How do we know that children and youth are thriving?

How do we know that children and youth are thriving?

At ChildFund, everything we do is in support of our ultimate goal: to help children and youth to thrive

For mothers like Rashmita, it was clear that her two-year-old daughter, Gita, wasn't thriving. She lacked energy and had many problems. "She used to not be a happy child, but now she has such joy," shared Rashmita, during a programme visit to her community last January.  Now, Gita is busy playing each day in the courtyard sand pit of the ChildFund-supported Early Childhood Development (ECD) Center, while Rashmita gathers with other mothers in the village to attend a positive parenting and nutritional information session.

It was at a ChildFund-supported growth monitoring session that Gita was first identified as being severely malnourished over a year ago. Thanks to the nutritional training for her mother and diet Gita receives on weekdays at the ECD center (eggs, rice, vegetables), her nutritional status has gradually improved over the last year to where she is progressing well and at healthy growth levels.

But what does it really mean to help children to thrive? And how will we know when children like Gita are really thriving? 

In 2017, ChildFund New Zealand developed its current Strategic Plan. In it, there are six pillars which guide our annual operations and how we measure our success in enabling children and youth to thrive. We do this through our Thrive survey in our dedicated programme areas.  

In our Thrive survey, there are six key questions that we ask to get a sense of how children, youth and families are doing in our Road Map communities: 

  1. How many households have an adequate income? 
  2. How many children and youth are in age-appropriate school or training?
  3. How many households have access to essential healthcare services? 
  4. How many households are food secure? 
  5. How many households have year-round access to safe drinking water?
  6. How many households have year-round access to toilets and handwashing facilities?

The first Thrive survey was performed in 2019 and the data for this will act as our baseline for the Road Maps. Through discussions with our in-country partners, it was determined that the Thrive data collection and evaluation should only be performed every three years to see the high-level change. When measuring at this high-level we do not see change year-after-year.

In the interim, ChildFund New Zealand tracks the activities and outputs that are delivered in our Road Map partner countries. We share these activities and outputs in our regular Thrive email newsletter and our blog posts. 

Measuring the impact of your regular support...

In 2022, we will complete our second Thrive survey, which will show the change that's been made in each of our Road Map communities over the last three years. At that time, we will share the results with our supporters to let them know how their support is making a huge difference for children and youth.