Facts & Figures
Kenya, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire
REGIONS IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE
Nawa and Agboville
10,000 caregivers per annum
- VSLA promoters
- Farmer field school coaches
- Government staff
- Farmer field schools
- Farmer cooperatives
- Competent and motivated coaches and promoters that deliver skillful parenting through the company supply chains.
- Government takes ownership and delivers basic services to communities.
About the project
Skillful Parenting is a parenting and family support program designed together with communities across Africa to improve the well-being of children and their families. It aims to promote positive parenting practices and family relationships with the goal of preventing violence against children and child labor while promoting children’s positive development. This approach equips parents and caregivers with the right knowledge, tools, and skills to care for, respond to, and manage the needs of young children.
Children need a safe and caring home and community environments to grow up healthy and thrive in childhood and beyond, but this is far from the reality for many children in Côte d’Ivoire. A majority of children have high exposure to multiple risks that impair their development and protection. These include poverty, poor nutrition, violence, child labor, lack of nurturing care, inadequate stimulation, and poor learning environments. Parents and caregivers of these children also experience low economic empowerment and family dysfunction and have limited access to social support. Failure to nurture all children and to protect them from these risks threatens the right of all children to reach their full potential. It also leaves the next generation ill-equipped and locks individuals, communities, and societies in poverty.
Skillful Parenting uses an evidence-based semi-structured curriculum with nine modules. Under the guidance of locally trained and certified coaches, promoters, and facilitators, the approach is implemented through village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) and farmer field schools (FFSs) in cocoa-farming communities. Local facilitators and coaches can adjust the program to the local context and easily connect with parents from VSLAs and FFSs. Skillful Parenting has a specific focus on the early childhood stage, but it acknowledges the importance of continuing investment at later childhood stages to sustain results achieved during early childhood.
Results to date
Two different pilots were conducted in Nawa and Agboville in Côte d’Ivoire (2017–2019). 26 enablers and coaches were trained and certified to deliver skillful parenting to 227 parents from VSLAs and 307 from FFSs. A participation and retention rate of over 80% was reported in both pilots. Final evaluation reports from Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) will highlight opportunities for adaptation as the pilots go to scale. The Skillful Parenting Program will be extended to 33 new communities between 2020–2021.
Globally, research studies echo how a strong and supportive caregiving relationship supports the development of a child who is physically, intellectually, and socially healthy and more resilient to the damaging effects of poverty and violence. The skillful parenting approach continues to prove that this is, in fact, true. RCT results (2014–2016) indicated that parents find the program easily accessible, can relate to its content, and recognize its added value. The RCT concluded that when combined with agribusiness interventions, the program significantly reduces child maltreatment, has a positive impact on parenting skills, improves family relationships and more equal gender roles, changes attitudes towards violent discipline, increases household assets, increases demand and utilization of basic services, and promotes productivity and farmer loyalty.