Perseverance during the pandemic
A year of planning and preparation. A very determined Child Protection team at UNICEF Cambodia, with very determined partners. Months of local and international teams working late nights and early mornings. Fine tuning the technical requirements and Khmer-to-English translations. And lots of user testing. This is what it takes to remotely deploy a digital solution for child protection case management during one of the most severe public health crises in recent memory.
Despite the obstacles presented by COVID-19, on 22 July 2020, CPIMS+/Primero went live in Cambodia. This rollout is one of our largest Primero pilots to date. A "flagship" implementation. And with this rollout, our goal to convene partners around a coordinated effort to facilitate quality case management for children living in residential care has taken flight. His Excellency Touch Channy, the Director General of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY), was there to share his vision for the platform and the role it will play in strengthening the Cambodia child protection system. He logged into the live instance for the first time and formally launched the CPIMS+/Primero in Cambodia.
CPIMS+/Primero has been implemented to address a critical gap identified in the 2018 UNICEF Formative Evaluation. It represents a key component in the 2019-2023 country programme document, where UNICEF and MoSVY committed to establishing a comprehensive case management system, with strengthened case management practices, increased capacity of the social service workforce, and reliable real time monitoring and evaluation of programme. To support this, CPIMS+/Primero was set up as the national child protection and social service digital platform for government case workers, which has been funded by USAID and the global thematic funds . The UNICEF Cambodia team and Child Welfare Department of MoSVY were able to learn the system quickly through a series of remote training-of-trainer sessions. They then went on to train over 115 government social service workers across 5 provinces in Cambodia. An impressive effort, all around.
Not only is this one of the largest Primero pilots to date, this is also a proof of concept for Primero interoperability. In this case, with OSCaR (Open Source Case-management and Record-keeping), a bilingual case management database developed by Children in Families and the Family Care First-React Network, led by Save the Children. OSCaR is used by child protection NGOs and civil society organizations in Cambodia to manage cases of children in residential care. OSCaR-to-Primero interoperability enables government partners and local NGOs to systematically register and efficiently track children in Cambodia. It facilitates confidential referrals between systems, keeps child/beneficiary details updated, and maintains unique records for individual children which allows for duplicate detection and robust nation-wide reporting. Its a boost for partners on all fronts.
True interoperability can be complex. To allow these systems to speak to one-another and seamlessly integrate, we used the Open Function integration platform (OpenFn). OpenFn is a flexible, stable and secure data integration and systems automation tool. It provides infrastructure on which UNICEF can quickly prototype integration flows between Primero and OSCaR and then securely scale those integration workflows, even at national-government level data volumes. System administrators in Cambodia have been trained to monitor and update OpenFn as needed as the requirements expand. Integrated systems lead to better quality, more timely services, less duplicative data gathering, and greater accountability of duty bearers. That means better outcomes for children. It is our job to realize this potential.
Congratulations to our partners in Cambodia!