On the 25th of October 2017, Building with Bamboo (BwB) presented their second shared learning panel ‘Resilience: From Research to Practice’. 17 practitioners and academics from different organisations had the opportunity to hear about the latest updates on the BwB project and exchange ideas on resilience in street-connected children. For those who were unable to join us the full webinar recording is available here.
Shared Learning Panel 2 – Summary
The webinar started with the presentation of the Resilience Project Manager, Sian Wynne. In her presentation she expanded on the BwB approach to resilience, arguing that this concept is impossible to universally define as it varies across different socio-cultural contexts.
Following, Dr Ruth Edmonds, our evaluation consultant from the social development consultancy Keep Your Shoes Dirty, explained our learning and innovation process. This one consists of the following phases: learn, design, test, learn, refine, test, learn, refine, test. This process allows us to develop and trial more localised, situated resilience based programmes in each place.
Next, the main emerging learnings from the BwB second learning cycle were outlined by Sian. Among them:
- “Positive relationships between organisation staff and children and families are key to building resilience but they have to be real and they have to be constant.”
- “Actively improving communication, collaboration and networks between non-formal actors is helpful for promoting resilience among children we work with”
Martha Espinoza, from Juconi Ecuador, presented main highlights from the second learning cycle in Ecuador. Specifically, she presented the innovation concepts they have been evolving so far and which they would like to test in the third learning cycle in order to refine their innovation approach to resilience. One of the innovation concepts to be tested next is ‘the importance of addressing social vulnerability alongside personal vulnerability to promote resilient communities as well as resilient families’.
The webinar finalised with an interesting discussion including:
- Social vulnerabilities that might prevent children from developing coping mechanisms when facing adversity.
- Main challenges facing when developing locally, relevant resilience based programmes
Participants reflected on how their programmes/research address these issues. Among the main discussion highlights were:
- Reflecting exercises such as “giving children and their parents a piece of paper to write up strengths and weakness help children to open up and allow us to know the situations children are facing. Then, based on these thoughts we are able to make an intervention” – Alfred from SALVE, Uganda.
- “Seeing real changes in children’s lives requires time. It is important to understand that we are working with traumatised children and highly vulnerable parents. The challenge, then, is how we can help the parents to overcome their own vulnerabilities, so that they can help their children as well” – Martha from JUCONI Ecuador.
- “From a humanitarian perspective the challenge is how to prove to donors that children resilience is increasing. Humanitarian organisations are under pressure to evidence changes in children, however, these processes are complex and take time as there is not a quick fixed solution” – Natalie from War Child, UK
- “One of our challenges is that street-connected children usually don’t easily open up. When social workers talk to them they are reserved and it takes time for children to talk about their lives. We have realised that when approaching them, it is important to ask them about the things they feel more passionate about and also about their families” –Rodney from Uganda
Thanks to all of you who participated at the webinar, we highly appreciate your valuable comments and contributions. If you are interested in having a look at the slides presented at the webinar they are available here.