This Proof of Concept proposal is a rare opportunity to translate social program innovation into international impact. Every year, a billion children worldwide are victims of child abuse. The highest rates are in low-and-middle-income countries, affecting children of all ages (WHO, 2012). A small number of child abuse prevention programs for young children have been tested in high-income countries and commercialized. This makes them inaccessible to the vast majority of families at risk of abuse in the developing world.
Since 2013, our ERC starter grant has aimed directly at innovation. Working with UNICEF and the WHO, we have developed and tested a 14-session, family-based child abuse prevention program specifically for low-income contexts, and for worldwide free availability: the ‘Sinovuyo Caring Families Program’
New and robust scientific results have shown substantive reductions in child abuse for families participating in the program. There is already extensive demand for scale-up from policy partners, in over 16 countries in multiple regions. This proposal also presents extraordinary value-for-money, with co-funding for training and implementation already identified by agencies including USAID, Catholic Relief Services and governments in low-income countries.
This grant would allow forming a strong and focused innovation team to provide the support needed by these partners for proof-of-concept scale-up in 16 initial countries. It will develop training, supervision and cultural adaptation guidelines. It will also support sustainable impacts through capacity-building a new non-profit entity being established by UNICEF and WHO to provide long-term management of the program scale-up.
This proposal has potential for massive social impact: to reduce an acute social problem that disproportionately affects the poorest, most vulnerable and least able to protect themselves. This is not an opportunity to miss.
Field of science
- /social sciences/sociology/social issues
Call for proposal
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