Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Building Local Capacity

Building Local Capacity for Social Support to Children and Families in Ethiopia

This project aims at enhancing to and quality of social support in Ethiopia to 16,000 vulnerable children and youth and an equal number of family members, by building local capacity to provide social support. The project is innovative for two reasons: it leads to the development of a training model accessible to replicate and adapt by other organizations and institutions working with social support throughout rural and urban Ethiopia and it builds partnership among Danish and Ethiopian organizations and education and research institutions, which have not cooperated at this intensity before.

The project idea came from discussions among AC International Child Support and Save the Children, Denmark (SCD) in 2008, based on expressions from their Ethiopian partner organizations on the need for stronger competencies within the field of social support.

Focal problems identified

  • There is a gap between the existing and needed social support services to vulnerable children and families in rural and urban Ethiopia
  • Disappearing traditional structures
  • Low priority from the government
  • Social worker education at degree level
  • Fragmented initiatives on para counseling
  • Severe lack of services in rural areas


  • Integrated Family Service Organization
  • AC International Child Support
  • Save the Children Denmark
  • Addis Ababa University –  School of Social Work
  • VIA University College Aarhus, Denmark – Social Work Department
  • Organization for Child Development and Transformation (CHAD-ET)
  • Forum for Sustainable Child Empowerment (FSCE)
  • Sign Language Training and Social Organization (SLTSSA)

Development Objective of the project

Access to and quality of social support services for vulnerable children and families in urban and rural areas of Ethiopia have increased

Target groups

  • Children and young people
  • The parents and guardians
  • Para counselors
  • Social workers
  • Institutions and organizations providing Para counseling


  • An assessment study in three parts on existing and needed social support interventions in the project areas has been conducted and documented
  • A TOT program on Para counseling has been undertaken for 25 social workers, improving their skills of social support, dissemination of knowledge, and supervision
  • Documentation of the model, consisting of TOT training and Para counseling manuals, as well as the assessment study report and a process description of the project, has been prepared
  • Information on the project and documents are distributed and presented at a conference participated by 250 relevant actors
  • The model and the manuals are available and accessible to download from the internet, including the webpage of AAU
  • A pixie document on the project, with guides to manuals in English and Amharic, is produced
  • The capacity for social support is enhanced within the partner organization
  • Networking is established among the participating universities, governmental institutions, and NGO’s
  • Building Local Capacity for Social Support to Children and Families in Ethiopia
  • Plans for how Para counseling can be a part of future activities in the involved institutions and organizations have been developed

Implementation period

  • 1st July 2010 – 31st December 2013
Waterpoint development inauguration ceremony at Wollo Sefer, Addis Ababa
Community conversation program


Computers while distributed to schools under institutional capacity building program


Girls while using computers
Illegal migration returnees and potential migrants after attending business skills training, South wollo zone
Illegal migration returnees and potential migrants after attending business skills training, South wollo zone

Drip irrigation materials ready to distribute to destitute women-headed households, south wollo zone

Women receiving sheep for their small business activities and previous sample beneficiary was witnessing her improvement in operating business