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Official launch of the Tracking Progress Initiative Project

The Tracking progress Initiative (TPI) project is aimed at strengthening alternative care for children at country level to measure progress in the implementation of the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

It envisions strengthening evidence-based national alternative care policies, management information systems, focusing on children that have lost or are at risk of losing parental care with the view of improving service provision and case management of such children.

The TPI project is against the background that Data on children in alternative care is sparse, fragmented, often unreliable and extremely difficult to collect. Factors for scarce or poor-quality data include limited resources, low political will, regulatory loopholes, the proliferation of unregistered institutions, a lack of indicators and low capacity of frontline professionals. As result, many countries including Malawi do not have functional systems for producing accurate figures on the number of children living in all types of alternative care, and official records often capture only a small fraction of the actual number of children living in such care. Consequently, this results in failure of states and stakeholders to properly allocate resources for alternative care to effectively protect the best interest of children.

Accurate, reliable data on the extent and situation of vulnerable children & families is essential for monitoring and informing national care policy & reform, guiding budget allocation and improving quality of alternative care; ensuring that care provided meets principles of necessity and suitability.  

Principles of necessity and suitability focusses on Focus on preventing child-family separation and ensuring provision of appropriate alternative care​respectively.

The TPI project will adapt the Tracking Progress Initiative survey tool also known as the TPI tool. This is a free, web-based, interactive diagnostic and learning tooldesigned to enable national actors (governments, children’s service providers, NGOs, civil society, academics and others) to determine the extent to which their country has effectively implemented the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children (the Guidelines).

The aims of the TPI tool include;

  • Support national level actors to determine the extent to which their country is effectively implementing the Guidelines​
  • Enable cross sectoral collaboration and planning based on evidence​
  • Provide comprehensive framework for national care reform strategy ​
  • Strengthen accountability by tracking progress over time

The overall objective(s) of the TPI project are: –

  1. Strengthen national alternative care policies & practices in Malawi.
  2. Increase availability & broad use of data on alternative care & target group(s) in Malawi.
  3. Establish national forums for continual alternative care improvement in Malawi (groups include government, civil society, target group, academia, etc.)
  4. Strengthen SOS Member Association programs & advocacy in support of improving alternative care systems in Malawi.

Target Group(s)

  • Children without adequate parental care (Direct)
  • National alternative care inter-sectoral forums, including Child rights’ protection NGOs, activists, experts (Direct)
  • Relevant government ministries responsible for national care & protection of children (Direct)
  • SOS Country Offices in target counties (Direct)
  • Regional care & protection stakeholders (Indirect)