Since 2019 Coram International has continued to provide its support to UNICEF Zambia and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services of Zambia to pilot the implementation of the National Diversion Framework in four pilot districts (Lusaka; Kapiri Mposhi; Ndola; and Kitwe). The project involves three workstreams. The first workstream involves the development of an operational manual on providing the diversion services, and the provision of coaching to social welfare officers and NGO personnel on its implementation. The manual and coaching sessions focus on the provision of community-based rehabilitation activities, victim-offender mediation services and family conferencing. The coaching is being delivered in parallel to the roll out by stakeholders of a multi-disciplinary training on the National Diversion Framework which Coram International supported to develop in 2017. The second workstream involves the development of a monitoring framework for the pilot, whilst the third involves a mid-term evaluation of the pilot’s implementation.
In 2018, Coram International was contracted to undertake a mixed methods study on School-Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV) in and around boarding schools in Zambia for UNICEF. The purpose of the study was to obtain an in-depth understanding of the SRGBV risks that affect children attending secondary school away from home, the available support systems and help-seeking behaviour. The study will inform policy, programmes and practice aiming to protect children from SRGBV. The study includes a survey of all secondary schools in Zambia to build an understanding of the availability of official and non-official boarding arrangements, and a survey with a representative sample of secondary school students living in official and un-official boarding arrangements to build and understanding of SRGBV prevalence and help-seeking behaviours. The team was also conducted interviews and focus groups with Government and local government officials, education staff, NGOs, children, care givers and community members. The study included participatory research workshops with children in order to allow children to be involved and express their views in a range of different ways catering to different abilities.
In 2016, UNICEF commissioned Coram International to work with the Government of Zambia to develop a national operational framework for diversion of children in conflict with the law. The Framework was developed following an in-country assessment of diversion and alternative sentencing practices, and an in-depth workshop with key stakeholders across the country from relevant sectors, including the Police, Prosecutions, the Judiciary, the Department of Social Welfare, and non-Government service providers. The Framework sets out the scope, criteria, process and options for the use of diversion in Zambia, and aims to assist all stakeholders to respond to child offending by way of diversion out of the formal criminal justice system, in accordance with international and regional human rights standards.