Highlights from the Philippines

The new roll out of the ICDP Parenting programme started in October 2020, after the completion of the baseline studies: the quantitative study using ISELA (International Social and Emotional Learning Assessment) and the qualitative study using TMSS and Activity with the child.

The ICDP parenting programme is part of the Save the Children Philippines Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP). The CSSP strategic intervention is in turn a part of the biggest social protection programme of the Philippine government, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programme.  During the period between October 2020 and February 2021, a total of 1,511 parents participated in the parenting sessions conducted weekly by the community facilitators.

The 1,511 parents came from 1,511 households comprised in total of 6,665 adults (3217 females; 3,448 males) and 2,876 children (1,423 girls;1,453 boys). There are already some positive results, which are based on parents’ testimonies and on reporting by facilitators after home visits to parents. Parents have started to manifest improved care giving practices such as: more affectionate and responsive, giving quality time to children, not yelling and scolding their children anymore. Children reported that they have seen and experienced more affection from their parents and that parents do not scold and shout at them anymore. 

The four ICDP trainers at Save the Children Philippines monitor the parenting sessions using the locally adapted ICDP monitoring tools. They hold monthly meetings with facilitators to keep track of the progress of parents, facilitators and the overall delivery of the ICDP programme. At the monthly meetings trainers help facilitators to prepare their sessions with parents through role play and mock sessions. A care for carers session is conducted with facilitators every other month, as a space for debriefing and psychosocial support.

Attendance of fathers was a challenge and to mitigate this challenge a special course was developed for fathers. It includes a gender session to address gender stereotypes, power relations within the family and especially how fathers relate with their girl and boy children. This proved to be effective.  Fathers opted to attend all the ICDP sessions after attending the first two-day sessions on Qualities of my Child and Caregiver, Gender and Empathy. Testimonies of mothers and children revealed that fathers became more loving and supportive to their children – which in turn served as a model followed by their boy children who too became loving and supportive.

Photo report linked to 2021 update


Multiple developments in Yunnan province

Jean Qin, is the legal representative of ICDP China and the information below was taken from her report about their activities during year 2020.

As a result of lockdown when Covid-19 hit China in the first half of 2020, ICDP China thought of new ways  of reaching people. This resulted in creating a podcast to promote ICDP in China: 200 episodes were uploaded and on average there were 200 listeners per episode. By the end of 2020 there were 985 registered followers.

An online promotion and interaction system was established, which will continue after COIVD-19. A digital system for collecting and analyzing statistics was established and uploaded to the website of ICDP China.

Scope of training in 2020: 1415 caregivers (35% males, 65% females) received ICDP training, 116 facilitators were formed and 22,199 children benefitted from the project. All project staff from 5 local partners received ICDP training at caregiver level, and 90% of them continued their training to facilitator level, in order to increase the capacity to implement ICDP. The total number of local project staff is 50 (37 women, 13 men).

Monitoring and evaluation tools for facilitators were based on the international standard. 116 qualified facilitators completed the pre-post evaluation questionnaires and logbooks. In addition, each local partner developed monitoring tools.

Due to COVID-19, senior trainer training was not able to start in 2020 and no new training for trainers took place.

In August 2020, the Annual Conference focused on providing training on two topics: gender equality and advocacy initiatives. All local partners agreed to set rules on including male participants when recruiting caregivers and facilitators. As a result of this, 47 of the 116 qualified facilitators were men (69 women).

The focus on advocacy initiatives discussed at the annual conference encouraged local partners to afterwards present ICDP to their local authorities and apply for support. ICDP China was introduced to the local governments by the local partner as a legal entity in China. Two local education departments adopted ICDP for training parents in 70 primary and middle schools in the Yunnan Province.

At the ICDP China Annual Conference a workshop was conducted about ICDP network building and resource sharing. It offered an opportunity to local partners to share their experiences and lessons learned from ICDP implementation. As the outcome of the workshop, each local partner set a detailed plan of building their network in 2020. At the same conference, ICDP China gave a presentation on the PSEA policy established by the ICDP Foundation. 

Research: A study about ICDP influence on child-raising was conducted in October of 2020. After several meetings with local partners, schools, and the research team, ICDP China agreed that baseline and research studies could be combined. The methods used in the baseline study included questionnaire, interviews, and small focus groups. The collected information included one questionnaire about children’s thoughts on how their parents see them and one questionnaire on caregiver’s conception of child. 137 children aged 9-12, and their main caregivers were randomly selected from two primary schools in Zhaotong. As part of the research process, during 2021 there will be two follow-ups of the children and caregivers to observe and record impact/changes.

Capacity building: Ten ICDP supervision and capacity building sessions for local partners and project personnel took place on the project sites, with the aim of strengthening their understanding of the theoretical foundation of ICDP, and enriching their knowledge about how to run ICDP courses for caregivers.

A game book named ICDP participatory teaching guidelines was developed in 2020, which includes video clips explaining the games. The work on publishing the book will continue in 2021.


ICDP Ghana update

ICDP Ghana was formed in 2012 by Joyce Larnyoh, when it adopted the ICDP empathy based approach integrating it into its programming, including capacity building initiatives. Over the years, ICDP Ghana has engaged with various caregivers such as parents, community leaders and teachers, by establishing cooperation with child centered institutions such as the Department of Social Welfare, Police, Ghana Education Service (GES), Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and aiming to devise the best and sustainable means of protecting and safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. The stakeholder consultations and engagements have all been geared towards achieving the mission of ICDP Ghana which aims to “provide human care that enhances the total development of the child”.

The year 2020 saw ICDP Ghana implementing two projects in the Eastern Region of Ghana: the Strategic Approaches to Girls Education (STAGE) and the Girls Advocacy Alliance Project. These projects were implemented in the Akuapem North and New Juabeng South Municipalities, as well as the Okere District.

The Girls Advocacy Alliance Project was undertaken in cooperation with PLAN International Ghana, with funding from the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and it ended in December 2020. The Strategic Approaches to Girls Education was carried out in partnership with World Education Incorporated, with support from UKAID – and it will continue in 2021.

The ICDP principles and guidelines were used to create awareness and promote sensitive caregiving skills in teenage mothers and women who were part of the two above mentioned projects.

The STAGE intervention focuses on highly marginalized out of school girls between 10-19 years. STAGE has the overall goal of reducing the barriers that marginalized or vulnerable girls face in achieving education. This is propelled through three thematic areas: Learning, Transition and Sustainability. Target beneficiary girls, including those with disabilities, are expected to acquire considerable level of skills in Numeracy, Literacy, Life and Vocational Skills in order to integrate back into the formal track school system and ensure retention till completion (Formal Track) or transit into Income Generating Activities/higher vocational skills training institutions (Non-Formal Track); all aimed at achieving improved livelihoods for the targeted girls. ICDP successfully graduated 335 girls from 13 beneficiary communities in 2020. The graduation ceremony was conducted in all 13 communities.

The Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) was a four year project (2016-2020) focused on combating violence against girls and young women and increasing their economic participation. Violence and economic exclusion are closely linked. Girls massively drop out of secondary and vocational education, especially due to child marriage, sexual violence, trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Their chances of obtaining a decent job are minimal; and without income and financial independence, they are more vulnerable to violence. The project tackles economic exclusion and violence against girls and young women through stakeholder and media engagement, mobilization and networking, sensitization and capacity building as well as lobbying and advocacy. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic ICDP Ghana was able to achieve the expected outcomes of GAA for 2020. The project achieved increased promotion of values and practices against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Economic Exclusion (EE) by key leaders (paramount chiefs, chiefs, religious leaders, queen mothers) and Child Protection Committee members, in four regions (Upper West, Northern, and Ashanti and Eastern region). Tracer studies conducted by partners indicated that enrolment and over-all attendance at Vocational Schools have increased. Initial works were accomplished on the development of the various policies, however, there are little or no budgetary allocation for the implementation of the policies.


New focus on fathers by SC Nepal

Save the Children Nepal (SC) adapted the ICDP programme in order to deliver it to parents and caregivers of their Child Grant package, aiming to improve parenting behaviour for the wellbeing of the targeted children. SC first implemented ICDP in 2018, in a pilot project which brought encouraging evidence. Since then, the ICDP programme has been expanding through SC collaboration with local governments. SC  focuses on evidence generation to influence the government of Nepal.

In 2020, due to difficulties caused by COVID-19, SC adopted different methods to continue with the roll out of the ICDP programme. They conducted ICDP Facilitator’s training through Zoom meeting, used the radio to broadcast ICDP messages and organized meetings of caregivers in person but with smaller numbers of participants and with appropriate safety measures in place.

SC implemented ICDP in 3 municipalities by mobilizing 40 facilitators who reached 893 parents, including 66 fathers. In addition, the facilitators undertook 72 home visits to support ICDP parenting practices at home. The follow up meetings with parents allowed facilitators to strengthen the ICDP skills and knowledge that parents had acquired and to empower them to raise this agenda with their local governments.  A total of 284 parents were visited during the follow up.

Realizing that trained mothers needed support from others such as fathers, in-laws and other neighbours to better apply their ICDP skills and knowledge with their children, SC started to organize separate meetings with fathers, as well as providing ICDP sensitization to different communities. There were 13 community events during which ICDP sensitization was given to family members, neighbours, local teachers, child protection committee members and children at child club members. This orientation programme played an important role in enhancing the level of understanding of parent-child relationship, of the effect of malnutrition and neglect on a child. A total of 331 people participated in this programme.

ICDP with fathers

A qualitative research study of ICDP conducted in 2018, recommended father’s involvement in a especially adapted ICDP package. The ICDP team at SC has since then developed a compressed ICDP agenda in order to conduct meetings with fathers. A total of 66 fathers received ICDP training.

DistrictsMunicipality# of Facilitators involved# of caregiver’s groups# of fathers
MahottariBardibas Municipality

Gaushala Municipality

3 groups

5 groups



Details of the way the ICDP programme was rolled out to fathers are outlined above

ICDP radio drama

During 2020, SC aired a short radio drama on the ICDP parenting programme named “Yo awasar pani ho” (“This is an opportunity too”). It was broadcast through local FM stations in SC’s project area, namely in the Jajarkot, Kalikot, Mahottari, Dolakha and Kavre districts. The main objective of this radio programme was to raise parents’ awareness about using the lockdown period as an opportunity for spending quality time with their children. The drama was based on the ICDP guidelines. The radio programme benefitted a population of about 35,600 population.


ICDP in Zissegre village

The photo above shows an ICDP meeting with parents in Zissegre, a village in the commune of Dargo in the Province of Namentenga, North Central Region of Burkina Faso.

“The school principal in this village acknowledged that students whose parents follow the parenting skills programme have very good results in class. They are actively involved in their class activities and have good grades.”

– says Lea Aubin Sanou, ICDP trainer at Save the Children Burkina Faso.

Aubin has trained the ICDP facilitators who have been working with these parents. He is currently in the field offering supervision and support to different groups of facilitators and parents.

Alimata Sidibe, is the other ICDP trainer at Save the Children and she cooperates closely with Aubin – together they are spreading the ICDP programme to different parts of the country. They are forming and supporting several teams of facilitators linked to Save the Children projects. Save the Children adopted the ICDP programme and adapted it to the cultural context of the country.

Alimate commented:  “This is a nice testimony from the school principal – what a comfort to know that the programme is helping to save lives.“


Update from a trainer

Swedish ICDP trainer, Monica Andersson works at the Social Welfare office, located in the Tierp village 130 km north of Stockholm, where she included the ICDP programme as part of her work.

In 2020 she started to conduct ICDP training of a group of ten colleagues. She explains:

This group is smaller than the previous one, consisting of ten persons but the training proved to be a nice and meaningful process. We had to postpone the work due to COVID 19 in the spring, but we managed to continue in the autumn.

The above photo shows the small group on the fourth and last day of the training, when we had to use digital contact – which was somewhat of a challenge for me. However, everything went fine.

The participants of this training included some of the colleagues from the social welfare area where I work and in addition, there were two students. Represented areas are the department for investigation and emergency, department of foster care and department for family therapy.

I hope we will be able to make the programme grow in our community, that ICDP become well established knowledge in our community.


News from Pasto, Colombia

Report from psychologist Andrea Carolina Flórez:

The Psychology programme of the Mariana University in Pasto, in the department of Nariño, through the course of psychological intervention in educational contexts, carried out the implementation of the ICDP programme “I am a person”, during the period from August to November 2020.

The process was guided by the director of the ICDP Colombia Foundation, Carmen Lucia Andrade and it was led by Andrea Carolina Flórez, university teacher and coordinator of the area called Teaching-Learning Processes.

The ICDP programme was implemented virtually, and had the participation of 16 families consisting of male and female caregivers, aged between 26 and 55 years old.

The methodology was developed through weekly meetings consisting of reflections, workshops, exercises and conversations that in a didactic way tried to strengthen affective communication and sensitive care that substantially improves the relationships between children and their caregivers.

One of the main challenges of this implementation was the mental and emotional state of the families in times of the COVID 19 pandemic. Some caregivers declared to be stressed, worried, anxious, overloaded during this time of health, social and economic emergency.

For the team of practicing psychologists, this challenge was an opportunity to put their technological, human and disciplinary skills at the service of families, helping to transform a crisis scenario into an opportunity for caregivers to discover and re-signify their own care practices.

For this reason, the words that summarize this experience is Learning and Solidarity.


Report from Denmark

ICDP has been growing steadily year after year in Denmark with thousands of teachers, pedagogues, psychologists and other professionals receiving training in the programme.

Anne Linder has written a report of the activities by the Danish Centre for ICDP, which makes for an interesting and inspiring read. Click here to read her report.

Taken from the report:

ICDP and the paradox of the pedagogical work

ICDP – trainee Oliver Nani, also a student of psychology, has a philosophic approach to life in general, and he writes; “I have certified roughly 100 pedagogues, teachers and school leaders at ICDP level 1 this year. Furthermore, I have been engaged in the study of paradox and complexity in pedagogics. I find that a specific way in which ICDP excels, is in its encompassment of the paradoxes of pedagogical work, as exemplified in the collision of the guidelines 2 vs 8; who is supposed to “change course” – the child or the caregiver? ICDP says both, and thus gives way for working with the paradox in a sensitizing way – which is surprisingly uncommon in caregiving programs. Another paradox is encompassed in that ICDP is a proclaimed sensitizing program, which roughly translates into that the caregiver is supposed to produce new solutions herself – bottom up. Yet ICDP obviously presents a framework and guidelines for these solutions – top down. Once again, the balancing of the paradox becomes possible, because neither of the positions are completely trumping the other, but makes way for an ongoing contextualized balancing act”. Oliver will work with that paradox in his thesis at the University during 2021.

Final comments on the Annual Report

It has been a strange year. But still, we have worked on many projectors and still have many new ideas on how to disseminate and quality-assure ICDP.

ICDP is becoming more and more widespread in the educational sector and we are inventive and committed to finding solutions to the challenges we face. We are growing steadily year by year – but we are very careful to maintain our sensitivity and curiosity about other people. The world is diverse, and we are only a small part of the truth about the good life.

A Happy New Year.

On behalf of the Danish Center for ICDP,

Anne Linder


ICDP at Ubulele

ICDP has an agreement for cooperation with the non-profit organization Ububele (, with the aim of integrating ICDP as one of their activities to strengthen child and family mental health in the township of Alexandra. 

The ICDP developments and training that have taken place in Johannesburg are explained by Silje Holter, voluntary trainer:

At the start of 2020, we carried out the first round of workshops for new facilitators over a period of two weeks.  Facilitators were divided into pairs and each pair made plans for their practical work with groups of caregivers (their self-training projects).

Before the lockdown I managed to hold one support meeting during which some of the trainee facilitators presented the way they were implementing the ICDP programme with caregivers. We looked at the ICDP material brought to the meeting by some of the facilitators. Then I was forced to leave South Africa due to corona virus related circumstances.

During the period between April and August, South Africa was for the most part in lockdown, so it was not possible for facilitators to run ICDP caregiver groups. However, the country has been slowly reopening since then, and this meant that more self-training projects could be organized and carried out by facilitators. Some facilitators had a long break before re-starting.

During early December, we got together again, but this time the support meeting which lasted one full day, had to be held online. All trainee facilitators that participated in my workshops during January and February were present for the online meeting too. They talked about their self-assessments, their practical experiences, including some of their frustrations. They also had questions which we all discussed together. Due to problems with transportation, technical difficulties and other problems only some but not all participants managed to share their video material from their meetings with caregivers.

We made plans to hold our last support meeting in January 2021 – it will take a full day online. Each pair of trainee facilitators will then provide a logbook from their self-training projects for my approval. Hopefully some more videos will be available by then. The emphasis will be on planning the future work, including planning ahead how to adapt the ICDP material to the South African context.

The leadership of the Ububele organisation hopes that Ubulele may one day become a training site for new ICDP facilitators. In view of this, they are trying to provide as many opportunities as possible for the current facilitators to practice applying the ICDP programme – and not only by working in pairs but also each facilitator running a caregiver group alone. This will create solid ground for trainer level work later on.


Update from Germany

Rita Crecelius, ICDP trainer and contact person for ICDP Germany reports:

Ana Vázquez-Zimmermann is a day care leader at Hildesheim-Drispenstedt. As soon as finished her ICDP caregiver level training with me in February 2020, she was eager to bring this marvellous tool to her big team of more than 20 colleagues, who are caring for a total of 88 children.

At first, the Corona virus  rules seemed to make this an impossible mission. But Ana didn’t give up. Due to the minimum distance rule, she had to find a particularly large room for the training, otherwise, the group would not have been allowed to meet.

And Ana found this room! On the 2nd of November a group of 16 colleagues from Ana’s day care (others were sick) came together, and were able to sit down together at the correct distance. It was the kick off of their caregiver level training in the ICDP programme. Fifteen women and a man showed to be curious about this mysterious ICDP. What is it? Why is Ana so enthusiastic about it? Why should we do it?

Together, we did some exercises to study the importance of empathy, we watched videos, we were looking at the brain structure and we had discussions about sometimes difficult child behaviours. After lunch, we even did a dance in the church to wake up our body and our mind for the afternoon session.

At the end of the day, all of the colleagues expressed surprise at how fast the time had passed that day. They were eager to try out their new perspective and their new relational knowledge with their day care children. All found the day to be very helpful for their daily practical work  with children.
Ana was satisfied as it was exactly what she had wanted!

Thanks to this courageous and determined woman, we held an ICDP session in person in the midst of Covid-19 restrictions: Thank God, she found the Church! And we will go on with the Training in January 2021.

I am looking forward to it!