A central part of the RISE Learning Network project is the implementation of three learning projects that capture local learning in order to positively influence policy and practice on recovery and reintegration for children affected by Child Sexual Exploitation.
These projects will be a practical way to generate learning at a grassroots level. The intention will be to share this learning more widely to inform, engage and inspire stakeholders working on recovery and reintegration from child sexual exploitation. The projects will incorporate elements of reflective practice and action research, contributing to a wider process of strengthening the evidence base for effective practice.
The topic for the first Learning Project will be Monitoring and Evaluation of (re)integration practices. It will build on the work on this topic already undertaken by Home: the Child Recovery and Reintegration Network (www.childrecovery.info) (for which the RISE Learning Network is the successor), and will be led by RISE implementing partner Retrak based on its existing expertise in this field.
The topics for the remaining two learning projects will be informed by the regional mapping findings on knowledge gaps, challenges and priorities for learning in each of the focus regions of the project – Latin American and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa and South and Central Asia.
Each of the three learning projects will be implemented in a total of three sites, through a local NGO partner at each site, identified through consultations with the Regional Working Groups. The Local NGO partners will be supported in their implementation of these projects by a Learning Project Adviser along with the RISE Coordination Team and Regional Working Groups.
How will ‘learning’ be generated?
The learning projects will adopt an approach which combines reflective practice and action research. To apply this approach, the following steps would need to be followed for each learning project.
- Selecting an overall focus for each learning project, to be decided by the Steering Committee based on reflections guided by the regional mapping reports, advised by the Global Reference Group and with inputs from the Regional Working Groups.
- Clarifying theories, existing concepts and working hypotheses in a brief desk-based literature review. At this stage initial consultations with children and stakeholders will also, if possible, be carried out through the Regional Working Groups’ existing networks, to inform the next stage of identifying research questions.
- Identifying research questions, learning project design, ethical considerations and parameters. Following the discussions and consultations, a detailed concept note will be developed for the learning project with additional consultation with children, young people and stakeholders to define the research questions and learning project design.
- Participatory collection of data, qualitative and quantitative by local partners, identified through the Regional Working Groups and funded with small grants, working closely with children and young people and community stakeholders, ideally engaging them as researchers as well as informants, respondents and participants.
- Analysing data. Initial collation and analysis of the data will be done locally by the partner, using a process suggested by the Learning Adviser who also supports them in this process. Further analysis will then be done centrally by the Learning Adviser to produce a report for each learning project, in consultation with all actors, including the children and young people, including methodology, findings, conclusions and recommendations.
- Reporting results via the website, learning hubs, Regional Working Groups, local partners and other networks.
- Taking informed action. Advocacy plans, tools and messages will be developed and implemented based on the learning project findings and views of children and young people.
- Continuation of action research cycle: ideally this will be an ongoing iterative process, based on trial and error, reflection and review. In order to repeat the action research cycle (in existing and new sites and regions), additional funds will need to be raised and to extend beyond the term of this project cycle.This would also enable wider dissemination of findings and lessons learned, to enable replication, and further testing, reflection and review. Although at this stage availability of continuation funds cannot be assured, this would be desirable for the continuous, iterative approach of reflective practice and action research.
An ethical protocol will be developed for the learning projects which will outline key ethical considerations including that any activities that are undertaken as part of these projects should ‘do no harm’. In addition the protocol will highlight the importance of ensuring that participation is voluntary, that participants understand the concepts of confidentiality and informed consent and are aware that they can withdraw from activities at any point in time. The ethical protocol will also include clear details of how to deal with disclosures and support needs that may be identified through the process of collecting information and learning. Guidelines on data storage and dissemination will also be provided. The ethical protocol for each of the learning projects will be adapted for each project and reviewed by a relevant group or body of professionals.
Principles of Learning Project design and implementation:
- Decisions on design and focus of the learning projects will always involve wider consultation with implementing partners and participants.
- Children, families and other relevant community stakeholders will be involved in identifying issues and problems, as well as discussing, deciding and acting on findings and recommendations.
- Dissemination and wider use of learning is built into learning project design, including utilisation of Rise Learning Network platforms.
- Comprehensive ethical protocols will be developed and used.
- Inclusive in terms of age, gender and disability.
- Practitioner focused, reflective and action-oriented.
- Community-based, across rural and urban contexts, in low and medium income countries.