Spotlight: How we developed a course on Programme Design for Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups (CAAFAG)
An interview with Sandra Maignant, Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action
In October 2022, the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action launched a new, six-week online course on Programme Design for Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups (CAAFAG). We interviewed Sandra Maignant, Co-lead of the CAAFAG Task Force at the Alliance, to find out what we can expect from the course, and hear about her experiences of developing it.
Can you tell us a bit more about the Programme Design for CAAFAG course, its objectives and the audience it’s intended to serve?
Thousands of girls and boys continue to be recruited and used in conflicts worldwide. While progress has been made in some areas, challenges are still faced in designing and implementing programmes to prevent and respond to the needs of Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups (CAAFAG).
The Programme Design for CAAFAG course from the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action is designed to introduce child protection practitioners to the key concepts of programme design for CAAFAG and how to contextualise their design within the legal and normative framework where they are working.
The course guides learners through each step of the project cycle, and draws on the requirements set out in the CAAFAG programme development guidelines.
It is primarily designed for child protection managers or advisors in charge of designing, implementing, reviewing, and supporting programmes for CAAFAG. This may include those working in international and national NGO, UN agencies, and representatives of government institutions.
By the end of the course, learners will be able to:
- Explain the key elements of the international legal and normative framework for CAAFAG;
- Describe the process and the tools available to design and implement a context analysis;
- Demonstrate how to use the data from the context analysis to design programmes for CAAFAG;
- Describe the key elements of quality CAAFAG programme implementation;
- Summarise the key elements of an effective learning and evaluation of CAAFAG programmes.
Tell us a bit about the decisions you took in relation to the format – what are the benefits of a MOOC, and why HPass badges?
The course is based on the CAAFAG Programme Development guidelines that were published by the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action in 2021. A 5-day face-to-face training was also developed and has been facilitated with child protection practitioners in some countries. We decided to also develop a massive open online course in order to reach more learners. The MOOC is available online, entirely self-paced and free of charge to learners. The English-language course launched in November 2022, and French- and Spanish-language versions of the course are also now available. We have already enrolled almost 1,000 learners with the MOOC, which is a far greater reach than we can have with only face-to-face training.
We decided to add an HPass badge in recognition of the learning that takes place during the MOOC. There is a significant time commitment involved for learners – 18 hours over 6 weeks – and we wanted to recognise both this commitment and the learning that takes place in order to complete the course and achieve the badge.
What were the most difficult elements of developing the course?
The content of the MOOC is based on the CAAFAG Programme Development Toolkit which is a very comprehensive set of guidelines and tools for child protection practitioners. When we developed the MOOC, we had to carefully consider how to select and reduce the content to make it accessible online, while also maintaining the clear, step-by-step nature of the original guidance.
Tell us about the Alliance for CPHA and its remit
The mission of the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action is to support the efforts of humanitarian actors to achieve high-quality and effective child protection interventions in both refugee and non-refugee humanitarian contexts.
As a global network of operational agencies, academic institutions, policymakers, donors and practitioners, the Alliance facilitates inter-agency technical collaboration on child protection in all humanitarian contexts. It sets standards and produces technical guidance for use by various stakeholders. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) currently co-leads the Alliance with World Vision International.
What are you personally most excited about in launching this course?
I am really excited to make this toolkit available to all field practitioners working with CAAFAG around the world or wanting to know more about CAAFAG, and in three languages. Our target audience are mainly people working in conflict settings, with limited time to attend a one-week face-to-face training.
The Programme Design for CAAFAG is free and available in English, French and Spanish – you can enrol at the links below. The course is HPass-badged, with the badge available upon completion of the course.
English: Programme Design for CAAFAG
French: Conception du programme pour les enfants associés aux forces et aux groupes armés (EAFGA)
Spanish: Diseño del Programa para Niños vinculados a fuerzas y grupos armados
Right: Sandra Maignant, Co-Lead of the CAAFAG Task Force at the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.