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Regional workshop on key competencies and strengthening social practitioners for child protection in East and West Africa

Short history of the project :

Following the recommendations of the mapping study on social work training provision conducted in 2014 by the CPC Learning Network ("Human Resource Training in Social Services: Central and West Africa Region"), which showed a wide variation in the supply and quality of social work training available in the different countries of the region, UNICEF, the International Bureau for Children's Rights, Terre des hommes Lausanne (Tdh) and the International Social Service (ISS) agreed to lead, on behalf of the Regional Group on Child Protection (GRPE), an inter-agency initiative on strengthening social work in the region.

As part of this joint project, a first meeting was held in Dakar in December 2014 with the participation of nine schools and universities from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal. Other GRPE members, as well as the Economic Community of West African States Commission, were also invited to participate in the workshop. The workshop was the first step in the creation of a regional network for strengthening human resources and social service delivery in West and Central Africa. The workshop resulted in the adoption of a roadmap. Partner-led consultations followed in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo. A second regional workshop to support the development of core competencies for social workers was also planned, with the support of stakeholders in each country. For example, in April 2016, the city of Cotonou in Benin hosted eight African delegations at the second Regional Brainstorming Workshop with the aim of identifying a common framework of core competencies and capacity building for social welfare practitioners working in child protection in West and Central Africa.

Objectives :

As a planned continuation of the activities, the second regional workshop had the following objectives

  • Disseminate the results of the various national consultations conducted since December 2014
  • Identify avenues for collaboration, coordination and synergy between the different key groups of social work actors for child protection in West and Central Africa
  • Review the roadmap on strengthening social work (from the December 2014 workshop) and initiate reflection on key social work competencies for child protection in West and Central Africa

Achievements :

  • In addition to sharing and commenting on the results of the national consultations, the workshop provided an opportunity to deepen the discussion on the groups of social actors and their collaboration.
  • A proposal for a framework of key competences of social actors in child protection was also validated.
  • The meeting finally culminated in the adoption of follow-up documents for the implementation of the recommendations, national action plans for each country and a roadmap at regional level, all of which were recorded in a report.
  • Intervention locations : Cotonou, Benin
  • Project duration: 2014 - 2017
  • Partners :
    • UNICEF (Regional Office for West and Central Africa), Terre des hommes, Service social international, UNICEF Bénin, UNICEF Togo, MAEJT (Bénin, Burkina Faso, Sénégal), Commission de la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, ministères chargés de l’Action sociale dans les pays participants, Écoles de formation des travailleurs sociaux, CRS-4Children, Enda, MAREM, WAO-Afrique, Carrefour d’écoute et d’orientation, Association Keoogo.
  • Highlights:
    • 8 delegations from African countries participated: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Togo
    • 6 key competences, 24 knowledge (savoir), 35 skills (savoir-faire) and 20 attitudes (savoir-être) adopted
  • Fields of activity and expertise :
    • Applied research
    • Tools, reference manuals and standards
    • Training leadership

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