Building with Bamboo: resilience-based approaches for street-connected children – Ruth Edmonds
Dr Ruth Edmonds is a Social Development Consultant at Keep Your Shoes Dirty where she generates local knowledge to help understand people and their lives from their own vantage points and collaboratively design solutions to Social Development problems. Ruth is an Associate Researcher at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, and is currently supporting CRFR’s Resilience Seminar Series. In this post Ruth shares her work with Building with Bamboo, an internal learning project by the Consortium for Street Children (CSC).
The Consortium for Street Children (CSC) is the global network that promotes the rights and raises the voices of street-connected children. The network is made up of 100+ NGOs, advocates, researchers and on-the-ground practitioners across 135 countries, working with and for street children. CSC brings together the experience and expertise of the network to share learning and highlight good practice for improved national strategies, laws and services for street-connected children. Their vision is to create a world where every street-connected child lives with dignity, in safety, and able to fulfil their potential.
‘Building with Bamboo’ led by Consortium for Street Children (CSC), is an international learning project exploring resilience-based approaches to working with street-connected children who are exposed to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. The project was the second phase of the Oak Foundation’s Bamboo Initiative and focused on piloting the findings from the first research phase. Three action learning projects were implemented successfully with three CSC network members working with street-connected children and child domestic workers in Ecuador, Uganda and Nepal.
The second phase of the Building with Bamboo project explored resilience-based practice in terms of how organisations work and what forms a resilience-informed or resilience-based approach might usefully take. Learning questions included:
- How can the findings about resilience be put into practice as approaches that promote or increase the resilience of children exposed to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation?
- How are these approaches promoting or increasing the resilience of children exposed to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation?
- How does promoting or increasing the resilience of children exposed to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation improve outcomes for them?
Building with Bamboo was implemented in close collaboration with three organisations from within the CSC network: JUCONI Ecuador, a site where resilience-based approaches were well-established; S.A.L.V.E. International, Uganda, a site where resilience informed – but was not central to – practice; and CWISH, Nepal, a site where resilience-based practice was not currently in use.
CSC designed and executed a bespoke learning and innovation approach which drew on developmental evaluation, ethnographic principles and participatory action research. The approach emphasised dynamic, flexible and iterative programme implementation, using cycles of learning and innovation to drive the adaptation and refinement of learning partners’ resilience-based approaches over the project period. This approach to programme development maximises opportunities to learn from challenges and failures as well as successes. It was considered particularly suitable to the unstable, uncertain and chaotic settings in which street-connected children live and where the learning partners work on a day-to-day basis.
The final report can be accessed here:
A suite of project outputs, including learning updates produced throughout the two year project, final country based reports, webinars and short films can be found here:
(Consortium for Street Children)
(Consortium for Street Children)