JLI EVAC Hub Scoping Study Themes (As of Dec 2017)

For Member Meeting

In our first discussion of this on 9th November 2017 we identified three crosscutting themes for the scoping study that run through all of the EVAC-focused work we will do:

  • Gender perspectives
  • Interfaith approaches/collaboration
  • Child participation

We also reached agreement on two key themes that could form the basis of the scoping study:

  1. The unique contribution of faith communities perspectives on EVAC

Faith communities are involved with children and families on various levels and bring to this work their own faith-based perspectives on the reasons behind EVAC-related issues, how they affect children and perspectives on how children and families can be supported. In addition, they provide children and their carers with perspectives on how to understand and overcome violence and suffering on an individual, social, spiritual and community level.

Key questions:

  • Formulated very broadly: we may want to narrow this down to looking at key aspects of this in relation to support, prevention, psychosocial support?
  • Should we narrow down in relation to the types of value added that faith communities’ perspectives contribute to this, e.g. providing safe spaces, caring/parenting practices, moral guidance, resilience-building, social support etc.?


2. Role of faith leaders in in influencing wider community and formal & informal child protection systems in relation to prevention and response to EVAC as well as their involvement as perpetrators of EVAC

In some settings faith leaders play little or no role in formal child protection systems but may be active in informally resolving child protection issues in the community whereas in others they are prominent agents that cooperate across a range of formal actors and structures. What factors influence faith leaders involvement in these structures and how can they be enhanced? If faith leaders are active through informal community structures what social, cultural and religious considerations influence decisions about what is in the best interest of the child? [taken from the EVAC Concept note]

Key questions:

  • Are these two different issues, i.e. the formal & informal child protection systems and the perpetrators of EVAC? If yes, are these two different questions/themes?
  • Are we interested only in faith leaders or is there too much emphasis placed on leaders and we should be investigating faith communities/congregations more specifically?


Given advice from other JLI co-chairs, we may only want 2 themes as this usually all that can be effectively contained within the remit of the scoping study. However, possible 3rd themes could include noted interest expressed specifically in:

  • Psychosocial wellbeing and how faith perspectives
  • Support for children and families in the first 1,000 days

Scoping Process

A two-part scoping study:

  • Review of the evidence and literature on 2-3 topics with collation of practical examples form programming (3-4 months Feb- May 2018)
  • Primary data collection through semi-structured interviews with key informants as well as generation of case studies that illustrate approaches in the field to working with EVAC from a faith perspective (4-5 months May-Oct 2018)

After this we need to consider useful outputs and dissemination for policy and practitioner level.


Member Survey summary:

Analysis from 27th October 2017

This member survey was initiated prior to the first JLI EVAC Meeting in September 2017 and open until mid October.

27 responses received from the following organizations: Arigatou Intl,  AfriChild Centre (AfriChild), Uganda, Compassion International, Episcopal Relief & Development, IFRC, Islamic Relief, MAP International, Mennonite Central Committee, New York Board of Rabbis, Office of the Special Rep to the UN SG on VAC, Sarvodaya, Samaritan’s Purse, Unit for Religion ad Development, Stellenbosch University, World Relief, World Vision, WV Senegal, WV Sri Lanka, Queen Margaret University, UNICEF USA

A summary of issues in the survey

From the survey responses the two top themes were

  • The role of faith leaders in influencing the wider community including faith leaders working in prevention, faith leaders as a positive response or as perpetrators (7 votes)
  • Understanding and dealing with harmful practices such as early enforced marriage, child domestic labour, sexual abuse and exploitation, and long-term consequences of VAC (5 votes)

As Harmful Traditional Practices are predominantly the remit of the SGBV Hub the next two topics that received three votes each were:

  • Mobilization of faith-based communities and faith leaders (This is more of an outcome and activity than a topic for investigation)
  • Safeguarding from different faith perspectives: Are the same messages being communicated by the different faith communities about ending violence against children



Research questions that received more than 14 votes in the survey

To what extent are faith leaders and communities prepared to engage children with disabilities exposed to violence?
How faith and faith actors are implicated in support or opposition in gendered violations of children’s rights
What is the faith community’s role in the child protection system (and at different stages and spaces through this journey)? How can (do) they strengthen or undermine the system? What are the critical success or enabling factors
What motivates or inspires religious communities to take action with respect to child protection in their local communities? Is this effective, to what extent and how?
Is raising awareness and sensitizing faith leaders and their spouses an effective means of mobilizing local faith communities with respect to ending violence against children and to what extent and how?
What is the contribution of faith communities’ engagement in ending violence against children (e.g., can we attribute any change to them?)
How does interfaith collaboration in relation to child protection issues strengthen/contribute to EVAC?


Other topics:

  • Negative role of religion/faith communities in child protection & Norms and practices driven by faith teachings that perpetuate violence against children – threat, violence, fear, corporal punishment etc.
  • Value added of faith communities becoming involved in CP
  • Role of faith leaders in public debates
  • Psychosocial wellbeing/resilience
  • Child participation


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