An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Community-Based Parenting Empowerment Program to Improve Nurturing Care of Young Children in Kenya and Zambia

Project Period

February 2018 - December 2021

The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) will conduct an independent evaluation of the parenting empowerment program implemented by Episcopal Relief & Development and its partner organizations in Kenya (Anglican Development Services – Nyanza [ADS-Nyanza]) and in Zambia (Zambian Anglican Council Outreach Programmes [ZACOP]). The parenting empowerment program is a community-based, integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) program that addresses nurture and stimulation of under-three-year-old children, child and maternal/family health, nutrition, and livelihoods issues through a combination of direct project activities and linking with available services. Trained ECD promoters who are a new type of local volunteer (rather than community health workers) lead the main parenting empowerment activities. The parenting empowerment component focuses on responsive care and stimulation by the primary caregiver, and the primary caregivers’ own wellbeing through support and learning groups, as well as ECD home visits. ‘Primary caregiver’ is used to refer to the person serving in the main parenting role in the home; some fathers and other male relatives serve as primary caregivers. Where fathers are present in a household, the program specifically engages them or other male secondary primary caregivers in some activities. The specific parenting interventions comprise primary caregiver support and learning groups, home visits by the ECD volunteers, referrals and connection to other services for families in areas of health, nutrition and basic needs as well as economic strengthening through training to form savings and loan groups. The program has child protection and reporting training for both staff and ECD volunteers, who sign and Child Protection Guidelines commitment. The research by the APHRC will provide greater scientific rigor and a deeper process and outcome evaluation. Over the course of the project implementation, monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) work within the process evaluation led by the APHRC will contribute to Episcopal Relief & Development and its partners making quality improvements in the program, and will support and inform scale up with quality. Episcopal Relief & Development will share this model and package of training and curricula with some of its other African partners for replication and adaptation as part of their rural integrated programming.

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PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS

Head of Maternal and Child Wellbeing

Elizabeth Kimani-Murage

Elizabeth, a Public Health Nutrition Specialist and a Research Scientist…

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Research Officer

Kenneth Odhiambo Okelo

Kenneth Okelo works within the Maternal and Child Wellbeing Unit,…

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Associate Research Scientist

Patricia Kitsao-Wekulo

Patricia obtained a PhD in Psychology from the University of…

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