KAP action research study on violence against children

In 2014 UNICEF Tanzania Country Office in collaboration with Government commissioned University of Huddersfield – the Centre for Applied Childhood Studies in partnership with Mzumbe University in Tanzania, to undertake a study entitled: The Drivers of Violence Against Children in Tanzania, a participatory action research exploring knowledge, attitudes and socio-cultural practices that contribute to violence against children in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.

This initiative is a good example of several different evaluation tasks including: participatory and action research approaches to Collecting and or retrieving data (methods), having a combination of international, local researchers to collaborate to conduct the research/evaluation, and of Developing evaluation capacity.

The following information was provided to BetterEvaluation by Jessica Noske-Turner as part of the Evaluating C4D Resource Hub

The Evaluating C4D Resource Hub sits within BetterEvaluation and houses a growing collection of the available guides, toolkits, tools and methods to use for research monitoring and evaluation (R,M&E) of Communication for Development (C4D) initiatives. The Hub is structured around two combined frameworks:

A circle with spokes and a number of graphics set against a rainbow

C4D Evaluation Framework (represented by the circle) is an approach. It describes the values and principles that guide our decisions in C4D. 

The BetterEvaluation Rainbow Framework (represented by the rainbows) is a structure. It organises the practical tasks into seven categories or 'clusters' and provides options.

While the resource recommendation below discusses the resource specifically in relation to its usefulness for evaluating C4D within the Evaluating C4D Resource Hub's C4D Framework, this resource may also be of use for people working in other contexts and with different frameworks.

Authors and their affiliation

UNICEF Tanzania

Key features

This example stands out as an alternative way to investigate Knowledge Attitudes and Practices (KAP). KAP studies typically use the survey method. This case exemplifies a highly qualitative and engaged approach to understanding underlying socio-cultural norms, attitudes and practices. In addition, the study combined a situation analysis with an investigation into socio-cultural factors that may provide a protective environment for children, and generate ideas from the community about how to address problems of violence against children. The use of dialogue-oriented focus groups, participatory appraisal, photovoice, and other similar techniques meant the KAP used an open, grounded approach to understanding not just the situation but also the causes and opportunities for change in ways that are much more holistic and nuanced than is usually achieved through surveys. This initiative included a capacity building and mentoring component, and brought together researchers from the UK (University of Huddersfield) and researchers from a local university (Mzumbe University) in a mentoring relationship. In addition, 10 researchers were recruited through Mzumbe University and trained to undertake focus group research, and train community researchers and child peer-researchers.

    How have you used or intend on using this resource?

    This example has been identified as particularly useful for evaluating of communication for development (C4D). It was identified as part of a research project in collaboration with UNICEF C4D. If other teams were considering using this as a model, it is worth noting that a true ‘action research’ project might have continued to maintain the participatory action research activities (e.g. participatory appraisal) throughout implementation, with the new findings feeding into activities and community members taking active roles in achieving change.

    Why would you recommend it to other people?

    This example would be valuable for teams considering using participatory and action research methods, or who would like to set up mentoring partnerships to conduct the evaluation/research. this could be continued throughout implementation. This example is consistent with the C4D Evaluation Framework in the following ways:   

    • Holistic: In comparison to most studies of Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP), this study made use of much more qualitative, community-based, and community participatory approaches to holistically understand underlying socio-cultural norms, attitudes and practices that contribute to violence against children, and to work with communities to identify opportunities to strengthen existing protective factors.
    • Learning-based: This was set up to create a mentoring relationship between UK researchers and local (Tanzanian) university researchers. In this way it included an evaluation capacity building component in the design. Capacity building was also incorporated to train community researchers and child peer-researchers. It demonstrates the need to build the capacity in order to use participatory methods.
    • participatorythe methods used in this initiative were not simply extractive (ascertaining people’s views through qualitative research), but sought to actively engage with stakeholders in iterative processes of reflection and learning. The 2,016 participants (including children age 13-17 years) were supported to explore and critically reflect on the socio cultural factors that underpin violence against children, and through gaining a better understanding of the issues, reflect on prevailing assumptions and practices, and in light of new learning collectively explore possibilities for change. The methods included: focus groups were designed to facilitate dialogue, critical reflection and learning, community workshops using participatory appraisal techniques. A community reference group was formed and engaged in dialogue to extend the learning and build common knowledge and ownership. In addition community researchers and child peer-researchers were engaged and trained to undertake some of the data collection.

    The C4D Evaluation Framework would also highlight the following areas for consideration:

    • realisticthose interested in replicating should be aware that the involvement of international experienced researchers would cost more, so adequate funding is important, which needs to be secured during the planning phase.

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