Pocket-sized Innovation, Giant Impact: New App and Online System Launches in South Sudan to Support Most Vulnerable Children
The innovations will support case workers helping unaccompanied and separated children, child survivors of sexual violence, and children associated with armed groups.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (June 6, 2019) - A new online database and application designed to better protect children in emergencies is today being launched in Juba by UNICEF, Save the Children and a network of child protection organizations.
Developed globally but customized for South Sudan, the app contains a database of child protection cases, which frontline case workers can update and monitor in real time, removing the need for paper-based work while in the field. This innovation will drastically reduce administration time, giving case managers more time to dedicate to supporting vulnerable children.
The application has the capacity to take photos and record audio, which will make it much easier for case workers to trace families and reunite children with their parents.
With internet connectivity being extremely poor across South Sudan, the app is designed to be downloaded and then synced at the beginning and end of the day. The app also works across different agencies, linking up case managers across the country and ensuring a continuity of support for each child registered in the system.
“Case workers are the backbone of everything we do,” said Rama Hansraj, Save the Children’s Country Director in South Sudan. “They are the protectors of children at the worst end of a conflict or disaster – those who have been abused, exploited, lost their parents, or have seen things that no child should see. Often, they walk for hours and hours under the scorching sun, wade through mud, travel for days on bumpy dirt roads to knock on doors and make sure children are safe. They are in every corner of South Sudan, yet until now have found it difficult to communicate with other case workers on the other side of the country. With this new app, we’re bringing their work into the twenty-first century.”
The app and online system is being launched along with the first-ever case management handbook for case workers, which gives step by step guidance for field workers how to manage vulnerable cases, including how to speak with children to reduce trauma, how to assess child and family data, and the steps to follow to ensure high-risk children get the specialised supports they need to survive and recover.
“The handbook is the first of its kind and has the power to change children’s lives,“ said Andrea Suley, UNICEF South Sudan Deputy Representative. “Case workers are often on their own in some of the most remote and dangerous areas in South Sudan. With the book, which is practical and easy to use, they always have a mentor in their hands, helping them provide essential, timely and often life-saving help to some of the most vulnerable children in South Sudan.”
The new handbook supporting case management in the field and the new information management system will together strengthening the quality and reach of case management services by promoting a unified case management process, with broad vulnerability criteria while building and strengthening the social workforce capacities.
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
We’ll be in touch! By signing up to receive emails from Save the Children you will receive a subscription to our monthly eNews, access to breaking emergency alerts and opportunities to get involved. To ensure delivery of Save the Children emails to your inbox, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contact list.