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Time with the team in Central African Republic

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Strong teams mean quality services: Investing in the people that serve children

It's no secret, but technology on it's own won't address the needs of vulnerable children. An app on a tablet can't assess what services a vulnerable child might need to make them safe. Software on a mobile phone doesn't provide services for children. It's no secret, but it still needs to be said.

Technology for development (T4D) projects often fall into this trap. In some situations, the tech itself becomes the end that justifies the means. A successful app deployment can be mistakenly celebrated as a successful intervention, regardless of how much value is added in terms of results for beneficiaries. This, by extension, can also effect the teams that use the app, including the front line workers, their supervisors, and even the system administrator, who can come to see their engagement with the software as a substitute for engaging with their teams and clients. Properly implementing a tech solution in support of a programme involves a lot more than just spinning up a server and deploying some code. The heavy lifting is done well before that happens.

Investing in human capacity

In late October this year, the CPIMS+ Technical Team recently led a workshop in Bangui in the Central African Republic. The event brought together two dozen participants from ten organizations including the CAR Ministry of Social Development, the CAR Ministry of Women's Development, UNICEF, Plan International, War Child, AFEB, La Béthanie, Espérance, Caritas Bangui, and JRS. The team reinforced their knowledge of case management steps and principles, and worked through the new standardized forms that will be mainstreamed across the country. The workshop also galvanized the Case Management Task Force, which will work towards the finalization of the national Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This work will be advanced and amplified by a pool of trainers from different organizations to provide ongoing training for case workers and supervisors.

Working together towards common goals, moving case management practice towards common standards and tools, and committing to inclusive coordination, these professionals are the future of social services in the country.

The CPIMS+ is more than just a software, it is process. Designed to build up and reinforce good practice in case management, the CPIMS+ rollout process follows a series a phases that identify where investment and support are needed. Case management skills need sharpening. Information gathering, case documentation and data sharing practices are a necessary part of good case work, and these are skills that need to be This process recognizes that investing in human capacity is the key to success. More importantly, human capacity is the ingredient that makes the intervention sustainable, so that programmes to protect at-risk children will continue to deliver results in the long term.

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