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Child-centred community development

At Plan International, our vision is of a world in which every child achieves their full potential.

The foundation of all of our work is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Our rights-based approach puts children at the heart of everything we do – whether it’s long-term development work or disaster response. We are committed to working towards rights for every child, and see a clear link between fulfilling rights and tackling poverty.

The best way to end child poverty is not to develop communities, but to help them develop themselves

Our distinctive approach to creating long-lasting change for children and ending child poverty is called Child-Centred Community Development (CCCD). Together with children, their families, communities, organisations and local governments, we work to tackle the causes of poverty and inequality. 

"CCCD promotes community empowerment – finding out what their needs are, working with them, and supporting them to implement their own projects and influence decision-makers," says Dramé Mamady – Programme Unit Manager for Plan International Guinea in Macenta.

What is Child-Centred Community Development (CCCD)?

Our approach is built on 2 principles: 

  1. All children have the same human rights: These are set out in international treaties, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and include the right to: education, health care, protection from violence, and the right to participate as citizens. National governments and other duty bearers such as parents, teachers and care-givers are responsible for ensuring that all girls and boys can access their full rights.
  2. Communities are powerful when they act together: We believe in the power of connections to advance children’s rights, and support groups of people to come together to tackle issues that affect them. By involving children and communities in creating change, not only to have a greater say in how they live their lives, but they are empowered to continue with these actions for years to come. 

By basing our work on these two principles, we support girls, boys, young women and men and their communities to take a leading role in creating change, and to be an active part of driving the decisions that affect their own rights.

In this way, Plan International is making a long-lasting difference to the lives of millions of children. 

“The best way to end child poverty is not to develop communities, but to help them develop themselves. CCCD promotes community empowerment – finding out what their needs are, working with them, and supporting them to implement their own projects and influence decision-makers,” explains Dramé Mamady of Plan International Guinea.

How does CCCD work to end child poverty?

Five CCCD standards apply to all our work – wherever we work and whoever we work with. They set out what our rights-based approach involves and how we achieve long-lasting change for children and communities. 

Click on the headings below for more information about each standard and how we implement these principles to make the greatest possible difference in children’s lives. 

1.  Working with children and communitieswe support children and communities to play an active role in their own development – to take action together to achieve change on issues that affect their lives. We support children and communities to claim their own rights, and the more people who join together, the more impact we will have. 

2.  Tackling gender inequality and exclusionwherever we work, we identify individuals who are particularly excluded from social opportunities and who face even greater barriers in accessing their human and child rights. We work with them to identify and tackle the underlying root causes of their exclusion. Our particular emphasis is on women and girls who are often the most marginalised individuals in a community 

3.  Engaging with civil societywe work with other organisations to achieve the greatest possible change for children and communities. By working in partnership with local organisations, we empower them to help realise the rights of local communities for years to come.

4.  Influencing governmentwe work to support positive long-lasting change for girls and boys by influencing what national and local governments do and how they work. We work with children and communities to advocate for laws that protect their rights.

5.  Strengthening our accountabilitywe listen to children and young people’s voices to ensure that our programmes are responding to their needs. Children’s views are critical to how we deliver our programmes,  making our work more relevant and sustainable, and allowing children to be active agents of change in their own development. As duty bearers of children’s rights, we are full accountable to the children we work with.