Tuesday 15 June 2010

Children’s Participation: Experiences in capacity building and training

Children’s Participation: Experiences in capacity building and training, by Henk van Beers, Save the Children Sweden, ISBN 91-89366-96-4, Stockholm, 2002.

I have decided to make this book available in PDF (although the quality is poor since it is a scan of the hard copy) because the experiences are still valuable and maybe helpful when it comes to capacity building on children's participation, and people have been asking me for a copy. Hard copies should still be available from Save the Children Sweden in Stockholm.

This book reflects on experiences in building the capacity of staff of organisations for street and working children to do participatory action research in Kenya from 1995-2000.

In 1995 SNV (Stichting Nederlandse Vrijwilligers – Netherlands Development Organisation) launched a programme in Kenya to assist street children projects in improving their work with children. The programme’s main components were organisational strengthening and capacity building, targeting both staff and management. Over a five year period, four 10-month training courses in Participatory Action Research with children were organised for staff of approximately 30 projects to enable them to undertake their own research, to find out more about the children they work with and to enhance the involvement of children in programming. The training also aimed to enhance the skills of staff in working with children.

In two projects a comprehensive in-house training scheme for all staff and management was conducted to address various constraints in their work in a child-focused way. In addition, a number of separate workshops and seminars on children's rights and participation were organised for various groups of organisations which with children in need of special protection measures. Additional training needs were addressed where they arose such as the need to improve counselling skills.

The experiences show that major benefits can be derived from involving children at project level, in policy development and in research. Looking at existing interventions from children’s perspectives may require a critical review of approaches, as is shown in this report. However, by providing children with an active role in their own development interventions become more relevant and effective.

This publication analyses experiences from capacity building and training in children's participation in project contexts. It examines the results of training adults and provides detailed examples of different ways to involve children.

The lessons learnt may be useful for organisations and individuals who plan to promote children's participation in their policies, research and interventions. It may be of specific use for agencies and professionals who work in different socio-cultural contexts where the concept of children's participation may be seen as alien to existing societal norms and values. Children can participate and make contributions to issues that affect them – and this report shows the benefits of children's participation both for children and adults.


Unknown said...

can you let me know how to get hold of a copy? Thanks. Clare

Children's participation said...

Hi Clare,

Hard copies are available at Save the Children Sweden. You can order through their online bookshop:
Costs are 100 SEK + mailing costs.

Unfotunately I don't have a digital copy of the book.