Full Citation: UNICEF (2009). A Practical Guide to Developing Child Friendly Spaces. New York: UNICEF.
Overview: This guide is designed to assist UNICEF staff and partners, in establishing and operating Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) in an emergency. It attempts to provide readers with the main principles of a CFS and the processes on how to establish one. The overall aim is to improve the standards and capacity of field staff, by providing the required knowledge to support the design and operations of child friendly spaces. It will facilitate an understanding of how to develop a CFS in contexts in which children’s well-being are threatened or damaged as a result of conflict or natural disasters. More specifically, this guide attempts to broaden and strengthen the knowledge, skills and attitudes of protection officers/field staff so that they are able to respond to the multi-faceted needs of children. This guide encourages readers to develop their own participatory methodology in designing and operating CFS that are appropriate to each particular situation. It will discuss key aspects, ranging from selecting locations to working with local partners. The reader will be able to determine the approach and type of programme that best suits his/her given situation. In order to apply the compilation of policy-level guidelines and materials for CFS, this guide has been designed in a simple format. There are two main sections: The first provides more of a theoretical and conceptual overview, including an outline of the main principles of CFS, background information on emergencies and an historical overview of child friendly spaces. The second section presents practical guidance on establishing and operating a CFS. An action sheet for each component of the programming cycle has been prepared (i.e. assessments, design, operations, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation). Each action sheet includes a toolbox to facilitate the application of the guidance material.