This Toolkit was developed by the Child Resilience Alliance (CRA), formerly known as the Columbia Group for Children in Adversity, with Mike Wessells serving as the lead author and coordinator.

The Toolkit and its companion Guide were developed for the Interagency Learning Initiative on Community-Based Child Protection Mechanisms and Child Protection Systems. The Columbia Group for Children in Adversity, as a member of this Initiative and its technical arm, organized the community-led work in Sierra Leone and Kenya. The CRA expresses keen appreciation to Save the Children, particularly Sarah Lilley, Judy Roberts, and Bill Bell, for coordinating and supporting the Initiative.

The community-led approach developed in the Guide and Toolkit owe a significant debt to the inspiring work of David Lamin, who led and mentored the work in Sierra Leone. Thanks go also to Marie Manyeh (Mentor), Dora King (Lead National Researcher, Ethnographic Phase), Samba Charlie and Ernest Brimah (Facilitators), and also to the wider team that conducted the action research and the learning. This talented national team was supported by three international researchers—Drs. Lindsay Stark, Kathleen Kostelny, and Mike Wessells. Also in Sierra Leone, we give special thanks to UNICEF, Save the Children, Plan, World Vision, the national Child Protection Committee, and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs. The work in Sierra Leone was made possible by generous support from an anonymous donor, the Oak Foundation, UNICEF, the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research, Plan, Save the Children, and World Vision.

The approach presented here also reflects the learning from the Initiative’s work in Kenya, led by Dr. Kathleen Kostelny of the Columbia Group, Ken Ondoro (National Researcher), and Jotham Mchambo (Facilitator). We thank World Vision, the lead operational partner in Kenya, Save the Children Sweden, and the Department of Children’s Services for their kind support and spirit of co-learning. The work in Kenya was made possible by generous support from the Oak Foundation, USAID-PEPFAR, UNICEF, and an anonymous donor.

Parallel streams of work have informed this Toolkit. Particularly useful have been insights from interagency action research in India supported by the Oak Foundation. Thanks go also to Lucy Hillier, who coordinates the Child Protection Exchange and helped to develop the illustrations in the Toolkit, which reflect the artwork of Alastair Findlay. Special thanks for their systematic, helpful reviews of the Toolkit go especially to Mark Canavera, Kathleen Kostelny, Patrick Onyango, and Richard Wamimbi.

Our deep thanks go to the diverse communities who have taught us about community-led processes, exhibited tremendous resilience and creativity in challenging circumstances, and shown us the way toward a more grounded, sustainable approach to child protection.

Mike Wessells for the CRA