This Guide and its companion Toolkit were developed by the Child Resilience Alliance (CRA, formerly the Columbia Group for Children in Adversity), for the Interagency Learning Initiative on Community-Based Child Protection Mechanisms and Child Protection Systems. The CRA, which is a member of the 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 the Initiative.

The community-led approach developed in this Guide and Toolkit owe a significant debt to the inspiring work of David Lamin, who led and mentored the work in Sierra Leone. Thanks also go to Marie Manyeh (Mentor), Dora King (Lead National Researcher for the Ethnographic Phase), Samba Charlie and Ernest Brimah (Facilitators), and also to the wider team who did the action research and learning. This talented national team were 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 International, 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 the generous support of the Oak Foundation, UNICEF, the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research, Plan International, Save the Children, World Vision, and an anonymous donor.

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. This work in Kenya was made possible by the generous support of the Oak Foundation, USAID/PEPFAR, UNICEF, and an anonymous donor.

Apart from the research in Kenya and Sierra Leone, parallel streams of work have informed this Guide and Toolkit. Particularly useful have been the insights from the interagency action research conducted in India with the support of the Oak Foundation. Thanks also go to Lucy Hillier, who coordinates the Child Protection Exchange and helped to organize valuable workshops in Uganda and Tanzania.. The illustrations in this Guide and Toolkit were created by Alastair Findlay, under Lucy’s direction. Special thanks go especially to Mark Canavera, Kathleen Kostelny, Patrick Onyango, and John Williamson. Thanks go also to Ben Cislaghi, Rinske Ellermeijer, Martin Hayes, Sarah Lilley, Hani Mansourian, Terry Saw, Alexandra Shaphren, and Richard Wamimbi, for their systematic, helpful reviews of the entire Guide.

Finally, 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