The Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare with support from UNICEF conducted an exercise of collecting and entering data for vulnerable children’s for all T/As in the Districts of Dedza, Mangochi and Blantyre. Similar exercise is expected to take place in Salima, Zomba, Mchinji, Nkhatabay and Mzimba.
The exercise was opened by Director of Planning and Research, on his opening remarks he pointed out the importance and the back ground of the program.
During the opening ceremony participants were given a common understanding on how data will be captured in the field and to give a clear background of the CPIMS. Participants were orientated on the data collection forms and discussion were made per each form.
The Malawi Government recognises child protection as one of the key priority areas and in the medium term, the expected outcome is to have strengthened national child protection information management systems that will facilitate the reduction of Children’s vulnerability to violence, abuse and exploitation. In the past the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW) had Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children (OVC) database which was used to capture information on the same. The database was very beneficial as it helped the Ministry to have important statistics which helped in policy formulation and decision making.Implementation of the OVC database stalled due to phasing out of Global Fund –NAC Grant. However, to ensure continuity of data collection, the Ministry embarked on a project to redevelop and enhance the Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children (OVC) database into an online system called Child Protection Information Management System (CPIMS). CPIMS is being used to capture all information for OVC and Children Protection. The system is currently being rolled-out in ten districts.
Effective implementation of the Child Protection Information management System will help in effective evidence based planning and programming.
The exercise focus on children who were registered by child protection workers only during case management in view of the fact that this exercise was just the starting point. The data which was captured was mainly about vulnerable children registration; community based structures supporting vulnerable children, education support, and few child abuse cases. Each team was directed to specific households by Child Protection Workers and staff from community based organizations.