Conference report: innovations and challenges in protecting children in armed conflict

Working and discussion papers
February 2018
Veronique Barbelet, Nicola Jones and Aneeta Williams

ODI hosted a roundtable discussion on 20 November 2017 to discuss new approaches to psychosocial care and education. The roundtable was hosted jointly by War Child UK, GAGE and the Humanitarian Policy Group. Participants at the discussion included a range of practitioners and funders, including academics, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donors.

The roundtable, held under Chatham House Rules, focussed on four key themes: access, risks and assumptions, learning and ethics. This report highlights the main discussion points and concludes with concrete recommendations arising from the event.

Key messages:

  1. Develop a more nuanced approach to programming in conflict-affected settings, recognising and addressing the different age-segmented needs of young children, adolescents and youth.
  2. Develop a global Theory of Change to guide integrated programming across education, mental health and psychosocial support and child protection to guide the work of practitioners, researchers and evaluators.
  3. Create a global partnership and information-sharing platform across practitioners and researchers linking education, mental health and psychosocial support and child protection experts, including active engagement with Southern-based NGOs and research institutions to support the synthesis, dissemination and implementation of good practice in integrated programming to improve the well-being of children affected by armed conflict.
  4. Invest in a mixed methods evidence base that reflects the perspectives, priorities and experiences of children and adolescents which does not misrepresent or exploit them.