What do we do?
We listen to children and young people’s voices to be sure that our programmes are responding to their needs. Children’s views are critical to our programme delivery, making our work more relevant and sustainable, and allowing children to be an active part of their own development.
How do we do it?
Communities and children should be involved in making decisions about programmes that affect them, from design and delivery to monitoring and evaluation. We should share as much information about our work with them as we can, so they are well informed about us.
We must be accountable to the communities and children we serve. We must constantly invite them to tell us what they think about our work, and show that we respect their views. We make sure that we listen and respond to their views, treating them with respect and showing that their views are important.
This approach allows us to run programmes that are more relevant to people’s real priorities and needs. It allows us to hear feedback about our programmes and adapt them as a result. So, it improves the quality of our work, as well as building the self-confidence of community members to claim their rights.
Our years of experience working in communities gives us credibility and ensures that children and communities feel comfortable working openly and honestly with us. We use a range of participation methods – always adapted for the local context – to ensure that we communicate properly with children and communities about the programmes we are running.
CCCD in action
A crucial element of our response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone has been a two-way feedback system between communities and decision-makers.
Community feedback has been facilitated by young people, who used methods such as text messaging, phone interviews and radio call-ins to gather opinions and ideas. This feedback helped shape Plan International’s ongoing response, as well as the responses of other organisations. By supporting young people to gather this feedback, they gained valuable skills and had the opportunity for their voices to be heard by community leaders.