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Making the Invisible Visible: Counting Children on the Streets in Malawi


CPC Learning Network; Retrak; Chisomo Children's Club; Malawi Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability, and Social Welfare

Eastern & Southern Africa
Systems Strengthening
Tools & Training

On July 28, 2015, the CPC Learning Network hosted a webinar featuring Joanna Wakia, Monitoring and Research Advisor at Retrak, Charles Gwengwe, Executive Director at Chisomo Children’s Club, and Mr. McKnight Kalanda, Director of Child Affairs in the Malawi Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability, and Social Welfare.

Very little evidence exists about the numbers of children living and working on the streets globally, undermining efforts to ensure they receive adequate and appropriate care. In order to inform policy and practice in Malawi, Retrak, Chisomo Children’s Club and the Government of Malawi undertook an enumeration study of children on the streets in Lilongwe and Blantyre, using the capture/recapture methodology. The presenters shared the approach followed, the initial results and the implications for interventions in Malawi and future research steps.

You can read the background paper on the methodology here, and the enumeration report with the study’s findings.

About the speakers:

Joanna Wakia is the Monitoring and Research Advisor at Retrak. Joanna been involved in monitoring, evaluation and research within the street child sector for the last 10 years. Building on over 20 years of Retrak’s experience working with children on the streets and their families, Joanna has developed methods to track changes in the lives of children and their families. She is the co-author of “Evaluating Outcomes” demonstrating the improvements in children’s wellbeing during their reintegration journey, and is currently looking into street outreach and independent living, two other key interventions for children on the streets.

Charles Gwengwe is the Executive Director of the Chisomo Children’s Club and is a well-known Child Welfare Specialist. He has over eight years of experience providing assessments, social services, counseling and case management to children and families. Charles has many years of experience working in the NGO sector focusing on work surrounding Orphans and Vulnerable Children and he is a member of the National Technical Working Group on Children and Youth in Malawi.

Mr. McKnight Kalanda is the Director of Child Affairs in the Goverment of Malawi Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability, and Social Welfare.

Systems Strengthening
Tools & Training
Presentation Slides
Making the invisible visible: An enumeration of children on the streets in Malawi

Presentation Slides
Enumerating Children Outside of Family Care

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