Child Labor Action Research Innovation in South & South Eastern Asia (CLARISSA) Project

Project Countries: Nepal and Bangladesh

Project Duration: July 2019 to June 2023 (4 Years)

1. Project Information

CLARISSA project is a multi-country project that has been leading by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS-UK), the world’s leading global research organization for development studies, together with Terre des Hommes (TdH), ChildHope UK (CH), and Consortium for Street Children (CSC). In Nepal the project is co-host by VOC and ChildHope UK in partnership with CWISH and Tdh Nepal. VOC is leading the CLARISSA programme operation, CWISH co-leading programme & advocacy and Tdh plays pivotal role inculcating the MEL work in Nepal.

The overall goal of CLARISSA is to build a strong evidence base and generate innovative solutionsthrough children and young peopleto the WFCL(worst forms of child labor)in order to contribute to a decrease in the number of children in the WFCL. The program design responds to the weak evidence base of what drives children into the WFCL and the lack of innovative solutions  built on children’s and other stakeholders'  perspectives and experiences.

The Nepal project will focus on Adult Entertainment Sectors (AES) and other associated WFCLs. The core essence of the project is to facilitate the Participatory Action Research (PAR process) including life story collection, narrative analysis, hotspots, neighborhoods and slums analysis and action research process based on works stream findings e.g. social norms outcomes, human chain, money lending, child agency etc. and developing interventions to counteract the preventing push factors at community, family and individual level and pull factors from unethical business

2. Project Work Stream

A. Supporting positive family dynamics and social norms:  Understanding decision-making strategies around labor and education choices, and family business dynamics. Supporting positive dynamics and community social norms.

B. Revealing and reducing harm in Supply/Human chains. Engaging with informal and hidden workplaces and intermediaries.

C. Building children’s agency and child-led coalitions.  Supporting child-led solutions through action-research groups among children and young people.    Build and sustain child-led coalitions

3. Participatory Action Research (PAR)

PAR is a program modality that combines evidence gathering and learning from the actions.  It is designed to have a regular dialogue and meeting with (diverse) groups over a period of time to consider evidence-based WFCLs and generate theories of change for the interventions; plan, innovative solutions; test the solutions in real-time, and then evaluate.

3.1. Modalities initiating PAR : 

a)  Life Story Collection and Analysis: CLARISSA has collected 400 life stories of children in WFCL. Out of 400 stories, 50 stories collected by 22 trained children representing the WFCL and rest of the stories were collected by CLARISSA staff in coordination with the children and young people. These 400 stories have been analysed by 60 children and young people who are involved in the WFCL. The analysis led to causal mapping and identification of leverage points for intervention in the ‘system’, leading to identifying core issues of WFCL.

Children and young people identified 8 core systematic issues they want to address or advocate. Based on those core issues; 8 PAR (or action research groups) are formed these groups are led by children and young people from WFCL. Out of 8; 4 groups will be focused on the AES-based core issues and 4 will be focused on the Neighbourhoods issues.

 At currently, 5 PAR groups with children/ young people are in operation and they are having a regular dialogue and meetings. Currently, these groups are at rapport and trust building process; the next phase will be issue introduction follow by evidence gathering/ triangulating process, then after they will select one or two most important/urgent issue to address, afterwards they will develop a collective plan of action/interventions.

b)  Supply chain and Human Chain: These PAR groups take place with the business owners of the Adult Entrainment sector, who employs children or have a high risk of employing the children and young people. The groups will further explore the role of labour intermediaries in pushing and pulling children and young people into vulnerable WFCL. We are aiming to work with 3 types of business owners; Dance Bar & Dohari, Massages & Spa and Small Khaaja Ghars (serves fast food at local level). Out of 3, we started to work with 2 types of business owners through PAR approach, one PAR group with Massages and Spas owners and with the Small Khaaja Ghars. By working with demand side, we want to have depth understanding regarding their perspectives and experience about WFCL.

c)  Neighbourhoods Dynamics: PAR groups are driven by participatory analysis of the geospatial (GIS) mapping exercise to identify the neighbourhood dynamics that push children into WFCL and keep them there. We are in the process of developing the base maps and capacity building phase. We will start 3 GIS based PAR groups later this year in the Kathmandu Valley.

3.2. Engagement with Children:

d)  Children Research Group (CRG)

To engage children, adolescents, and young people to reach WFCL, the CRG started in December 2021, CRC formed with 15 children and young people have lived experience of WFCL. The group will be focusing on participatory research processes, advising innovative research methodologies, working on appropriate research issues matters to them, and analysis and dissemination of research activities. As part of the project they are initiating the participatory research focusing on “COVID-19 through the eyes of children”. They have a meaningful role in shaping research activities and bringing out issues they want to raise which can sometimes be overlooked by adults.

e) Children Advocacy Group (CAG)

The consortium partner CWISH is leading the Advocacy and CAG in Nepal. The CAG is formed in November 2021 and children/young people represents in CAG will work closely with the children and young people who are in WFCL to advocate concerned issues to them. The CAG is formed with 17 members with children in WFCL who will reach to local level child clubs, community schools, and slum/low rent communities to share their learning experiences based on CLARISSA evidence and support other children to better understand the issues related to WFCL.

3.3. Advocacy and Communication:

f)  Engagement with different key stakeholders

As a part of advocacy, CLARISSA has been regularly engaging with different stakeholders such as government bodies, Civil Society Organizations, Alliances, Business Associations, and the Media through workshops, meetings, dialogue, and roundtable discussions. This platform will facilitate sharing the evidence generated from the CLARISSA program with the concerned stakeholders in a collaborative manner.

Furthermore, program has formed a Strategic Action Group (SAG) to draw on the rich experience of experts and key policy actors in the area of child labor in Nepal. The SAG creates/ facilitates linkages with policy makers across government agencies, civil society and international actors to take up ideas and innovations generated through the CLARISSA program into their own organizations and undertake collective actions to address issues related to WFCL in Nepal.

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  • 4 Programs
  • 60 Districts
  • 400 Volunteers
  • 14 Donors

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