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About this work

Matter of Focus was commissioned by the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and the University of Edinburgh to work with Valenzuela City to set up a monitoring, evaluating and learning infrastructure as they embarked on their journey as the first city in the world to take a pledge to end violence against children.

The Global Partnership the End Violence Against Children is a public-private collaboration between United Nations agencies, governments, industry, regional bodies, civil society, young people, advocates and champions, all focused on making the world safe for children. Pathfinding countries sign up to a commitment to ending violence and work to explore how they can implement the seven evidence-based strategies of the INSPIRE framework to achieve this.

Valenzuela City, part of Metro Manila – a large urban area around the City of Manila, is distinctive in having strong local leadership and political will to change the lives of children. The city became the first Pathfinding City of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children in 2019 thanks to a commitment to the people of the city to end poverty and improve the lives of citizens.

How will Valenzuela City know they are making a difference to ending violence against children?

One of the many challenges for an endeavour like this is to understand if and how it is making a difference. It can be hard to understand, learn, assess, and tell the story of a complex multi-sector programme like the pathfinder work. Unlike simple interventions, such as improving school buildings to increase pupils’ safety, in running a multi-sector programme across the city it is much more challenging to plan, learn, monitor and evaluate, and to share the learning for other cities wishing to follow in Valenzuela’s footsteps.

What we did

Over the course of a year, we introduced our outcome mapping approach and supporting software OutNav to equip the city with the tools they need to steer their multi-sector programme and track change. We visited the city two times and held webinars in-between to help support progress and problem-solve:

  • May 2019: Outcome mapping with strategic teams from different sectors across the city
  • January 2020: OutNav training, evaluation planning and further outcome mapping

A third visit scheduled for May 2020 was unfortunately cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Who with

We worked with the lead for the pathfinding city from the Mayor’s office, and the departments and projects responsible for delivering different interventions that relate to ending violence against children across the city, including; social work, child protection, education, the policy and other programs directly aimed at children families and communities, and the partnerships with NGOs like UNICEF and the Consuelo Foundation. Relevant policy leads in city planning, social work management, legal and education were included.

How they felt

Over the course of the first two visits people began to feel more confident working with our approach, and enjoy planning and using OutNav for their work. We found that the styles of collaboration and communication were different from in the UK, so we made a few adjustments to the way we deliver training and support in the context of the Philippines. However, fortunately in Valenzuela City Hall everyone is encouraged and supported to help solve the problems that face the citizens. This fits with our knowledge that complex problems and complex programmes require distributed leadership where actors are empowered to do the right thing.

Working with Matter of Focus has helped us to understand the ways that different departments and programmes help to end violence against children across the city. We are looking forward to being able to share this work with other cities and countries that want to follow our approach.

Dorothy Evangelista, City Social Welfare and Development Office, City of Valenzuela, Philippines

What they learned and gained

Over the first two visits the city employees created outcome maps for key workstreams and programmes, which gave them a clear picture of what contributes to the city strategy to end violence against children and how they fit together.

These outcome maps were set up in OutNav, providing a single place for partners to monitor their progress towards ending violence in the city. They were able to drill into different levels of outcomes, identify what data and evidence they needed to track progress, and to use this to learn quickly about what was and wasn’t working. This meant they could adapt their programmes as they were rolled out to make sure that they were making a difference to rates of violence against children.

Those engaged in this work thought more about how to assess progress towards outcomes, what kinds of measure, indicators and feedback might be suitable for their work.

For more on our outcome mapping approach see:

The City-wide partnership outcome map, screenshot from an interactive OutNav report

What they do differently

With strong endorsement from the Mayor’s office the city staff dedicate time each Friday to monitoring and evaluating their activities in OutNav and creating a narrative of how they deliver their programmes, policies and partnerships.

The city-wide strategic outcome map has been developed to show how the city partnership contributes to change. The ambition is that they will be able to use OutNav reports as a way of deciding where to increase or desist investment and where to scale-up projects.

The work in OutNav will create a framework for sharing the learning with other cities, citizens and across the international community interested in ending violence against children.

Members of city staff working in OutNav continue to join our online OutNav Community meetings for ongoing learning and sharing.

Find out more about how OutNav supports our approach at:

What difference does this make?

By learning how complex programmes like this city-wide one work we can build understanding of how to implement complex multi-sector programmes which ultimately help reduce violence against children.

Valenzuela City will be one of the first places to demonstrate how a multi-sector programme has been implemented and learning from this can be applied to other city partnerships in different places working with other issues.

We think Valenzuela City is an amazing innovative experiment in using OutNav on this scale and we can’t wait to see how this plays out over the months and years of the pathfinding work.

I think the work of Matter of Focus is transformational in terms of measurement, and ultimately showing how we contribute to social change.

Dr. M Catherine Maternowska, Data, Evidence & Learning, End Violence Lab

We offer comprehensive packages of support to get your team up and running with our approach and working well with OutNav.

The scale of our support grows with the scope of what you are looking to achieve in OutNav.

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If you would like to find out more about our approach and OutNav, please join us for a live demo session.

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