Objectives: Successful implementation of child protection program interventions and child and family welfare services is contingent upon the availability and use of good quality information, as emphasized by the recent Convention on the Rights of the Child's General Comment 13. Yet, the role of information within child protection is not well understood, and ongoing efforts to strengthen child protection systems have not systematically examined this critical function. Recognizing these shortcomings, the Government of Indonesia and UNICEF commissioned a study to identify a "road map" for a national child protection information system.
Methods: The used desk review, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and site visits to identify existing data collection practices, and analyze the appropriateness and efficiency of information management mechanisms from the national down to the community level.
Results: The results show that the prevailing situation in Indonesia is characterized by a lack of accurate information on all necessary aspects of child care and protection including magnitude of problems, causality analysis and impact of programmatic responses. There is no lead actor for child protection at the national level, and there are no agreed upon data collection priorities, procedures or methods for a shared data collection system.
Conclusion: The study suggests a need to reframe the dominant language from a "child protection information management system" to a "child protection surveillance system" to promote clearer data collection objectives and activities. Identifying a government ministry to lead child protection efforts and to forge closer partnerships among relevant actors will be required to support a national surveillance system. Additionally, addressing obstacles that limit child protection incident detection at the community level is critical. In addition to strengthening Indonesia's system, this study's approach and findings have the potential to help to inform ongoing child protection system development initiatives in other countries as well.
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