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Evaluation report

2009 India: Evaluation of the Child Reporters Initiative (CRI)



Executive summary

 

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Background:

The Child Reporters Initiative (CRI) is a collaborative effort of various state governments,
Local partners and UNICEF to involve children, particularly from marginalized and
vulnerable communities, in the use of media tools and thereby to give them the means to express their views and raise their concerns and issues in larger forums. The first CRI took off in the year 2005 while the others followed at different points in time soon thereafter. It is currently being implemented in 13 states of India,

Purpose/Objective:

The main objective of the CRI has been to equip children, particularly those of marginalized evolved their working strategies while working on the ground. to community contexts, children’s eagerness to learn a particular media, procedures to identify child reporters and partnerships with other agencies.

Methodology:

a) Desk review

• Select UNICEF (HQ, Country Offices, State Office) documents and materials, country office annual reports, State Office documentation, studies from 2005-2008.

• Documents, reports, audio visual material related to the initiative from all states, including those produced by the children.

b) Literature review

• National and international experience of similar initiatives on child reporters/participation

c) Key Informant Interviews

• With other organizations/partners implementing similar initiatives on child reporters.

• With State Representatives/Communication Officers, advisors and agencies involved in the initiative.

• With government officials at the state and district level involved in the initiative

• With community leaders in the districts where the CRI was implemented


d) Qualitative Survey

• Visits to select State offices to visit projects. (MP, Orissa, Maharashtra, TN, UP) Site visits will provide primary info on ‘voices of children’/child reporters (wherever the initiative is being continued).

• Focus group discussions and participatory collection of data with children from various stakeholders in States where the Child Reporter Initiatives is still in operation and will be visited by agency/consultant.

• Focus group discussions with parents of children

Findings and Conclusions:

Partnerships with grassroots organisations, educational institutes or professional media houses, networks and alliances or a direct engagement with district authorities have helped facilitate the initiative at the field level.

Grappling with new challenges, they havedevised innovative ways and modified their strategies, to suit the demands of the program awell as the contexts within which it is being implemented.

The CRI has been implemented in the integrated districts in most of the states, which haboth advantages and disadvantages. The initiative in principle gains from the backward andforward linkages and resources offered by other interventions but suffers due to the lowerpriority it is accorded as an “add-on” programme.

Recommendations:

Strengthening the partnering organizations conceptually and in practice (through consistent workshops and orientations) in order to hone their engagement with children is important for the initiative. At the same time, current nodes of operation like the local schools also need to be bolstered by building capacities of school teachers and perhaps, devising ways of integrating the CRI in a central way within the school system need further deliberations.

Among the key lessons for operationalising MTSP (Key Results Area 5) are the impof internal capacity within implementing organizations, including UNICEF, for operationalising children and young people’s participation. This envisages the availability ostaff with conceptual understanding and the ability to orchestrate technical assistanceinterventions and sufficient allocation of staff time for the CRI and calls for orientation and training workshops backed by ongoing coaching and mentoring.



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