Our Approach Building strong relationships with local organisations

ChildHope has now closed having operated from 1989 to 2023. This section of the website serves as an archive.

ChildHope built strong relationships with local organisations

​Why locally led partners?

ChildHope believed that organisations established and led by people within their communities were best placed to achieve positive change with and for marginalised children. They have an expert understanding of the context, speak the language and understand the cultural and social norms that impact on children’s lives. They have a long-term commitment to achieving positive change and equality in their communities.

When children see others from the same culture and community succeeding and leading, it inspires them to aim high, too. Partnerships promoted sustainability and equality within our projects and provided an opportunity to strengthen everybody’s capacities, support local initiatives and create long-term relationships. We worked with our partners on their agendas to address local issues.

​How did we develop partnerships?

Our partners went through a careful and rigorous selection process - we worked out the two-way benefits of a working relationship before we committed. Our partners are independent organisations. We each had our own agenda and set of priorities so a good fit was essential to maximise the scope of our joint work to improve the lives of children.

What was the added value of working together?

The benefit was two-way. We gained a lot from the relationship. Colleagues in partner organisations understand children’s contexts and lives and could identify and reach those children who may otherwise be missed.

Local solutions were identified and applied in a relevant and cost-effective way. As an international organisation with its own areas of expertise, we brought new learning to bear on our joint work, making children’s environments safer and enabling voices and issues to be heard on a wider stage.
We supported organisational development and increased access to new opportunities. Together, we were better able to influence change and have higher impact.

Our approach was also excellent value for money, as we did not have expensive in-country infrastructure like cars or programme offices.

Partnership development process 

We developed a model of mutual support that strengthened both us and the organisations we work with. Crucially, we started by understanding each other’s agenda and generating programmes with shared priorities. We had many things in common. We all recognised the vital role of family, the value of education and learning, and the importance of a safe place to sleep, live and learn.

We knew that children need sufficient nutritious food and that both their physical and mental health and wellbeing are important if they were to thrive. With many essential services out of reach without formal proof of identity, like a birth certificate, we recognised the importance of children’s identity and a positive place in society. All of these areas need to sit within systems and policies that recognise the values and rights of all children.

We also recognised that, to deliver best for children, our own organisations needed to be strong.

Working across several areas of collaboration, we built alliances that were well placed to meet the needs and aspirations of the children we worked with, at the same time as meeting high quality standards of governance, accountability and management.

​Children guided us 

What was non-negotiable for us was putting children at the very heart of all this work. We were committed to involving children in the planning of programmes that affected their lives.

When choosing our partners, we looked for organisations that consult with children and are happy to be guided by them. Children are the experts in their own lives and can teach us so much about how they believe their problems can be addressed.

We were committed to creating a world where children’s ideas and ambitions are listened to and where they receive the support they need to realise their dreams and potential.

Child safeguarding and protection

We supported children and young people who faced the worst forms of injustice, violence, abuse, and hardship in Africa and Asia. Working in high risk situations, children and young adults may be more vulnerable. Through our work, we aimed to ensure that all those who come into contact with children and young adults were aware of the duty of care to ensure no harm comes to them.

We were committed to child protection and safeguarding, protecting them from harm, exploitation, or abuse while ensuring their well being and rights were protected. Their safety and protection was our priority.

​New models of collaboration 

We responded to the changing donor and international development environment. More of our donor applications were being led by our partners and supported by us, putting ownership of the work firmly in the hands of the local partner. We developed more projects that focussed on learning consortiums and collaboration.

We built our international child protection training and safeguarding consultancy business with with our partners who have years of expertise and in-country experience. This has harnessed the wealth of expertise that our global network of partners holds in the areas of child protection, safeguarding and children’s participation. With this approach, we believed we could create greater impact in promoting child protection and combating child exploitation by supporting the growth of expertise and knowledge of the whole international development sector.

Find out more about the past work of ChildHope

Donors Who Supported ChildHope

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