The Down to Zero alliance, comprising Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Plan Netherlands, Defence for Children International-ECPAT Netherlands, Free a Girl and ICCO, is funded under the SRHR Partnership Fund of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The five-year programme addresses Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).
The assignment is to determine the actual CSEC situation in the 11 programme countries at the beginning of the programme. To allow for programmatic steering and accountability, this baseline CSEC situation will be used as a basis for comparison to determine progress towards programme objectives.
MDF Training & Consultancy conducted the baseline study covering the 11 programme countries, firstly by carrying out desk research for a contextualised description of the current CSEC prevalence.
Secondly, MDF Training & Consultancy, in consultation with programme experts, developed a child-friendly participatory methodology and managed collection of baseline (primary) data by local experts on children’s empowerment levels. Based on the collected data, we assessed the following four intermediate changes in children’s empowerment related to ultimate programme outcomes:
- Awareness and knowledge about CSEC, its risks and protective measures
- Access to support services and opportunities offering alternatives to CSEC
- Mobilisation and participation in expressing needs and rights to others
- Influence over others by acting as agents of change
Thirdly, we undertook field studies in four selected programme countries: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Indonesia and Thailand to assess the CSEC related mindset, attitude and behaviour of key actors targeted by the programme: communities, government and the private sector.
As a result, MDF Training & Consultancy produced a baseline report that covers, per programme country, the following elements related to the programme’s Theory of Change:
- a short description of the country context and an overview of the available data on CSEC prevalence;
- an assessment of children’s mindset and behaviour related to their ability to protect themselves from (re) victimisation of CSEC;
- a description of the current mindset and behaviour of the other target actors: communities, governments and the private sector, related to the intermediate changes towards programme outcomes.
Figure: The following figure provides an illustration of the child empowerment assessment: It shows how the degree of progress in child empowerment-related four key intermediate change areas. The numbered lines represent degrees of progress.