TitleEvaluation of the Child Status Index Tool: A Validation Study in Malawi
AuthorsMiller C., Sabin L., Brooks B., Tsoka M., Rybasack H.
PublisherUSAID, BU OVC-Care Project
LocationBoston University School of Public Health, 801 Crosstown Ave., Boston, MA 02118
AbstractThis report provides findings from the study “Evaluating and Validating the Child Status Index (CSI) Tool: A validation study in Malawi” undertaken by Boston University’s Center for Global Health and Development in collaboration with the Centre for Social Research in Malawi. The study included two main activities: First, we conducted a cross-sectional survey with organizations using the CSI in order to learn about their experiences with the tool. Second, we conducted a validation study of the CSI tool. The report results provide information on the ability of the CSI tool to meet its objectives of assessing the well-being of children. The CSI tool was recently developed by MEASURE Evaluation at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina as part of ongoing efforts by US government agencies to improve the systematic assessment of the needs of children and their households. The Child Status Index was first made public in 2008 with the Manual and Field User’s Guide appearing in July 2009. The CSI was designed as a simple, economical, yet comprehensive tool, organized around six dimensions pertaining to child welfare which could be used by low literacy staff. The CSI is a high-inference tool which has a rating system that requires an observer to make inferences on a composite construct from their observations. It was made available to community-based organizations (CBOs) in various countries. CBO staff use the CSI tool to assess the children they serve so that organizations can prioritize assistance and activities. An instrument must be valid in order to yield accurate information and inform decision making. As a recently developed instrument, to date there has been limited rigorous evaluation of the CSI’s ability to generate valid information regarding the type and degree of vulnerability that children face. While a single study in one country cannot provide definitive information regarding the validity of the CSI, this report provides an independent, external assessment in a specific country-context into the effectiveness of the tool.
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