National Social Service Systems for Orphans and Vulnerable Children – Framework for Planning and Monitoring and Evaluation


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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2017

National Social Service Systems for Orphans and Vulnerable Children – Framework for Planning and Monitoring and Evaluation Abstract:

Since 2003, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has provided more than $2 billion USD for initiatives to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). Over the past several years, to ensure the sustainability and ownership of these initiatives, PEPFAR has increased funding for initiatives intended to strengthen the social service system in HIV-affected countries to improve the protection and care of children. Rather than focus exclusively on initiatives to address specific child protection concerns in isolation (such as HIV and AIDS, child labor, household income generation, or education), system-strengthening initiatives aim to create a system with the capacity to address multiple interconnected vulnerabilities. Although PEPFAR’s OVC programs will continue to be concerned primarily with the welfare and protection of HIV-affected children, PEPFAR’s investments in countries’ social service system will sustainably improve those systems’ capacity to benefit children and households facing a diversity of vulnerabilities, including HIV, as well as circumstances that are proven to increase the risk of acquiring HIV, such as lack of education, child abuse, and poverty.

PEPFAR’s investments in social service system strengthening cover the following areas: supporting governments to formulate national plans of action for vulnerable children; providing targeted organizational capacity building for governments to increase sustainable financing and improve service delivery; supporting training programs for staff (e.g., the social service workforce) who work with households and children; and supporting the development of national information management systems for child welfare and protection programs. PEPFAR also invests significant resources to help families and communities engaged in care for children. For example, PEPFAR provides support aimed at improving positive parenting practices, such as nonviolent discipline and child development activities. Educating parents about topics such as maternal and child health issues and services also increases the capacity of families to care for their children, including preventing and responding to HIV.

Such investments support what is known as the formal, or government-led, social service system, as well as the informal, or family- and community-based, social service system.

This guidance is intended for anyone with a stake in a country’s social service system. That includes stakeholders involved in planning, managing, or developing strategy related to social service systems and stakeholders that support the strengthening of social service systems and the delivery of services. Although we developed this guide with USAID’s and PEPFAR’s support, its audience is not limited to these agencies’ partners. Other donors and organizations providing technical assistance to social service systems may also find this guide useful for generating information for programs and policy. Similarly, government ministries, such as a ministry of social services, can use this guide to assess the status of their social service systems, inform planning, and make program and policy decisions.

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