Proving Impact in Child Rights Governance


Project status: Ongoing

Funded by: Co-funded by Save the Children and University of East Anglia

The aim of this project is to develop a new method for assessing the impact of Save the Children’s advocacy to advance children’s rights in Zambia. The approach is taking an existing approach to impact assessment of policy change and advocacy work called Process Tracing. In the study, we are taking some of the key tools of Process Tracing and blending them with the monitoring of ongoing advocacy work.

The goal is that the method will, firstly, to allow for some claims to be tested about the efficacy of this particular advocacy campaign. Secondly, over time such an approach could allow for better understanding of effective strategies and approaches in working with the government on child rights, permitting lessons to be applied more widely.

The method is being piloted with a programme on child sensitive social protection, in the Copperbelt region in northern Zambia. This programme aims to complement the national cash transfer programme (see Falling Through the Cracks: The impact of inconsistent Social Cash Transfers on children in Lufwanyama district, Zambia | Save the Children’s Resource Centre) with support for parents and children on accountability and transparency for services, as well as with broader parenting support. A key advocacy aim is to ensure that the Zambian social protection system is more child sensitive, and to gain more funding for such child friendly social protection (see Child-Sensitive Social Protection: An investment case for Child-Sensitive Social Protection in Zambia | Save the Children’s Resource Centre).

The initial phase of the research, funded by a small internal grant, involved a brief period of fieldwork to meet key colleagues. A second period of fieldwork was conducted across Lufwanyama and Kalulushi districts in  March 2024, engaging with communities about challenges with the cash transfer system, as well as discussing the parenting and accountability programmes.  A big topic for many cash transfer recipients is the switch to payments by mobile phone in late 2023. Further work is underway to expand on this survey of the situation and to establish the monitoring system.

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