A goal of orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) programs is to improve wellbeing. Yet, measuring wellbeing has proven to be an elusive concept for many engaged in OVC programming. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has placed an agency priority on OVC programming and aimed to find a way to measure the wellbeing of OVC in a holistic manner. Using a scientific process, CRS developed an OVC Wellbeing Tool (OWT) for use as a self report measure for OVC aged 13-18. The CRS Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Wellbeing Tool was developed over a two year time period from 2006 to 2008. Piloted through a larger evaluation of existing OVC programs funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the OWT was originally administered in Haiti, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia. Based on the data collected within this pilot, advanced statistical analyses, along with feedback from the pilot countries further served to refine the OWT. Presently, the tool is 36 questions long and takes approximately 20 minutes to administer. Scoring can be done immediately or via a computer program. Results are used to monitor OVC programs over time. The OWT was developed to serve as a fast, easy method of securing data about the overall wellbeing of children in OVC programs. By collecting this self-report data over time, CRS anticipates being able to see patterns within its OVC programs that will allow for real-time assessment and response to current issues within the program. The OWT has now been used in Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zambia. Translations from all of these countries will be accessible for download from the OWT website as they become available: www.crs.org/publications/ovc-wellbeing-tool.
Catholic Relief Services, CRS
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