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War Child has developed a Theory of Change (ToC) which guides the development and implementation of a comprehensive care system inside areas affected by conflict. The ToC serves as a guidance tool for the integrated design and evaluation of our programmes. It enables us to identify desired changes and examine how and why they are expected to occur within a particular context.

The ultimate desired impact we work towards through all our interventions is to ensure that children grow up in peace, free from fear and violence. This impact is achieved through establishing an inclusive integrated care and support system within the communities in which we operate. This results in increased individual and community resilience and improved psychosocial well-being amongst children affected by conflict.

The ToC also outlines a number of pre-conditions that contribute to these outcomes and their impact. The pre-conditions include a reduction of distress among children; that children are adequately protected; and that children have improved academic, social and emotional learning outcomes.

Our work is based on the assumption that we can contribute to this set of pre-conditions and outcomes through a set of integrated and interconnected interventions. These interventions are focused within the areas of child protection, education and psychosocial support. Indicators are attached to all outcomes against which progress can be measured - example indicators include ‘improved wellbeing’, ‘perceived safety’ and ‘reduced distress’.

During the development process, the desired change and assumption will be tested. Where there is insufficient evidence available at present, items will be added to the overall research agenda.

The War Child ToC seeks to capture most of the service delivery activities that we carry out - thereby contributing to the pathways and the desired change. The ToC will form the basis for shaping the development, implementation and evaluation of each selected intervention and as such will be the guiding framework for the R&D agenda, as well as for sub-strategies within other areas of the organisation (e.g. programme, advocacy, country departments).