Economic Strengthening to Keep and Reintegrate Children into Families (ESFAM) Program
ChildFund International (USAID)
Endemic poverty coupled with household-level economic shocks hampers the ability of vulnerable households in Uganda to access education, weakens caregiver and child relationships, and contributes to high child separation from the household unit. A concerted effort is needed to mitigate child separation from and support reintegration of children back into their households.
Making Cents International is leading capacity-building efforts under ESFAM by designing economic strengthening interventions and tools as well as monitoring, evaluation, and learning approaches for the project. During project start-up, Making Cents conducted a needs assessment with project staff, local partners, case workers, youth, children, and other stakeholders to inform the design of appropriate economic strengthening interventions, including the business skills and financial literacy capacity building materials. Based on this assessment, Making Cents developed Catalyzing Business Skills curricula tailored for household caregivers, adolescent youth (age 14-17), and children (age 10-13).
To support field implementation of the three curricula, Making Cents conducted two Training of Trainers (TOT) workshops in Luweero District for the project’s Economic Strengthening Facilitators. By the end of the TOTs, all participants demonstrated strong facilitation competencies and comprehension of curricular content. As a result, they are now effectively delivering the business skills and financial literacy training to the household members targeted under ESFAM. To accompany the TOTs, Making Cents also developed and facilitated a Master Training process for the ESFAM project team, so the project is able to ensure quality uptake and delivery of curricular content.
Following the TOTs and Master Training process, Making Cents developed the “Follow-on Coaching Guide” for ESFAM Para-Social Workers (PSWs), which integrates the follow-on business skills coaching into the broader social services program activities. Sample business skills exercises – linked to the Catalyzing Business Skills curricula – are included in the Guide as are key reporting and monitoring tools for household coaching.
The curricula were found to be well-suited to meet the needs of target beneficiaries, and, through Making Cents’ trainings, ESFAM project staff gained the skills necessary to successfully deliver the curricular content to program beneficiaries.