College of Humanities Hosts CPIE Gala Dinner
The School of Built Environment and Development Studies hosted a gala dinner for their Child Protection in Emergencies (CPiE) postgraduate diploma curriculum writers and funders.
Dean and Head of the School, Professor Thokozani Xaba, explained that despite years of capacity-building initiatives in the humanitarian and development sectors, there were currently visible gaps in field-based /vocational qualifications at entry and mid-levels. There were also no clear pathways and progression routes into the child protection sector in humanitarian settings.
‘In January 2008, a taskforce of the interagency Child Protection Working Group was established to review these capacity building efforts and analyse capacity gaps in the sector. The taskforce identified a skills gap of mid-level Child Protection in Emergencies (CPiE) Professionals,’ said Xaba.
‘In 2012, Save the Children undertook a mapping exercise which identified 500 potential university partners for the Diploma; of these over 30 were shortlisted and five were interviewed by an interagency panel,’ he said.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal was selected as the lead academic partner, supported by the University of Indonesia and Columbia University. A seven-member Steering Group was established composed of UNICEF, Save the Children, Terre des Hommes, the CPWG Co-ordination Cell, UKZN, University of Indonesia (UI) and Columbia University (CU).
All partners were actively involved during the set-up and planning phases of the project. Following discussions with all partners, the key implementing actors for this project in the current phases remain: UKZN, UNICEF, the Child Protection Working Group (CPWG) co-ordination team and Save the Children.
The project is premised on an academic / practitioner partnership where the CPWG, represented by Save the Children and UNICEF, provides the field experience and expertise, while the University provides academic rigour and enables accreditation of students through a formal system. The Postgraduate Diploma in CPiE will initially be piloted at UKZN and will later be replicable by other universities.
UNICEF New York representative, Ms Hellen Nyangoya, said: ‘We’re hoping to work with lecturers of the diploma and guest lecturers as well and come up with capacity building strategies with them in 2014 in preparation for the postgraduate diploma launch in 2015.’
The Postgraduate Diploma in CPiE is a self-sustaining course. Fees have been set in line with UKZN’s fee structure.
‘Since the course has been developed to service the Child Protection sector, CPWG members are encouraged to consider subsidising the costs of participants from their own organisations and/or their partners,’ said Xaba
‘The Postgraduate Diploma in CPiE has gone through a rigorous accreditation process in South Africa and is a fully recognised qualification. Those who complete the programme will receive a Postgraduate Diploma from UKZN acceptable and recognised by CPWG members and affiliates.’
- Melissa Mungroo