COVID-19 SYNTHESIS #4 Children’s Participation: CPMS Principle 3

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action

This synthesis is part of a series of periodic digests of COVID-19 related resources (guidance, news, & academic articles). The purpose is to identify emerging child protection risks/barriers, responses, and resource gaps based on the information gathered. Each synthesis analyses a different topic related to child protection during COVID-19.

This evidence synthesis analyses emerging practices and preliminary guidance for engaging children in the response to CP challenges during the various stages of COVID-19 and other infectious disease outbreaks (e.g. Ebola). It explores both barriers and opportunities to the meaningful and authentic participation of children during COVID-19. The key questions underpinning the analysis are: To what extent have children been meaningfully engaged in response efforts during the various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic? What challenges and barriers need to be addressed to enable practitioners and researchers to meaningfully engage children? What opportunities exist to more systematically engage children in planning for, implementing, and reflecting on CP initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The analysis drew from 48 academic articles and reports and guidance notes from the grey literature; and 24 news articles published online between April 22 and August 7, 2020.

The rest of this synthesis is organized in the following way: we illustrate child participation barriers and opportunities by using examples from select articles and research studies, discuss key emerging practices in the information identified, and conclude with reflections and recommendations on promoting meaningful participation of children. A limited number of case studies of emerging practices related to child participation are listed in the annex