ICDP in Mozambique

ICDP Mozambique continues to participate in the Child Grant project. This project is run by  the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action (MGCAS) with support from UNICEF and technical assistance of ICDP.

The Child Grant (0-2 years) is an unconditional cash transfer programme targeting children living in poor or vulnerable households with the objective of reducing poverty, improving child wellbeing and promoting access to social services. The care component of the Child Grant 0-2 is comprised by nutrition and case management.

The case management or Acompanhamento Familiar consists of the support provided to families affected by situations of specific risk and/or to those who are classified as most vulnerable. Regular home visits are conducted by case workers to offer direct support to primary caregivers, their children and other members of the households (e.g, psychosocial and counselling or information for parents) as well as to facilitate referrals to community and statutory services. A beneficiary family is followed for a period of 6 months of intervention and 3 additional months to check on the sustainability of the results achieved.

To implement the afore-mentioned case management component, UNICEF , in consultation with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action (MGCAS), identified a need for technical assistance and on-the-job coaching of government technical staff and volunteers at Provincial and District level of MGCAS, with the ultimate aim of leaving a cadre of social welfare officers able to provide quality case management support to vulnerable families and children and those at risk, within the context of the child grant (0-2 years). In view of the above, UNICEF invited ICDP Mozambique to provide technical and coaching support, following extensive hands-on experience in Mozambique in psychosocial support and, more recently, (child protection) case management. The support  by ICDP focuses on providing:

i) support to the development and adaptation of case management tools, job aids, training packages and materials for relevant case management actors and programme stakeholders;

 ii) on-the-job coaching of relevant staff;

 iii) support to staff who supervise and monitor the work of others and to provide quality case management for child protection cases.

When managing each case, an optional and participatory methodology, in which individual knowledge and experiences are valued, is adopted. The process includes identifying risks and constraints and support selected beneficiaries to overcome them. It involves referring beneficiaries to services that they would not have access to without proper support. Each intervention plan is designed in working sessions with the families and jointly agreed upon in order to result in an individualized follow-up at the family home. Home visits take place weekly for a maximum of 9 months of intervention.

Throughout the various phases of intervention, case managers are monitored with regard to data collection tools.

Knowledge and capacity of staff at District level is improving, as well of the district services quality of interventions. The government organizations have improved control of the cases, responses, referral pathway and statistics. Results could be used as an advocacy tool to get more resources in order to extend at national level.

Community and District level services connection: Case management has supported the interlinkages between communities and social services. The community is now aware of the existence of an official service that they can reach out for help and social services understand better the needs of the families.

Cash & Care: Early serious nutrition problems were detected and referred to the adequate service. A significant number of baby deaths was identified, and the tools were improved to get a more accurate verbal autopsy. Additional supports, like grants for families with multiple needs (disabilities, child headed households) have been provided.


ICDP contributes to social protection

News from Zenona Gread, coordinator from Save the Children’s office in Ormoc city, Philippines:

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 8 launched its month-long 70th regional anniversary celebration, on the 9th of March 2021.

During these celebrations, the DSWD Field Office 8 recognized and awarded Save the Children Philippines as an exemplary partner for providing support and technical assistance toward the realization of the agency’s mandate. Save the Children key contribution to DSWD in the region is the ICDP (International Child Development Programme) Parenting package, which aims at improving parent-child relationship and interaction. ICDP is the core implementing approach to influence child sensitivity and to improve delivery of the agency’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programme (4Ps).

(Pantawid Pamilyag programme is a core pillar of the national government’s social protection strategy and it seeks to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty through improved health, nutrition, and education of children.)


Success stories from Nepal

The ICDP Nepal report 2020 includes a number of stories about the impact of ICDP – read below some of the stories:

Dipak Neupane, ICDP Facilitator and psychologist from the KOSHISH organization:

“As an ICDP facilitator, I was able to change my own perception towards a child and my way of interacting personally and professionally. The knowledge, skill and practice from ICDP training has given me more confidence to be a better caregiver and parent in the days to come. I understand ICDP as a simple and effective intervention that builds competence of caregivers in providing psychosocial care. It enhances children’s psychosocial development and wellbeing through emotional bonding, trust and better interaction between the child and the caregiver. Its impact on myself and the caregivers was commendable.

It was a great learning opportunity for me to work with children’s caregivers to help them create a loving, caring and guiding environment for their children. The caregivers got a chance to reflect on their own childhood experience and current caregiving practices which helped them to realize that caregiving practice could be improved.

Being a mental health professional, I used to believe that only experts can provide guidance on better parenting. After taking ICDP, I realized that empowering the child’s parents or other caregivers through training, orientation and supervision is the best way to ensure proper care and overall wellbeing of a child.

The KOSHISH organization works in the field of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. In the community mental health program, I deal with emotional and psychosocial needs of children whose parents are suffering from mental and psychosocial problems. Sensitization of parents and caregivers whose family members are suffering from psychosocial issues was always challenging for me. Now, by incorporating ICDP techniques in the psychosocial counselling process with child, family and relationship counselling has proved to be very effective. This technique is also helpful and effective in the KOSHISH school mental health programs in which I closely work with teachers, parents and students. As a facilitator, I find it important to encourage and promote locally appropriate practice of caregiving as well as respect for cultural beliefs of the community regarding the care of children.

Caregivers said that their communication patterns with their children have changed, as follows:

They provide more explanations and include the child in conversations. They have become better listeners. Many mentioned that they see their child as a human being of value now, they are aware of its needs beyond purely physiological needs. They mentioned how they spend more quality time with their children now. The conversations in the caregiver meetings and the progression of attitude from the first meeting to the last one, also indicate actual changed practice. Likewise, many shared how they realized the importance of parents as primary caregivers and said that the ICDP program made them sensitive towards spending quality time with their children and aided them in understanding the child deeply – whereas they used to leave the child in the hands of secondary caregivers, hardly developing any attachment to their children. Quite a few said they used to spank their children when they misbehaved but ICDP helped them to regulate positively and protect the child from negative behaviours and activities. “

Statements from three caregivers from SOS Village Nepal who received ICDP training:

“My two youngest children under my care, daughter (8 years) and son (9 years) used to talk to me only when necessary. However, they were seen casually talking with their SOS siblings. I used to feel that I missed out. I even asked them whether they were afraid of me; they replied ‘no’. I wanted them to come and chat with me as they did with their SOS siblings. Gradually, after ICDP, I started to participate more in their activities and to talk about the happenings around, as well as to listen to their stories attentively and with interest –  as a result and to my surprise, they started to come to me voluntarily to chat, to share their stories. I am now happy that my children and I are very close and I feel ICDP helped me to connect with my children. Thank you ICDP. “

“I saw a roughly folded blanket and then pointing at that blanket, I asked who accomplished that. When my 10 years old son Ravi (name changed) said he did that, I remembered ICDP and praised his effort. Next day, Ravi in a joyful manner pulled my hand towards his room, to show me his bedroom. I asked him who tidied up the bedroom so early, and I was surprised when he said that he folded not only his blanket but also his brothers’ blankets. He sounded very happy and motivate after my acknowledgement.”

“My youngest sons (in grade 1,2, 3,4) insisted to keep chicken as pets. I explained the organizational structure and rules of the SOS Village. They, especially the youngest one, kept on insisting that we should keep chicken. Then one day, I explained the consequences of bringing chicken and together we set limits (mother will not feed the chicken and will not clean if chicken make dirt around; and if they don’t look after the chicken properly she would return the chicken back). It is so amazing to see all my sons doing their duty diligently. They are enjoying it so much and they themselves set the routines, taking turns to clean and feed. I really feel ICDP has a magical concept.”

Click here to read the ICDP Nepal report 2020.


A new asset for ICDP

On the 14th of April 2021, the ICDP foundation issued a Facilitator diploma to Dahliani Anne Drejza. Dahliani lives in Oslo but she carried out in her native French both her practical project with families and her written report about it.

“Dahliani is trained as a Montessori teacher; she is naturally empathic and warm towards children, as well as with adults. Over the years she has shown interest in the ICDP programme and has been following closely the gradual ICDP developments worldwide. Some of our ICDP board members and founders had the pleasure of enjoying delicious cakes she prepared for us each time we had a meeting in Oslo. Due to her busy life with little free time, her intention to become involved in ICDP remained unfulfilled until recently. I am very glad that she has recently become an ICDP facilitator. We don’t have many facilitators who can deliver ICDP in French. I enjoyed working with Dhaliani in person before the pandemic, when she participated in the training I conducted in England. During my recent online meeting with her, we discussed her ICDP work with parents. She will be an asset for ICDP, thanks to her background experience, sensitivity and ability to communicate it to others. ” – Nicoletta Armstrong, ICDP chair and trainer.


Trainers’ report from Ukraine

ICDP activities are conducted on an ongoing basis in Ukraine nationwide and there are facilitators in several cities, Kharkov, Kieve, Odessa, Vinnitsa, Zaporozhye, Kramatorsk, Severodonetsk and Chernigov – and each city has a coordinator who informs the ICDP Ukraine organization about specific details regarding local ICDP activities.

Due to the corona virus pandemic in 2020, Sergey Krasin and Anna Trukhan, both ICDP trainers, were unable to travel around the country to conduct ICDP training and supervision in person, as they would normally do. Instead, they carried out the ICDP work through internet platforms. They managed to meet in person only some of the ICDP participants in Kharkov, the city in which they live.

In the spring, Sergey and Anna conducted a two-day online network conference as a special event for ICDP facilitators. During this event they conducted 3 master class workshops. Participants found sharing of experiences particularly useful.

During 2020, some facilitators had problems adapting to online work, which they found tiring and for which they lacked tools, so they asked for assistance. In response Sergey and Anna went on supporting the work of facilitators through virtual means throughout 2020. One of the questions that arose was finding a solution to how to do role plays, since these were not possible to conduct in person. Facilitators are now using the Zoom personal room for three people to carry out some practical tasks.  For the purpose of virtual training some new materials and tools were created by trainers and these were shared with the network of facilitators.

In the Lugansk region parents live in very stressful conditions, especially those living along the border who tend to suffer from permanent emotional anxiety. In order to help these families two facilitators (who happen to be husband and wife) joined a Polish social organization that runs its interventions in the Lugansk area through a mobile team. By taking part in the mobile unit the couple managed to deliver ICDP to families that otherwise would have been impossible to reach.

In addition to parents, preschool and school teachers were also trained in different parts of the country.

In 2021, the government restrictions were changed and the new regulation allows meetings of up to twenty people, which opened up the scope of ICDP training.

Fifteen new facilitators were certified on 1st of March 2021. The newly trained facilitators work with vulnerable parents who were raised in orphanages. Most of these parents have several children, but they tend to find parenting very difficult. ICDP provides them with the kind of support they require and has strengthened their confidence enhancing their parenting skills.

Sergey and Anna adapted the format and delivery of the ICDP programme in line with the new educational policy in Ukraine. They are continuing to work on their PhD dissertation trying to prove that teachers could greatly benefit from becoming facilitators – this is conceptualized as a new approach to teaching, which they hope will be approved by the Ukrainian government at some point.

ICDP Ukraine operates under a local membership organization that was formed before Sergey and Anna (who are both psychologists) were trained in ICDP.  Their organization has 93 members who are based in 26 cities of Ukraine, and of which 43 members now hold ICDP diplomas. Membership includes psychologists, teachers, doctors, and other professionals from schools, preschools, universities and NGOs. Member fees help run ICDP Ukraine.  Members provide support through information sharing and networking. Through the network members exchange experiences on topics from different areas of work and help organize ICDP groups through their local contacts. On the other hand, Sergey and Anna’s organization is a member of a bigger network of psychologists, that consists of 15 organizations – and that is another area of networking for ICDP Ukraine.

The above was based on the verbal report via Zoom by Sergey Krasin and Anna Trukhan, ICDP Ukraine leaders, to Nicoletta Armstrong, ICDP chair.


ICDP roll out through INPRHU

Aura Estella Mendoza is the ICDP representative at the INPRHU organization in Ocotal, Nicaragua. She explained how COVID-19 had affected their work in 2020.

The ICDP team at INPRHU had to change their working hours and were forced to reduce their coverage, as a result of which they attend less adults and children in their projects then originally planned. At some point they were not allowed to meet in person, so they used the radio to communicate the content of the ICDP messages. However, the good news is that by mid March 2021 all went back to normal. 

During 2021, they will be organizing new ICDP workshops in order to train in ICDP some of their new staff, particularly since two of their ICDP trainers left the organization in 2020.

INPRHU has institutionalized ICDP in their programmes called: comunicación social (social communication), intervención familiar (family intervention) and also in their work with teachers. This means that they apply the programme with families, teachers and directly with children. All ICDP work is documented.

In 2020, they visited families whenever that was allowed by government policies related to the pandemic and the facilitators held ICDP meetings not only with mothers, but with the whole family.  This is a policy which they established in order to help families in general and in particular those families that are often plagued with problems related to violence. According to Aura, the ICDP roll out produced good results and it proved to be effective in the family circle; ICDP was accepted by mothers and fathers.

The INPRHU is a big organization that is present in different parts of the country. It is 64 years old, although it was only registered in the 1980s due to political reasons (a government change facilitated the registration). The founder was a professional in Managua, who became Minister in 1980s and began working on many social projects all over the country. He died twenty years ago but the organization is still continuing. It has long established donors that have been contributing regularly for 10, 15 and even 20 years. The founder’s hope was that INPRHU would reach 100 years – which is still their hope. There is an INPRHU national centre in Managua, and Aura attends their board meetings where future plans and policies are discussed. Funding comes from abroad, as well as inside the country.

From 2018 a new law was introduced in Nicaragua requiring organizations who receive funding from abroad, to fill in forms and produce a new type of documentation. Such organizations have to have Constancia de cumpimento – which is a government document confirming that they have produced and submitted all required documents. INPRHU managed to prepare all these new documents, which was a huge and rather stressful task during 2020. They are now waiting for the confirmation certificate from the government, which is taking time as there are 2000 NGOs in Nicaragua.

Read Aura’s report in Spanish.


Impact of ICDP in Somalia

In Hargeisa, Somaliland, a follow up of ICDP based parenting sessions, education and family budgeting sessions was conducted in 2020. The participants were asked questions about what they understood and learnt from the ICDP based parenting and family budget sessions. The questions were based on the 9 sessions of the ICDP based parenting and 2 sessions on family budgeting.  

20% of those who had received the parenting sessions were asked to answer the questions and over 80% of caregivers/ parents mentioned that the training improved their perception on parent child relationship, child education and gender.

Communities showed great willingness to change the cultural belief that ‘’Educating a girl is just a waste of resources ‘’ and now appreciate the concept that children both boys and girls have equal rights to learn.

The Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) project, which includes the ICDP parenting sessions, expanded to an additional location, to Baidoa, in South Central Somalia. The plan is to train 150 additional households in 2021 on ICDP based parenting.

We also plan to run refresher parenting sessions with parents/caregivers in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

Additionally, looking at the impact parenting sessions made at the community and household level, teachers of government schools in the project area started to show keen interest and requested to be included and trained on the ICDP based parenting sessions.

  • Mukesh Lath, Senior Social Protection Advisor at Save the Children

Activities in Bolivia

The organization Red ICDP Bolivia (ICDP Bolivia Network) acts as the vehicle for the implementation of the ICDP programme in the country. Year 2020 has been challenging due to the pandemic, however, more than half of the planned activities were achieved as planned. ICDP coordinator Olivia Sullca informs:

In 2020, the ICDP team had set itself three objectives: 1) To train and support new facilitators to exten the application of ICDP in the municipalities of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba and Potosí.      2) To provide monitoring to facilitators previously trained in the programme’s methodology.     3) To strengthen the ICDP network in the country in order to sustain the work in the future.

The execution of this plan was not achieved fully, only by 64 percent which was due to difficulties caused by the corona virus. The adverse factors include the suspension of activities in the Educational Units and Health Centres, where the programme has been implemented with the participation of caregivers.

With regards to organizing and forming groups of facilitators and/or volunteers, this objective was achieved in some of the municipalities such as Santa Cruz, Potosí and Tinguipaya. In Cochabamba it was not possible to form a group and only one person was trained as facilitator.In the municipality of Acacio, the group of facilitators were formed as planned but people from the health sector were unable to attend because health personnel was obliged to deal with the health emergency of COVID-19.

Once the quarantine was made more flexible, the facilitators trained the caregivers in person in rural areas and in the city the virtual platforms were used.

The trainers from Red ICDP Bolivia provided online monitoring support to groups of facilitators in the different regions of the country.

The evidence from monitoring of the implementation of the ICDP programme showed that the newly trained facilitators succeeded in conducting ICDP courses for 178 caregivers. The original plan as to reach 250.

The training activity for caregivers in complementary topics was not fulfilled due to the suspension of classes in the Educational Units, whose beneficiaries were the parents.

Regarding home visits, which were aimed at reinforcing the contents of the programme, in a year where COVID-19 forced children to stay at home, this was achieved by 62% of planned visits.

The envisaged national network meeting for facilitators did not take place, however, the facilitators were trained in several complementary topics: self-esteem, child development, behaviour regulation and attention in crisis situations. This training was conducted through virtual media with the participation of 20 facilitators nationwide.


News from Norway

ICDP Norway is a membership organization. Webpage:

Heidi Westborg, ICDP Norway chair, informs that in Norway there was a reduction of ICDP groups especially in the first part of 2020 when the pandemic hit the country. The work picked up later in the autumn but then there was another lockdown. In view of this situation and restrictions caused by COVID-19, ICDP Norway decided to apply for funding to run a digital project. They were successful, so the team started to plan a pilot project. In order to run digital groups, the first thing to do is to master the pedagogy of this way of working and to understand the technical part takes 3 hours of training. The key question for ICDP is how not to lose the essential quality of the programme, how to maintain the ICDP positive effect which has always depended on face-to-face interaction, when working digitally. In order to develop a good pilot project and answer these questions, the ICDP team has been having discussion with a professional in digitalization. The funding has also been used to produce a video about ICDP in the light of the corona pandemic. The video has been produced in several languages, for several nationalities. The Norwegian version has English subtitles. Follow this link to see the video: 

For many years the ICDP programme roll out in Norway was centralized by the government organization Bufdir. However, there has been a decentralization of the way ICDP is run, as Bufdir passed the responsibility to a specific branch, a directorate called SKM that administers all parenting programmes in Norway on behalf of the municipalities. ICDP Norway has regular meetings with SKM to keep informed and maintain quality control. SKM holds ICDP in high esteem as a universal programme and despite lockdown, they are continuing with training online. There is a new introduction programme for refugees with a compulsory parenting programme module and the recommendation from SKM and the official guidelines for integration of refugees recommend that ICDP should be used. The particular strength of the ICDP programme was found to be its cultural adaptability and no other programme is considered to be as strong on this.


New start in Afghanistan

In 2019 ICDP established cooperation with the International Assistance Mission (IAM) and three health professionals received training and became ICDP facilitators.

In March 2021, ICDP Afghanistan representative Fattah Najm (on photo), talked with Nicoletta Armstrong, his trainer, and reported:

“During 2020 we were unable to carry out ICDP training as we had to prioritize issues related to the COVID 19 pandemic, which took great deal of our time. However, we are going to start with the training again in May 2021, immediately after the Ramadhan month of fasting. We  are ready, the covid situation has abated, we have a designated training room where we will be holding regular workshops on each Tuesday. We will eventually train all our members of staff, 70 people altogether. ICDP has made a strong impact here and our staff is keen to continue receiving the training, they heard good stories from those we have trained already and all are asking to participate in ICDP. The way ICDP works is different from other programmes – the practical experiences, the making of videos of us playing with children generated a new informal atmosphere and brought laughter and happiness. ICDP has opened the door for our expressions of love and close interaction with children which was latent – we all had it in us but after ICDP it is being freely expressed. We look forward to continuing and we will be taking the programme to different communities in the future.”