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Engaging with Other Sectors and Governments

Discover good practice on engaging with other sectors and reflect on the importance of multisectoral engagement for child protection outcomes.

Toward a Multi-sectoral Response: Working with Communities, Governments, and Humanitarian Sectors

“The prevention of and response to infectious disease outbreaks requires close coordination and collaboration between several sectors.” (CPMS)

A multi-sectoral response:
  • Requires engagement and coordination across sectors at the community, government and humanitarian sector levels.
  • Ensures that children’s, families’ and caregivers’ needs are addressed holistically within all levels of society.
  • Leads to better outcomes for children.
What are the key considerations for multi-sectoral interventions and coordination?
We should ensure:
1) All personnel—across all sectors—are trained on: safe identification of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against children; gender, inclusion and disability issues; referral and documentation of child protection cases; child-friendly communication; and child safeguarding policies and systems.
2) Personnel who interact with children and families are trained on the psychosocial impact of the crisis and the support needed. Where possible, a Psychological First Aid approach is used.
3) Updated referral pathways and procedures are in place, reinforced and adapted to the situation, and all actors across sectors are aware of them.
4) Up-to-date safe, accessible, child-friendly complaints and feedback mechanisms that staff and beneficiaries across sectors are aware of.
5) Community mechanisms for children and families to signal their support and protection needs are developed and implemented across sectors.
6) Engagement and collaboration across sectors on safety audits to assess and address children’s protection needs at all facilities and within all programs.
7) Integration of child protection messaging, including handling caregiver stress, children’s right to be safe and available services (e.g., MHPSS, family tracing, and reunification) throughout all sector messaging.
8) Inclusion of accurate health information through child protection services.
9) Sectors collaborate to include child protection concerns in assessments and monitoring tools.

Multi-sectoral Interventions: An Example of a Priority Action by Sector

  • Protection: Advocate with authorities that restrictions on movement and across borders must not contribute to family separation and negative impacts on children.
  • Food Security and Livelihoods: Collaborate to adapt the targeting criteria and referrals for food, cash and livelihoods support to prioritize children experiencing or at high risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.
  • Education: Advocate with governments and schools to ensure continuation of age-appropriate and disability-inclusive learning to support children’s development and well-being. Consider remote teaching via radio, TV or internet (context dependent); support for parents; and sharing of resources/resource packs.
  • Health: Include measures to protect children during a COVID-19 outbreak in contingency plans.
  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support: Collaborate on MHPSS care and messaging for children and caregivers affected by COVID-19.
  • Nutrition: Develop creative alternatives to school- or community-based feeding programs.
  • WASH: Collaborate to provide safe, child-friendly hygiene-promotion activities before and during outbreaks, including the development of posters, videos and infographics targeting children, parents/caregivers and teachers.
  • Shelter and Settlement: Adapt the design of shelters to meet the needs of family members who must self-isolate and to prevent family separation.
  • Camp Management: Support camp management actors in adapting services and participation mechanisms to ensure they remain safe, child-friendly, accessible and inclusive for all children, including girls and children with disabilities.

Your Task

Do you want to learn more about intersectoral coordination?

See pages 10–13 of Technical Note: Protection of Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic, Version 2, The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, 2020 for more details.

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Protecting Children during COVID-19 and other Infectious Disease Outbreaks

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