A child-centred collaborative research initiative in Nepal led by Edinburgh University found limited impact in four child labour programme approaches stemmed from an inadequate flow of knowledge within and between organisations. The research suggests that progress made by the private sector and trade union movements is largely undocumented. This untapped potential may yet offer sustainable solutions to protect children and provide livelihood opportunities.
The collaborative research analysed and compared children’s livelihoods and ambitions. The researchers worked with child beneficiaries as well as those who continue to work without intervention. This approach enabled an examination of the policy influence, programme planning and decision-making processes. Results of the research may offer clues to why a positive impact of child labour programmes have been slow to emerge from interventions. In particular, gaps in organisational capacity prevented staff conducting primary research and later assessing the impact of programmes. The study suggests a number of measures to further children’s rights.