Building with Bamboo
Oak Foundation’s Bamboo project was a two-phase research initiative. Phase 1 focused on finding out about children’s realities, with a focus on resilience: what really helped them avoid or recover from adversity, in particular sexual abuse and exploitation? Phase 2 – Building with Bamboo – was the chance to learn if changes in practice or approaches, developed to accurately reflect what was learned in the initial research, can be developed; and if so, to determine whether or not such developments improve outcomes for children.
In order to achieve this, we were using three locally tailored action learning projects across three continents, each of which was drawing on the Bamboo 1 findings to shape, inform and develop resilience-based approaches to working with street-connected children. Each project site put forward an existing staff member as a Resilience Champion. These Champions, along with Consortium for Street Children team, formed the centre of this international Community of Practice and Learning, both through this virtual platform and through face to face workshops and shared learning events.
Evaluation and learning
The learning projects were being evaluated using a developmental, ethnographic and participatory learning framework aimed at capturing local conceptualisations of resilience alongside common learning points across all three sites. By undertaking a series of learning cycles, the Resilience Champions each gathered and analysed qualitative data from their organisations, teams, the children they supported and their own experiences. At the end of each cycle, the Resilience Champions would come together for ‘sense-making’ sessions to inform adaptations to their approach as the project progresses.
By capturing both the process and experience of innovating these new, resilience-based approaches as well as the impact that these approaches had on outcomes for children, it was hoped that Building with Bamboo would generate approaches which are relevant, timely and above all successful in improving outcomes for street-connected children exposed to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.