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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.  

Climate migration in the Dry Corridor of Central America

This study examines the relationship between three factors – migration, gender and climate change – in the Central American Dry Corridor (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua). Although there is a vast body of literature that addreses each of these factors individually, other studies have not looked at the links between the three. This report is divided into four sections. The first provides the background and context of the Dry Corridor in order to explain why the variables analysed were chosen. The second includes the main testimonies gathered in each of the countries during the fieldwork. The third sets out the main conclusions, and the final section includes a series of recommendations for the inclusion of a gender equality perspective in public policies on climate change.

Migraciones climáticas en el Corredor Seco Centroamericano

This is the orignial Spanish version of a study that examines the relationship between three factors – migration, gender and climate change – in the Central American Dry Corridor (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua). Although there is a vast body of literature that addreses each of these factors individually, other studies have not looked at the links between the three. This report is divided into four sections. The first provides the background and context of the Dry Corridor in order to explain why the variables analysed were chosen. The second includes the main testimonies gathered in each of the countries during the fieldwork. The third sets out the main conclusions, and the final section includes a series of recommendations for the inclusion of a gender equality perspective in public policies on climate change.

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.

Life-saving healthcare for Nigeria's children - UK Aid Match stories

Since September 2016, Christian Aid Nigeria has been working in four Local Government Areas, Kwande, Konshisha, Obi and Opokwu, in Benue State, Nigeria, to reduce child mortality and morbidity rates. Through our local partners Jireh Doo Foundation and Ohonyeta Care Givers, we have reached more than 300,000 children with lifesaving support from malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea through Christian Aid trained community health volunteers. The UK Aid match funded project has trained 996 community health volunteers to provide lifesaving treatment in the community, rather than relying on health centres that can be hard to reach, and care givers may not have the necessary funds to afford treatment. The programme also works through supporting and training Community Development Committee members to work with their communities to identify challenges and opportunities, and to create and deliver action plans to overcome obstacles to accessing healthcare.

Baseline Survey of Early Warning and Early Response Systems

This report is a baseline survey on the early warning and early response systems in Benue, Kaduna and Plateau States. It explains the capacity and resources available and how the project can support and strengthen the different state structures to be better responsive to any disaster especially flooding.

Keeping hope alive: Christian Aid's work on peace - Impact study 2019

Without an explicit focus on peace, there can be no sustainable development. This Impact Study, and accompanying case studies, share some of our story of taking peace seriously. Throughout our work in providing humanitarian assistance and long-term development support, it has become clear that we cannot ignore the reality of violence. Peace and justice matter to us as a faith-based organisation and we seek to respond to real challenges of building peace with integrity, respect, courage and hope. From Violence to Peace lays down our hopeful vision that a more peaceful reality free from poverty, violence and injustice is possible. This study shares key examples of impact and some things we’ve learnt along the way. Key facts In 2016, more countries experienced violent conflict than at any time in nearly 30 years. If current trends persist, by 2030 – the horizon set by the Sustainable Development Goals – more than half of the world’s poor will be living in countries affected by high levels of violence. (OECD). Violent conflict has spiked since 2010, with two billion people now living in countries where development outcomes are affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (World Bank, 2018). Much of this violence is due to recurring violence and protracted conflicts. It is estimated that 135 different countries have experienced conflict recurrence – a pattern that is deepening. We stand in solidarity with our local partners – households, community organisations and local leadership who live through conflict and violence first hand. We want governments, faith institutions and communities to want and work for peace in their societies and to keep hope alive. Peace is not something fluffy and aspirational. Peacebuilding can and does work.

Keeping hope alive: South Sudan case study

Without an explicit focus on peace, there can be no sustainable development. This case study about Christian Aid's work on peace in South Sudan, alongside the accompanying reports, shares some of our story of taking peace seriously. Throughout our work in providing humanitarian assistance and long-term development support, it has become clear that we cannot ignore the reality of violence. Peace and justice matter to us as a faith-based organisation and we seek to respond to real challenges of building peace with integrity, respect, courage and hope. From Violence to Peace lays down our hopeful vision that a more peaceful reality free from poverty, violence and injustice is possible. This study shares key examples of impact and some things we’ve learnt along the way. Download the case study above or view the full report here

Keeping hope alive: Central America case study

Without an explicit focus on peace, there can be no sustainable development. This case study about Christian Aid's work on peace in Central America, alongside the accompanying reports, shares some of our story of taking peace seriously. Throughout our work in providing humanitarian assistance and long-term development support, it has become clear that we cannot ignore the reality of violence. Peace and justice matter to us as a faith-based organisation and we seek to respond to real challenges of building peace with integrity, respect, courage and hope. From Violence to Peace lays down our hopeful vision that a more peaceful reality free from poverty, violence and injustice is possible. This study shares key examples of impact and some things we’ve learnt along the way. Download the case study above or view the full report here

Partnership for Improved Child Health: delivering child healthcare

Most cases of child death in Nigeria are caused by treatable diseases like malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. These are case studies from Christian Aid Nigeria's UK Aid Match funded PICH project, to reduce morbidity and mortality rates in under fives.

Case studies - improving community response against malaria

The Improving Community Response against Malaria (ICRAM+K) project commenced in 2014. The goal of the project was to establish a combined approach to management of malaria in the community through the promotion of rapid diagnostic testing, uptake of ACTs and use of Long-lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) by Community Health Agents. A strong advocacy and sustainability elements were incorporated in the project to mobilise government to ensure access to health services and supplies as well as build the capacity of citizens and community development committees to increase accountability and responsiveness of the healthcare system. The project tagged ICRAM+K in Kaduna, was implemented in 10 Communities in Kajuru Local Government of Kaduna State by Christian Aid partners, Nazarene Rural Health Ministry (NRHM) and Archdiocesan Catholic Healthcare Initiative (ACHI-DACA). 

Case study - community health and HIV response Nigeria

Through the Strengthening Community Health and HIV project, Community Health Agents (CHAs) were established in project communities to educate community members on health issues and support them to adopt health seeking behaviour.

Case study - WASH in Nigeria

Now in its second phase, one goal of Christian Aid’s SCHH project is to empower communities to demand quality health services from government and take ownership of their health in a more independent and sustainable way. Community Development Committees (CDCs)  have been established to promote the health of community members, using a rights-based approach to request quality services. The CDC doubles as the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) committee, appealing to local government around health needs and promoting WASH principles to improve community health.

Family planning case study

Partnership is critical to Christian Aid’s SCHH project in ensuring increased access to and uptake of crucial health services in rural, marginalised communities in Nigeria.

Case study - an all-encompassing 'fruitbowl' approach in Nigeria

Providing health education to communities and households on various issues including family planning, HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, maternal and child health (MCH), and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

V2P case study: claiming rights to health and education

How an advocacy group lobbied the local government to improve healthcare and education in Nigeria. Download the V2P case study

ICRAM Project in Anambra State Nigeria: report on research findings

The Improving Community Response to Management of Malaria (ICRAM) project was implemented in Anambra State, Nigeria, from 2013-2014. It piloted the feasibility of the use of malaria rapid diagnostic test kits (mRDT) at the community level.

V2P case study: ending illegal taxation

Illegal taxes imposed by illicit tax collectors have finally stopped in Mgbakwu, a small community in Anambra state, Nigeria. Download the V2P case study