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Building Trusted Partnerships for Healthy and Resilient Communities

The health legacy project is implemented in five African countries; Burundi, Sierra Leone and South Sudan, Nigeria and Kenya. By August 2019 the project had completed two years of implementation. The project addresses the issue of gender justice, promotes equitable social norms and institutions, and improves accountability by building the agency of citizens. Evidence has shown the project to have positive impacts on lives of our beneficiaries and their communities. This includes improved resilience of families and communities, especially those in fragile and resource-challenged settings. They are better prepared in terms of ability to anticipate, identify, and respond to health risks.

Balancing research and practice in an international NGO

REL Practice Paper 1 Ten Years of Change is a collaborative, long-term practitioner research initiative designed to take place in three countries – Colombia, Kenya and the UK. It is implemented by the Research, Evidence and Learning team at Christian Aid. The research began with the overarching question how are community members and supporters being influenced by, and influencing, processes of social change? Each country team adapted the question to make it relevant to their socio-political context, and designed research at several different levels, from local to national. This paper tells the story of the first three years of Ten Years of Change. It narrates our ideas and ambitions and how we clarified them; how we identified where, by whom and how the study would be implemented; and how we worked with colleagues in other countries to begin to translate our idea into practice. It then discusses the forces that shaped the parallel but distinct evolution of each of the three streams of the study, before reflecting on the challenges of trade-offs and power. It concludes by returning to some of our assumptions about practitioner research, reflecting on how they played out in practice, finally turning to considerations for the next stage of the study.  

Another chance to live and thrive

Amina Sani lost everything when Boko Haram attacked her village in 2015. Like many other people living in Gora, Shani Borno State Nigeria, Amina and her family returned to their village with all means of livelihood gone, everything destroyed. As a mother of 7, making a living as a potter proved hard. So, when Amina was enlisted to be part of a saving and loans scheme, and trained in business skills, supported by Christian Aid and WFP, she was extremely grateful. ‘May Christian Aid live long’. Amina prays. To support her children, Amina has remained extremely committed to the saving and loans scheme. With an initial seed fund of N12,000, Amina borrowed a further N5,000 from friends, just enough to start a grain business. Within weeks of buying and selling grain, Amina paid back her loan and invested in buying mobile network cards, which she now sells as well as grain. Now, when Amina sells her grain, she makes N1,000 per bag. The mobile network cards are also profitable, and she makes 10% profit on her investments in this area of her business. ‘Being a member of Christian Aid’s saving and loans scheme was a turning point in my life’, Amina says. She explains that making clay and pottery was previously not profitable, and that her new business has made life much easier for her and for her family. It has given her another chance to live and thrive. ‘My children now eat well’ Amina explains, and she is happy that her last child is active and happy. Amina is one of many women from Gora Village, Shani Borno State who have turned their lives around through the support of this project.

Giving Hope to People in Conflict

Christian Aid Blanket Supplementary Feeding Program (BSFP) project provided immediate life-saving food and nutrition assistance to breast-feeding and children under the age of five years.

Press release: changing the course of under-five mortality in Nigeria

Our Partnership for Improved Child Health (PICH) project in Benue State, Nigeria, closed in August 2019. Read our press release to find out what we achieved and how communities have adapted. Every year, hundreds of thousands of children under the age of five years in Nigeria do not live up to their fifth birthday due to preventable childhood illnesses such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and severe acute malnutrition. Most under-five death occurs in remote, hard to reach communities where caregivers are faced with physical, social and financial barriers to access health services. Christian Aid , through this project, has empowered communities to take ownership of their own health by improving knowledge and health-seeking behaviour, giving hope in despair, and saving children under five who face imminent death due to barriers of access to and uptake of quality health services.  This project was funded by Christian Aid supporters and UK Aid Match from the UK government. 

Kenya prequalification of suppliers 2019-20

Christian Aid Kenya invites interested and eligible suppliers to apply for pre-qualification indicating the category of goods and services as they wish to supply.  Existing suppliers who wish to be retained must also re-apply and submit information requested in the prequalification document.  

LPRR: Humanitarian response strand learning paper

The Linking Preparedness, Response and Resilience, a DEPP funded, multi-agency project, supported seven local NGOs in Kenya and Myanmar to develop and pilot operational methodologies for supporting integrated community-led responses to humanitarian crises. The project was funded by the START network through UK aid and was led by Christian Aid. The approaches tested by the project were based on the research carried out by Kings College London (KCL), on the on-going action-research of carried out by Local to Global Protection (L2GP) and on the ideas, capacities and contexts of the LNGOs themselves. The pilots test the application of the recommendations made by communities as captured by the KCL research of how to improve humanitarian programming. This learning paper summarises the key findings to date from seven of these pilots in 3 local organisations from Marsabit County of Northern Kenya, two from NW Myanmar (Rakhine State) and two from SE Myanmar (Kayah and Kayin States). Given the small budgets for the pilots and the very short timeframes for their completion, they are the first step for the seven LNGOs to test and develop some of the components of the emerging ‘practice’ for facilitating locally-led emergency programming.

LPRR final evaluation report

The Linking Preparedness, Response and Resilience (LPRR) project, which is part of the DFID funded Disasters Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP), was carried out from 2015 to the end of March 2018. The project was delivered by a consortium led by Christian Aid, which included Action Aid, Concern, Help Age, King’s College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Safer World, and World Vision. The LPRR project brings together the expertise of response and resilience professionals (and frameworks) in order to support communities affected by emergencies and at the risk of violence. The consortium was present through a research component in eight countries, namely Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Philippines, Colombia, Indonesia, with pilot projects in Kenya, Pakistan and Myanmar. The project was delivered through three distinct strands: conflict prevention, humanitarian response, and learning.

LPRR knowledge co-development paper

Co-production is a process through which partners draw upon their own learning to feed into a collective knowledge creation process. It fits well within international development, humanitarian and resilience-building processes, where the multi-partner nature of many current projects ensures there is a multiplicity of perspectives that can be drawn upon. It can also be democratic – where all forms of knowledge are valued – and so create ownership; work to find a balance between theory and practice and strengthen (and build) technical capacity and process Co-production was explicitly employed in the Linking Preparedness, Resilience and Response (LPRR) project, part of the DFID funded Disasters and Emergencies, Preparedness Programme (DEPP). It explored how humanitarian response can be strengthened to enable (and not undermine) long term community resilience building. Christian Aid (CA) led the project with seven consortium partners – World Vision, Action Aid, Help Age International, Concern, Oxfam and Muslim Aid. The project collaborated with King's College London (KCL) who led the research function. The purpose of this practice paper is three-fold: To explore the learning environment amongst consortium partners i.e. group learning and the tools and processes employed to facilitate this To detail the challenges and enablers of an implementing NGOs, Christian Aid and other consortium partners, co-producing knowledge with an academic institute, KCL; and To assess how the project helped to build capacity amongst relevant agencies – including in-country partners.

LPRR: Empowering communities to lead humanitarian response

The DFID DEPP funded LPRR consortium is led by Christian Aid and includes Action Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help Age, King’s College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Saferworld and World Vision. It aims to increase preparedness and resilience capacity in conflict and response settings. As part of the project, King’s College London University designed and implemented a study in Bangladesh, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines. It was one of the rare approaches which specifically asked 327 crises survivors and first responders from past humanitarian emergencies to draw upon their own experience and expertise to guide improved humanitarian response programming for long term resilience.

Conflict prevention strand of the LPRR

The Linking Preparedness, Resilience and Response project (LPRR) was a consortium initiative, running from 2015 to 2018, funded by DFID through Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP). It was implemented by the START Network, under the management of Christian Aid. The project developed an ‘Integrated Conflict Prevention and Resilience’ (ICPR), methodology drawing on best practice of conflict sensitivity and resilience strengthening. The methodology was tested in ten communities across two contexts; Northern Kenya and North-West Pakistan. The aim of this paper is to describe the process of implementing these pilots and to gather learning about what worked well and what did not, in order to inform the design and implementation of future humanitarian and development initiatives in conflict-affected contexts.

LPRR: briefing note

The Linking Preparedness Response and Resilience (LPRR) project is part of a growing portfolio of Start Network Engage projects funded by UK aid from the UK Government, through its Disaster and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP). LPRR, started in January 2015, will run until the end of December 2017. It seeks to increase preparedness and resilience capacity in conflict and response settings by improving resilience-building strategies in multi-hazard and multi-risk environments. Led by Christian Aid, LPRR joins together nine agencies (Action Aid, Christian Aid, Concern, Help Age, King’s College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Saferworld and World Vision) to promote resilience in humanitarian responses to disasters and conflict contexts.

Case study - partnership with Vitamins Angel Alliance (SCHH)

Through the Strengthening Community Health and HIV Response (SCHH) project, Christian Aid works in partnership with Vitamin Angels Alliance to provide Vitamin A supplements and deworming (VASD) to Nigerian children under the age of 5. A production of the Community Health and HIV (CHH) Team at Christian Aid.

Kenya: guide to contribution analysis methods

Contribution analysis was used within a series of theory-based evaluations of Christian Aid’s governance portfolio in 2015, specifically in the Kenya country study.  The approach was used to try to understand and evidence to what extent Christian Aid’s and its partners’ governance approaches has contributed to better health outcomes.  This methodological guide was one of the deliverables of the evaluation and is aimed at Christian Aid staff who are interested in understanding alternative approaches to evaluating governance and other hard-to-measure areas of work.  The guide introduces the theory behind contribution analysis and the practical steps taken in applying the approach during the evaluation in Kenya.  Related resources Kenya: a closer look at older age and disability in health programming

Christian Aid Nigeria Humanitarian Action: making a difference in 45 days

A report on Christian Aid's humanitarian intervention in North Central Nigeria to improve the living conditions of internally displaced people.

LPRR: action learning research

In order for productive learning to occur within the context of this project, monitoring practices must be robust and go beyond collecting data against indicators. This is especially important within a resilience context, as the pre-emptive baseline measurement that is usually used for measuring progress/success is not desirable here. Instead, an ‘outcome harvesting’ approach is more practical, as it does not measure progress towards predetermined outcomes or objectives, but rather collects evidence of what has been achieved, and works backward to determine whether and how the project or intervention contributed to the change. Within the LPRR project there is a need for rigorous evaluation, which balances accountability and learning. Given the ever-evolving evidence base of ‘what works under what conditions’ coupled with the need to demonstrate quality, impactful programming in both upwards and downwards accountability, these types of robust evaluations are essential. In order to ensure learning and accountability are achieved through evaluations, they must be well-planned and budgeted for. This is where the role of the learning strand comes in; by recognising that learning is essential at the outset, it enables it to be included within the design of the project.