Children Living Amid Crisis Face Grave Threats - With Child Protection Structures Under Strain

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A protective layer

Research Lead
“Seeds sees the community as a protective layer around children. The intervention facilitates a process through which the community identifies major risks - and potential sources of protection - before working to develop plans to help mitigate those risks. We believe that bringing people together to address child protection issues can serve to strengthen vital structures damaged by humanitarian crisis.”

Rinske Ellermeijer, Seeds Lead Researcher

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Want to learn more or ask a question? Contact Rinske via email or LinkedIn.


System strain

  • Some 50 million children living in crisis situations are in need of protection - yet the protective mechanisms that serve to protect them are under strain.
  • Innovative solutions to meet child protection challenges in low- and middle-income countries are urgently required.
  • Research into strengthening child protection systems is increasing - yet significant gaps remain with regard to boosting community ownership and sustainability.


Seeds draws on a 'deep community process'.

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This approach seeks to address perceived limitations of commonly used models of community-level child protection – where ownership lays with the implementing agency rather than with the community. The use of deep and deliberate processes of community participation helps increase sustainability through fostering strong community engagement and ownership.



Deep engagement with communities - engagement which can enable communities to own and lead internally guided processes to address harm to children - has the potential to bring about lasting change. Seeds is designed to draw on this potential - in the shape of a standardized yet adaptable intervention that is truly embedded within, and driven by, communities living in the midst of crisis and armed conflict.



The effectiveness of Seeds is currently being tested in War Child programme countries Sri Lanka and Colombia.


Our partners

The Seeds intervention is being developed by War Child Holland with support from Save the Children and Terre des Hommes.

Current research

Ready for scale

A draft intervention manual has been developed to inform the future implementation of the Seeds child protection approach and tested in field conditions in Sri Lanka. A feasibility study to assess the relevance and sustainability of the approach has been launched in Colombia. Moves to allow for the replication of the intervention by other humanitarian actors are also in development.

Next steps

Ensuring relevance

A feasibility study is currently being undertaken in Colombia to assess both the relevance and sustainability of the Seeds child protection approach. Methods of evaluation will also be tested during this study.

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Meet our Research and Development Team

Rinske Ellermeijer leads the development of the Seeds intervention. Rinske is a member of War Child’s Research and Development team, where she works to develop and strengthen child protection interventions for use in humanitarian settings. Rinske has more than a decade's experience working in the child protection sector and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam.