Communicating complexity simply — an iterative design process

Citizens 4 Change widening the circle of care around East African children

Communicating complexity simply — an iterative design process

Sept 20

Earlier this month Citizens 4 Change sought feedback from child protectors about a series of SMS messages that we plan to send out that aim to build their understanding about child development.

We have taken the feedback into account and have also followed the advice of our data analysts. They recommended that we craft surveys so that numerical or categorical responses are sought, better enabling the aggregation of responses so we can understand the wisdom of the crowd.

So… Version 2 of our “safeguarding” and “child development basics” SMS surveys now take the following form. The intent is to use the surveys to educate, but also to get a baseline sense of protectors’ knowledge and blindspots. The questions aim to give information in a way that provokes reflection & nudges citizens towards safe, open & non-judgemental attitudes towards the victims of violence. Protectors would normally receive one survey each week.

Please do give us constructive critique :)

Safeguarding

Survey name: What is abuse

Invitation: Child abuse is when a child is intentionally harmed. Find out about abuse & tell us what you think by answering question; Which of these behaviours are abusive?

  • A one-off instance of aggression is not abuse. Abuse only happens if there is a sustained behaviour over a period of time. [Agree / Disagree /Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Abuse can only happen in person; not online. [Agree / Disagree /Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • A lack of love, care and attention is abuse. [Agree / Disagree /Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Physical abuse only happens when there is actual harm; not when there is the threat of harm. [Agree / Disagree /Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • All sexual contact of any type with a child is abuse. [Agree / Disagree /Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Humiliating a child is emotional abuse. [Agree / Disagree /Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • A child cannot abuse another child. [Agree / Disagree /Don’t know. Please elaborate]

Survey name: Signs of abuse

Invitation: If you’re worried about a child, it can be hard to know what to do. How concerned should you be if a child shows these behaviours?

  • Child has poor relationship with a parent. [Very concerned / Somewhat concerned / Not concerned at all / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Child has unexplained bruises or injuries. [Very concerned / Somewhat concerned / Not concerned at all / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Child runs away. [Very concerned / Somewhat concerned / Not concerned at all / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Child lacks social skills and have friends. [Very concerned / Somewhat concerned / Not concerned at all / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Child is uncharacteristically aggressive. [Very concerned / Somewhat concerned / Not concerned at all / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Child becomes withdrawn or anxious. [Very concerned / Somewhat concerned / Not concerned at all / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Unexplained changes in child’s behaviour or personality. [Very concerned / Somewhat concerned / Not concerned at all / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Child chooses to wear clothes that cover their body. [Very concerned / Somewhat concerned / Not concerned at all / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Child knows about adult issues inappropriate for their age. [Very concerned / Somewhat concerned / Not concerned at all / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • These signs don’t necessarily mean that a child is being abused. There could be other things happening in their life which are affecting their behaviour. If you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, contact the Tanzanian child helpline on 116 or email safeguarding@citizens4change.net

Survey name: What to say to a child

  • Invitation: It can be very hard for children to talk about what’s happened to them. They might be worried about the consequences or that nobody will believe them. They might have told someone before and nothing was done to help them. They might not know that what happened to them is abuse. Please tell us how comfortable you are responding if a child discloses abuse.
  • Listening carefully to what the child is saying. Being patient. Trying not to express your own views & feelings. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate.]
  • Giving the child the tools to talk, by letting them know they’ve done the right thing by telling you. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate.]
  • Telling the child that abuse is never a child’s fault & that you will take them seriously. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate.]
  • Explaining what you’ll do next, that you will speak to someone who will able to help. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate.]
  • For more information on what to say to a child & how to respond click on this link https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/reporting-abuse/what-to-do-child-reveals-abuse/.
  • If you’re worried about a child call the Tanzanian child helpline on 116 or email safeguarding@citizens4change.net

Survey name: If you’re worried

Invitation: If you’re worried a child is being abused please tell us how comfortable you would be taking the following actions.

  • Talking to the child to help build a positive, trusting relationship. [Very comfortable / Somewhat comfortable / Not comfortable. Please elaborate.]
  • Keeping a record of my concerns & how the child is behaving so I can spot patterns of behaviour & keep a track of what’s been happening. [Very comfortable / Somewhat comfortable / Not comfortable. Please elaborate.]
  • Talking to their teacher to see if they have noticed that the child is acting differently. [Very comfortable / Somewhat comfortable / Not comfortable. Please elaborate.]
  • Speaking to someone you trust about your worries to get someone else’s perspective, & feel more confident about taking the next steps. [Very comfortable / Somewhat comfortable / Not comfortable. Please elaborate.]
  • Reporting your concern to the police, a social worker or your village / street / ward leader. [Very comfortable / Somewhat comfortable / Not comfortable. Please elaborate.]
  • Would you be interested in attending a 3 hour online training in the basics of child protection? [Yes, No]
  • If you feel that it is appropriate to report your concern please call the Tanzanian child helpline on 116 or email safeguarding@citizens4change.net

Survey name: Code of conduct

Invitation: If every adult protects a child, we can collectively build safe and inclusive societies for everyone in Africa. Please answer these questions & commit to Citizens 4 Change’s code of conduct to keep children safe from harm.

  • Do you commit to protecting the best interest of children in all of your actions? [Yes, No]
  • Do you commit to uphold your legal duty to keep children safe from harm? [Yes, No]
  • Will you model appropriate behaviour with children? [Yes, No]
  • Will you report concerns about child safeguarding to the appropriate authorities? [Yes, No]
  • If you have internet please also complete our code of conduct here

And here goes for the set of child development basics messages.

Subject: Babies need to know that you will respond to them.

Invitation: Science tells us that babies thrive when they know that they are loved. This is because they learn to trust others & to develop a sense of security. Tell us how you attach to the babies in your life.

  • How much time a day does a baby need to be held, kissed & cuddled? [All the time / Whenever they are asleep / When they are awake / When they are being fed / When you play with them / Not at all. Please elaborate]
  • Talking to babies is important even though they cannot speak. [Agree / Disagree. Please elaborate]
  • Babies need to be comforted when they cry. [Agree / Disagree. Please elaborate]

Survey: Toddlers need the opportunity to play safely with their caregivers.

Invitation: Toddlers thrive when caregivers play with & listen to them; & when they feel safe & live in a safe environment. Please tell us how comfortable you are playing with the toddlers in your life.

  • I am my child’s first teacher. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate]
  • I can make playtime with children a priority in my day. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate]
  • I can create games out of things around the house that help children develops their motor skills & imagination. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate]

Survey: Young children do not learn through punishment.

Invitation: Between the ages of 3 & 5 children learn how to manage their impulses. Please tell us how comfortable you are teaching your child rather than punishing them as they learn life lessons.

  • There are no bad children, just bad behaviour. [Agree / Disagree. Please elaborate]
  • Mistakes are opportunities to learn. [Agree / Disagree. Please elaborate]
  • Instead of pointing out what the child did wrong, I can show the child how to set things right. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate]
  • I can be kind but firm; showing the child empathy and respect. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate]
  • I can set clear consistent expectations & boundaries. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate]
  • I can work together with the child to come up with a mutually-agreeable solution. [Very comfortable. Somewhat comfortable. Not comfortable. Please elaborate]

Survey: Children need positive role models in their lives.

Invitation: During middle childhood [5–11 years] children start to evaluate themselves & others. They learn to value the needs of others & to identify when adults are not practicing what they preach. Please tell us how you are a role model for children.

  • Do you think you are a positive role model to children? [Yes / No / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • People who are positive role models never make mistakes. [Agree / Disagree / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • People who are positive role models make mistakes; but they acknowledge them & try to behave differently in future. [Agree / Disagree / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Children respond better to discipline that guides rather than to punishment that makes them feel bad about themselves. [Agree / Disagree / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Children learn responsibility if they are praised for good behaviour & supported to take on new challenges. [Agree / Disagree / Don’t know. Please elaborate]

Survey: Adolescents need to develop their own sense of self-identity.

Invitation: Adolescence is a period filled with transition & growth. Adolescents need exposure to opportunities where they can contribute & be responsible. These enable them to establish a coherent sense of identity. Please tell us how you help adolescents manage the transition into young adulthood.

  • Adolescents need to be involved in planning & decision making in their families, schools & communities. [Agree / Disagree / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Adolescents need guidance on sex & mental health so that they can keep safe & make healthy choices. [Agree / Disagree / Don’t know. Please elaborate]
  • Adolescents should be recognised & respected by adults. [Agree / Disagree / Don’t know. Please elaborate]

Do drop me an email info@citizens4change.net if you would like to give us feedback — it is always appreciated. x

Originally published at https://medium.com/@kate-87109/communicating-complexity-simply-an-iterative-design-process-305fdad93c4d?source=rss-6769d482a1c5——2