assessment of agricultural and livelihood-based social protection for orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) programmes in Malawi that are deemed to have potential for replication and scaling up. The United Nations (UN) and Partners Alliance for livelihood-based social protection for OVC champions this initiative against the background of a widely acknowledged need for a coordinated approach and response among a multiplicity of stakeholders to reduce transaction costs, and improve efficiency and effectiveness in the efforts that are intended to build a better future for OVC. During the Global OVC Partners Forum in October 2003, a decision was made to undertake joint rapid assessment, analysis and action planning (RAAAP) to act as a basis for OVC national responses. The overall objective of the RAAAP process was to identify immediate key actions needed to significantly scale up national multisectoral responses in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Similarly, the need for coordination and leadership on OVC issues was acknowledged and expressed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers in 2004 through the Cape Town Declaration, and further by the intergovernmental conference in 2006 through what is known as the Livingstone Call for Action.

Following such appeals for greater commitment, cooperation and action to provide social protection, countries in the region have made various responses. By mid 2005, sixteen countries in southern and eastern Africa, including Malawi, completed the first RAAAP phase which resulted in the design of the SADC National Plan of Action (NPA) for OVC. The UN and Partners Alliance for livelihood-based social protection for OVC was formed in early 2006 between UN agencies (FAO [Food and Agricultural Organization], UNICEF [United Nations Children’s Fund] and WPF [World Food Programme]), governments (line ministries for the NPA), and civil society organizations such as CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) and Oxfam. In Malawi, the RAAAP process was commissioned in 2004, facilitated by a national task force for OVC with support from the technical working group on OVC which comprised technical staff from UNICEF, UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS), USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and WFP. The RAAAP contributed a great deal to the development of the 2005–2009 NPA for OVC. The development of the NPA was facilitated by a country steering committee which comprised members from key line ministries of government, UN agencies, donors, the National AIDS Commission and the chair of the national task force for OVC.

The need to reconsider the livelihood part of the social protection agenda for orphans and other vulnerable children In Malawi, it is generally acknowledged that the development of the NPA has raised the profile of OVC and led to improvements in funding OVC projects.  However, it has also been argued, both in the country and in the region, that support to OVC projects has mainly focused on education and child protection without adequately addressing the livelihoodbased social protection needs of OVC1. Based on this assertion, FAO was mandated to review and assess innovative agricultural and livelihood programmes from the perspective of the emerging social protection agenda for OVC and in the context of HIV and AIDS in the eastern and southern African regions, in order to identify promising practices that could be replicated and scaled up. This study is therefore part of this regional effort

HIV-Related Discrimination among Grade Six Students in Nine Southern African Countries


The research points to the need for early interventions (age 13 or before) to reduce stigma and discrimination among children, especially in schools in rural and poorer areas. In particular, interventions should aim to correct misconceptions that HIV can be transmitted via casual contact with people living with HIV.

Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Inter Agency Task Team on Children and AIDS (RIATT-ESA): Framework 2009-2010

Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Inter Agency Task Team on Children and AIDS (RIATT-ESA): Framework 2009-2010

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than two thirds of the global number of people living with HIV, and continues to account for the large majority of global AIDS deaths and new global HIV infections. HIV and AIDS further impacts on the health, education, protection and survival of millions of children. The epidemic substantially contributes to increasing child mortality rates and orphanhood across the region. Accordingly, the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Inter Agency Task Team (RIATT) on Children and HIV and AIDS was formed to accelerate the fulfillment of commitments for children affected by HIV and AIDS as laid out in the United Nations 2001 General Assembly Declaration of Commitments on HIV/AIDS and the Millennium Development Goals.

Comprehensive Care and Support for Orphans, Vulnerable Children & Youth (OVCY) in the Southern African Development Community


Strategic Framework and Programme of Action (2008 – 2015)

Poverty and under development remain daunting challenges for the SADC region. About two thirds of the population in the region live below the international poverty line of US$ per day. Poverty is exacerbated by high levels of diseases, unemployment and low industrial growth and productivity which characterise most of the Member States. Food insecurity is particularly acute in the region, largely due to natural disasters associated with climate change such as floods and recurrent drought. Human productivity has also been curtailed by labour migration and high morbidity and mortality rates among the economically productive age group largely as a result of the treble effect of HIV and AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, among other diseases and causes of death. The recent global increase in energy and food prices and the crisis in the financial markets are exacerbating the already dire situation in the region. Poverty and the high levels of morbidity and mortality among adults have resulted in an in unprecedented upsurge of orphans and other vulnerable children and youth (OVCY) in the region. Health, social and economic forecasts indicate that the situation is likely to remain serious with increasing household poverty and number of orphans in the foreseeable future. Vulnerable and poor households such as those headed by children, women, older people, people living with disabilities and HIV and AIDS and the unemployed bear the brunt of these numerous challenges, with often little or no options to cope.

The Strategic Framework and Programme of Action mark the first deliberate effort to mount a regional response to the growing challenges of OVCY in SADC. The Framework recognises the complexity of the matter and in that regard, has adopted a holistic and integrated approach to ensure comprehensive care and support among OVCY [Taken from foreword].

Children’s psychosocial wellbeing in the context of HIV/AIDS and poverty: a comparative investigation of orphaned and non-orphaned children living in South Africa

psycholgical wellbeing of children.pdf

Recent studies have questioned whether orphanhood is primarily associated with key dimensions of psycho-social wellbeing in children living in circumstances of material deprivation and high prevalence of HIV and AIDS. This study uses cross-sectional data from a longitudinal study conducted between 2004-2007 to examine the psychosocial well-being of orphans and non-orphans in the Amajuba District of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Psychosocial wellbeing included an assessment of orphans’ and non orphans’ level of anxiety and depression, affability and resilience. Stratified cluster sampling, based on both school and age, was used to construct a cohortof recent orphans and non-orphans and their households, randomly selected from schools.
Results: Levels of anxiety and depression, affability and resilience did not differ significantly between orphans and non-orphans, nor did salient household, poverty and caregiver characteristics vary substantially amongst orphans and non-orphans. Multivariate analyses indicated that children’s psychosocial outcomes, when controlling for orphan status and related demographic variables were more strongly influenced by household composition/size, living above or below the poverty threshold and factors associated with the caregiver-child relationship and caregiver health.
Conclusions: The results muster additional evidence for moving beyond narrow definitions of vulnerability associated exclusively with orphanhood to consider the multitude of material, social and relational factors affecting the psycho-social well-being of children in general who are living in circumstances of poverty and HIV and AIDS.

Child and older carer participation in events: Are we really learning?

Regional Inter-agency Task Team (RIATT-ESA) on Children and AIDS working paper


Child and older carer participation in events: Are we really learning?.pdf

This paper explores the concept of child participation in conferences and events. It reflects on the recent child participation process in the Regional East and Southern Africa Inter agency Task team on Children and AIDS (RIATT-ESA) conference that took place from 27th September to 2nd October 2008 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It will also reflect on the older carer consultation process that took place alongside the child consultation process.

Participation is considered a human rights based approach to development as expressed in development theories such as those by A. Sen and P. Freiro. Participation is a process and the results depend on what extent it is truly effective and meaningful as referred to in the Hart’s “Ladder of Participation,” see fig. 14. Adults are the duty bearers for children and therefore they have responsibilities for which they must account to children. In addition, children as rights holders also have a right to participation in for example, decision making, consultations and programme implementation.

This paper was written by Nicola Ward (UNICEF ESARO) and Vivi Stavrou (REPSSI) with contributions from Douglas Lackey (Help Age International), Lucy Hillier (Save the Children UK) and Velephi Riba (Save the Children Sweden). written on behalf of the RIATT Conference child participation task team (RIATT CPTT) which led the children’s consultation process leading up to the RIATT conference

Changing the face of care for vulnerable children: REPSSI Certificate Course in Community-Based Work with Children and Youth

Changing the face of care for vulnerable children: REPSSI certificate course in community-based work with children and youth.pdf

The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) reviews their Certificate Course in Community-Based Work with Children and Youth. It responds to a critical regional demand for quality training in child care, and specifically social and emotional (psychosocial) support, child protection and promotion of children’s rights. The Certificate is a standardised, accredited course for East and Southern Africa.

This overview provides information on the course and feedback on the impact it has had for those who have completed the course.

For more information about the certificate course, and how you can support students to enroll, contact: 

Willys Simfukwe, Head of Programmes,  or Lynette Mudekunye, REPSSI Deputy Executive Director,

REPSSI is also offering several training courses throughout the year on building capacity to provide psychosocial support and monitoring of support interventions. Find out more about these trainings on our events page.

Cash and food transfers in Swaziland: An evaluation of Save the Children's emergency drought response, 2007/08

Cash and food transfers in Swaziland: An evaluation of Save the Children's emergency drought response, 2007/08

The Emergency Drought Response (EDR) project introduced cash transfers as a response to the food crisis of 2007/08 in Swaziland. Some 6,200 households (close to 40,000 people) in two severely affected regions received a half ration of food (maize, beans and oil) and the equivalent in cash, every month for six months from November 2007 until the harvest of April 2008. A further 1,400 households in the same regions who were unable to open bank accounts (usually because they could not secure ID documents in time) received full food rations, and served as a ‘control group’ for comparing project impacts between cash transfer recipients and food aid recipients.

The project was well designed and well implemented. The humanitarian objective of ensuring access to food for drought-affected families was successfully achieved. Cash transfers were delivered on time and in full throughout the project period. The cash payment was fixed at a level intended to allow recipients to purchase a half-ration of food (maize, beans and oil) for each household member, to supplement the half-ration that was delivered in-kind. Food prices in local
markets were monitored monthly and averaged 21% higher than the cash transferred, but the impact was muted by a series of additional transfers paid by Save the Children: lump-sum grants in the first and final months to protect assets and promote livelihoods, monthly supplements for non-food necessities and transport to cash pay-points.

A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system generated useful data before and during the intervention. These included a market feasibility study and baseline survey (pre-implementation), and monthly monitoring of disbursements (cash and food), markets (prices and availability), and households (income, expenditure, assets and diets). A final evaluation survey was implemented in May 2008 (post-implementation). The sample of 1,784 households included 1,225 ‘cash plus food’ recipients, 491 ‘food only’ recipients’ and 68 child-headed households, who also received cash and food but were treated as a separate category (being minors they received their cash transfers directly, not through a Post Office or bank account).

Case Study: Community-Based Organizations in Lesotho Provide Essential Services to Orphans and Vulnerable Children

2013_05_11 MSH_Case_Study_Lesotho_CSO_Jan_2013_Web.pdf

The number of orphans in Lesotho is rapidly increasing. Among countries with HIV prevalence greater than 1 percent, Lesotho has the largest percentage of children who have lost one or both parents. The Lesotho Orphans and Vulnerable Children Situation Analysis report was completed in 2011. The analysis estimated that there are 1,072,974 children under the age of 18 in the country. Of these, 33.8% (362,665) are orphans. The total number of double orphans (children who have lost both parents) is estimated to be 23.6 percent or 253,222 children. 10 to 13 percent, or approximately 125,000, are characterized as vulnerable children.

Socio-economic challenges facing orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Lesotho include high rates of school drop-out due to lack of funds to pay school fees or the need to stay home to care for a sick parent or to take care of siblings. Households with OVC have low agricultural productivity and low purchasing power. As a result, OVC and their families are at risk of inadequate access to food and malnutrition.

Poverty, cultural practices, and taboos that are deeply rooted in the rural communities make it difficult to fully address certain issues, like stigma, negatively impacting OVC care and support. The weakening of traditional support structures and widespread poverty in the country has shifted the care of children to public and nongovernmental institutions, volunteer caregivers, community-based support groups, and nonrelative guardians. OVC are increasingly vulnerable to depression, HIV infection, rape, abuse, and abandonment. Many OVC lack positive role models and the essential psychosocial support required to develop into responsible, productive adults. Fear and confusion surrounding HIV and AIDS has resulted in increased infection rates and teenage pregnancy among OVC. According to UNAIDS, an estimated 28,000 children under the age of 15 were HIV positive as of 2009. The enormous cohort of children who lack adequate supervision, parenting, education, or support requires a concerted effort to address their needs.

Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) initiative: Regional scoping study report

Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) initiative: Regional scoping study report

Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) is a SADC initiative, which aims to assist SADC Member States to mainstream care and support into their education systems and ensure that schools in the SADC region become inclusive centres of learning, care and support where every learner, especially the most vulnerable, can learn.

One of the CSTL initiative’s strategic objectives is to increase learning and knowledge of care and support strategies across the region. To contribute to this, the SADC Secretariat will develop a regional research agenda on care and support for teaching and learning. This research agenda will provide guidance for coordinated, harmonized research that is relevant to issues of care and support for teaching and learning in the region and is driven by the Member States.

The scoping study

To contribute to the development of the regional research agenda, ascoping study was carried out in four of the five Member States engaged in CSTL Phase 1: Swaziland, Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The purpose of the scoping study was to identify relevant national research agendas, research gaps and priorities, good practices and lessons learnt, as well as potential research partners.South Africa, the fifth Member State, did not participate in the scoping study but will participate in a revised process. During the consultative meeting for the development of the regional research agenda, representatives of the South African MoE and a South African researcher will contribute information on research priorities from the South African perspective.

 A second objective of this scoping study was to analyse research challenges within and among Member States: that is, challenges which might need to be addressed through regional collaboration and mutual support, such as the development of the regional research agenda.

Within the context of this particular study,the termresearch gap is used to describe under-researched areas which lack information and data (qualitative or quantitative), while researchpriorities suggests in which areas it would be useful to conduct further research. Potential good practices in this study refers to programmes, projects or initiatives which went particularly well, and which would be suitable for case study research to be shared at a national and regional level. The term Lessons learnt, on the other hand, refers to any factors preventing the successful implementation of programmes or projects, to be researched and documented in order to avoid their replication.


The scoping study is based entirely on qualitative research methods, using two complementary research tools: key informant interviews with research partners of the Ministry of Education (or other relevant government ministries), and focus group discussions with the CSTL National Coordination Units.This report aims at providing a balanced ‘snapshot’ overview of research needs related to care and support for teaching and learning in each of the four participating Member States, based on the input of a diverse range of interviewees.

Results per country

Swaziland  The scoping study in Swaziland was based on an ample and diverse range of partner organizations and researchers interviewed, and can be considered a success. A wealth of information was obtained from different sectors (public and non-governmental), different levels (national and school level), and from actors in different geographical locations within Swaziland.The following priority research areas were identified: 1. School feeding schemes, 2. Psycho-social support, 3. Multi-sectoral collaboration and school-community partnerships, 4. Leadership skills and training needs of headmasters.
Examples of potential good practices included the successful training of community carers, and neighbourhood care points (NCP) which provide food and recreational space for children, just to mention a few. An example of a lesson learnt was the inadequate referral system in cases of child abuse, highlighting children’s lack of direct access to existing referral systems.

Zambia  The in-depth interviews and group discussion in Zambia brought to light a particular concern around issues of child protection. This includes the following research areas: 1. Sexual abuse of children, including abuse of learners by teachers, 2. Teenage pregnancies, 3. Child abuse reporting channels, 4. Psycho-social support. From a national perspective, the quality of education was seen as a priority concern, with suggestions for research studies to investigate issues of educational and operational efficiency.

The discussions among Zambian programme implementers brought up a particularly rich array of potential good practices and practical recommendations. Some examples are: the inclusion of men in mother-support-groups to promote messages against child abuse; the success of community schools in providing education in otherwise neglected areas; and Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) to reach children in rural areas who lack access to schools.

Mozambique  Due to exceptional circumstances in Mozambique at the time of the scoping study (a nationwide strike, as explained in section 8.2) the participation of NCU members and researchers was very limited. Consequently, the scoping study results regarding research priorities at a national level lack inferential value - it would be problematic to draw definite conclusions or recommendations from them.
Similar to other participating Member States, Mozambique reflects a lack of clarity on the concept of psycho-social support. Research on child protection issues was suggested, including the criteria for OVC identification and the underlying causes for child abuse.

Importantly, a need for a validation process for potential good practices became clear, in order to avoid one-sided and subjective evaluations of any practice or programme. A concrete example was the contradictory evaluations of the children’s parliament during the group discussion: while some stakeholders considered the parliament a successful practice, implementers at a provincial level voiced the impression that the parliament did not achieve a great impact. This further highlights the need for effective communication and an exchange of experiences among stakeholders working at different levels of research, programme planning and implementation.

DRC  A well-organized and well-attended NCU meeting contributed towards the successful execution of the scoping study in the DRC. However, in the context of a nation in a humanitarian crisis with violence still ravaging large parts of the country, there are many barriers to education. Faced with a multitude of challenges to the education system, the interviewees found it difficult to prioritize one research area clearly over another. A clear distinction was made between urgent programme needs andresearchneeds, as those two categories do not necessarily coincide. Research needs that were named with most frequency and given great importance by the scoping study participants included: 1. Sexual violence and gender inequality as a barrier to education, 2. PSS needs of traumatized children, 3. Documentation of innovative and efficient ways of meeting the multiple needs of OVC.

A potential good practice in the DRC is the Remedial Education Centres which allow OVC who have missed several years of schooling (such as former child soldiers, displaced children and children working in mines) to be reintegrated into the formal education system. Lessons learnt from the DRC include a lack of learner support resulting in drop-out, and the need for consultation between funding partners and local implementers, among others.

Conclusion and recommendations

Lack of overall collaboration and knowledge sharing between different stakeholders was mentioned as a cross-cutting area of concern in the four Member States. The scoping study brought to light that this deficit extends to the field of research. Limited dissemination and utilization of existing research studies became evident as some interviewees identified ‘research gaps’ in areas which other interviewees considered to be well-researched. This may be attributed to the lack of overarching national research bodies in all four countries. To maximize the utility of existing data and knowledge, a wider dissemination of research studies and stronger collaboration between different stakeholders is recommended, for example through the establishment of national research coordination bodies or central clearing houses, the development of knowledge management systems and the organization of research symposia.

The documentation of good practices and lessons learnt has the potential to be extremely useful to fellow CSTL Member States, if these practices and lessons are successfully shared with programme implementers and development practitioners in the region. To guarantee the accuracy of the information shared, the CSTL regional knowledge management strategy proposes discussing and validating potential good practices within the NCU before they are shared at a regional level with fellow CSTL Member States

Cadre Strategique Et Plan D’action (2008 – 2015)


Comprehensive Care and Support for Orphans, Vulnerable Children & Youth (OVCY) in the Southern African Development Community

La pauvreté et le sous-développement constituent toujours de grandes difficultés pour la région de la SADC. Près de deux tiers de sa population vivent en dessous de la ligne de pauvreté défi nie en termes de dollars US par jour. La pauvreté est aggravée par des niveaux élevés de chômage et par la faiblesse des niveaux de croissance et de productivité industrielle qui caractérisent la plupart des Etats membres. L’insécurité alimentaire qui y est particulièrement aiguë, résulte principalement des catastrophes naturelles liées aux changements climatiques telles que les inondations et les sécheresses récurrentes. La productivité humaine a été réduite suite à la migration des travailleurs, aux taux élevés de morbidité et de mortalité parmi la population de la tranche d’âge économiquement productive résultant principalement de l’effet combiné du VIH et du sida, du paludisme et de la tuberculose, entre autres. La récente flambée des prix de l’énergie et des produits alimentaires et la crise qui frappe les marchés financiers sont en train d’aggraver la situation déjà désespérée de la Région. La pauvreté et les niveaux élevés de morbidité et de mortalité parmi la population adulte débouchent sur une recrudescence sans précédent du nombre d’orphelins et d’enfants et de jeunes vulnérables (OEJV) dans la Région. Les prévisions sociales et économiques en matière de santé indiquent que cette situation risque de perdurer avec des familles de plus en plus pauvres et un nombre croissant d’orphelins pour autant qu’on puisse le prévoir. Ce sont les familles pauvres et vulnérables telles que celles dirigées par des enfants, des femmes, des personnes âgées, des personnes vivant avec des handicaps et avec le VIH et le sida, et les personnes au chômage qui portent le fardeau de ces nombreux défi s, et souvent les issues qui se présentent à eux sont réduites voire inexistantes.

Le Cadre stratégique et le Plan d’action constituent les premiers efforts consentis pour la mise au point d’une riposte aux difficultés croissantes des OEJV dans la SADC. Le Cadre reconnaît la complexité de la question et a, à cet égard, adopté une approche globale et intégrée afin d’assurer des soins et des appuis complets aux OEJV [Avant-propos].