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Evaluation report

2016 Comoros: Evaluation du système de protection de l’enfant dans l’Union des Comores : Rapport des principaux résultats



Author: Mrs Anna NORDENMARK SEVERINSSON (Maestral International)

Executive summary

With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System (GEROS)". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. The quality rating scale for evaluation reports is as follows: “Highly Satisfactory”, “Satisfactory”, “Fair” or “Unsatisfactory”. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report, and the executive feedback summary labelled as ‘Part 3’.

Background:

Since Comoros ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in February 1991, several actions have been taken by successive governments with the support of development partners to improve and strengthen the child protection system in the country. The legislation has been revised to comply with the country's international commitments. Several laws, policies and strategies have been adopted to improve the legislative and regulatory environment for children. The capacities of the actors in charge of child protection have been strengthened to ensure the availability of services for vulnerable and at-risk children. Communication activities have been carried out to help change behavior and mobilize the population on issues related to the protection of children.  However, it is considered that the systemic approach to child protection has not been sufficiently taken into account in these various actions. This is due to the weakness of the human and material resources of the system and the absence of multidisciplinary coordination and cooperation. It is also felt that traditional approaches to child protection do not sufficiently prevent and adequately address child protection issues. Hence, the need for child protection actors to move away from reactive and problem-oriented programming to adopt a systemic approach that supports a more holistic view of the child facing multiple risks.

Purpose/Objective:

The Government of Comoros, with the support of UNICEF, decided to undertake the mapping and evaluation of the child protection system. This was to obtain information on its efficiency and effectiveness and to inform the development of a national policy and action plan for the protection of children in Comoros.

To achieve this goal, the objectives of this evaluation were to analyze in particular:

  • The relevance, effectiveness and sustainability of existing systems for the protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Particular attention was paid to the concept of "equity", and especially to mechanisms, interventions and policies aimed at protecting the rights of children among the most vulnerable segments of Comorian society.
  • The successes and challenges of current protection systems and the resulting lessons learned, institutional capacities of communities to support any national policy or any unified system of child protection. Particular attention was paid to the successes and challenges in the governance of the child protection system and in its multisectorial nature.

Methodology:

The evaluation used a combination of methods, including:

  • Review of program documents, legislation and policies, and data from mappings of various protection systems in Comoros.
  • Conducting interviews with key informants at national, island and community levels, including key informants from government and associations.
  • Interviews with professionals (such as the brigade of morals and minors, judges, cadis, listening center professionals, committees for vulnerable children, NGOs and associations).
  • Group discussions with community members, vulnerable or at-risk parents and children.

Findings and Conclusions:

Among the major achievements in Comoros during 2010-2015 are the establishment of a legislative framework for the protection of children, of an institutional framework for a formal protection system, of services such as the listening services and the brigade of morals and minors. The latter have paid particular attention to children’s right to protection and the handling of individual cases. All these developments have led to an awareness in the population about the harmful consequences of certain acts against a child. Awareness among the population of what constitutes violence against a child is more pronounced in cases of sexual violence. When it comes to physical punishment for children within the family, there is a discrepancy in the opinions of parents. It should also be noted that if children themselves were aware of their rights and were able to recognize violence in all its forms, it would be the most tangible evidence of awareness and an important effect of sensitization on the importance of protecting children against violence. During group discussions with children, if children were able to correctly identify sexual abuse, many of them tended to think that it was their fault if they were victims or it was up to them to change their behavior, not up to the perpetrators.

Recommendations:

The main recommendations from this evaluation are the following:

  • Recommendation 1: Strengthen the logical framework in a national policy, legislative, and standards and regulations on child protection.
  • Recommendation 2: Transform the existing formal institutional protection system at national and island levels into an effective governance system that connects the community, insular and national levels.
  • Recommendation 3: Continue awareness raising, communication and mobilization for an enhancement of the protection of children.
  • Recommendation 4: Provide financial resources for the strengthening of a multisectoral protection system, based on good governance, which fosters coordination and collaboration between the formal, informal, NGO and voluntary interventions.
  • Recommendation 5: Strengthen accountability mechanisms for the child protection in the country.

Lessons Learned:

Two lessons and good practices were noted for a future national child protection policy. First, in Comoros, the family remains truly the first layer of protection around a child. In this context, Comorian culture has always remained relatively immune to the global tendency of state institutions and of the voluntary sector to hasten the replacement of families where parental capacity is lacking, even when this lack of capacity is mainly due to poverty. This culture that conceives the family as the natural protective environment of a child is healthy and deserves to be protected.
Secondly, the Comorian tradition favors pedagogical parental authority for the proper education of children on the basic values of society. Within the community, children are supervised, not only by their parents, but also by the entire community. Many parents stressed the importance of dialogue with children, explaining issues to them, ensuring that their basic needs are met, so that they can in turn listen to their parents and take responsibility in the family and in the community. In a society on the road to modernization and development, it would be important to ensure that these values are protected.



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Report information

Year:
2016

Country:
Comoros

Region:
ESAR

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Child Protection

Language:
French

Institution:
Solidarity, Social Protection, and Gender Promotion Commission of the Ministry of Health, Solidarity, Social Cohesion and Gender Promotion

Sequence #:
2016/002

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