The mission of the Child Development Training and Research Center (CDTRC) is to transform and equip the hearts and minds of people working for and with children and to ensure that the nurture, development and role of children become important concerns of the Ethiopian society.

The Child Development Training and Research Center (CDTRC) is a non-profit organization located in Sendafa/Beke town, Oromia regional State, Ethiopia. Sendafa/Beke town is located 39 kms to the north east of Addis Ababa.

CDTRC has recently organized ICDP training  for 27 people, including their own staff,  as well as staff from other organizations workimg in child protection. 
The first training took place from 7-10th of June and the second training was from 26-28th of June 2017. Even though many of the participants have been working in other programmes run by CDTRC, all felt that the ICDP programme was unique and relevant to the community they are working with. Most participants expressed that ICDP helped them to reflect on their relationship with their own children and many shared stories illustrating how ICDP had improved their communication with children. This group of trainee facilitators will be engaging in self training projects, in which they will be applying ICDP for the first time with groups of caregivers over the coming months. They will meet their ICDP trainer Atnaf Kebreab in November for the last ICDP workshop and certification.

The vision of the CDTRC is to see the creation of a new generation of Ethiopians who can help develop a healthier and more peaceful Ethiopia, where justice and equality of individuals and the different nations and nationalities of the country is guaranteed.
The CDTRC training centre is developing and delivering culturally contextualized training and intervention programmes to enhance culture and value change among the youth. They are fostering the culture of creativity and excellence in day-to-day life, and promoting education for developing high achievers. The training programmes also address specific sociocultural challenges of the society including environmental care, development of strong work culture, child protection, disability inclusion, and ethnic tolerance.
CDTRC runs a diploma programme on Holistic Child Development for grassroots practitioners. The curriculum combines child development concepts and principles with analyzing and addressing root causes of the society’s economic and sociocultural issues such as poverty, environmental protection, work ethics, and ethnic tolerance.
CDTRC has been engaged in training both adolescents and those who directly influence them in various areas. For instance, during last year more than 544 children attended summer camp programmes that focused on developing their creativity and life skills. In addition, more than 100 school teachers  attended workshops on how to improve their communication skills with their students to better assist them in their education. More than 1,000 parents were encouraged to practice skills for positive parenting and more than 500 socials workers were trained on how to build a positive relationship with children who come from economically vulnerable families.


New challenge in Ecuador

The work of ICDP in cooperation with the Capuchin order in Quito found a new opening this year.

During 2017, ICDP is being reactivated through the work of ICDP trainer Ilaina Ramirez. She held several workshops over the past few months which were directed to parents from the poor communities that are supported by the Capuchin order, as well as training teachers from several institutions.

As an additional challenge, ICDP training was also offered and adapted to work with 60 employees of the cooperative that supports the work with boys in re-education. 

In this context the guidelines and principles of the ICDP programme were used to improve relations among colleagues and to promote a positive attitude towards their own job tasks and activities. The ICDP guidelines were used within this new context related to working life, which proved to be a very interesting experience and beneficial for all participants.

All participants became involved in the process of self-evaluation and co-construction with the aim of trying to find ways to solve the difficulties detected in their working relationships. It is remarkable that all the sixty employees of the cooperative without distinction of position from the manager to the caretaker, contributed towards improving communication, creativity and leadership in the working environment.  

During training the participants were divided into two groups, so that separate workshops were conducted for two teams of 30 employees and then they attended one last workshop which involved the whole group of 60 employees. The final workshop had the purpose of exchanging, sharing and learning from each other’s experiences, but also formulating an action plan of a shared project aimed at continuing the process of working on relational improvements.

The method of the “Spiral” was also used – the goal of the spiral is to transfer project development competence to team members. It was developed by Einar Columbus Salvesen, ICDP board member and was adapted for ICDP use by Nicoletta Armstrong. The spiral is based on experiential learning and a series of team members’ meetings that provide a structured discussion space for examining problems, challenges and possibilities. Team members efforts alternate between planning and strategy formulation on one hand and attempts to implement strategies during a transitional period on the other hand;  then afterwards discussing the results of these attempts and re-formulating the strategy  – and thus successively, repeating the pattern. This process of alternation is “the spiral”. It is a method that requires a flexible and open approach during the exchange of experiences. It requires a structured discussion, where team members can focus on case studies and their experiences “in the field”. It is important to apply the empathy dialogue in this context. The experiences are summarized and transformed into transferable knowledge, which is used for the development of team members and to optimize their practical work as a team. Experience shows that it takes time, as well as experience, to achieve the transfer of the “spiral culture” and its integration into the productive life of a team of people. The spiral is optimized when combined with the support of external experts, such as development support consultants, at regular intervals.


ICDP with young people in Tanzania

In the Kibosho area of the Kalimanjaro region a group of young people is being trained in ICDP.

The KIWAKKUKI organization has been working with orphaned children and families affected by HIV/AIDs in the Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania for a long time and some of its staff have gained extensive experience in using the ICDP method in local communities.

The latest initiative by KIWAKKUKI has been to train in the ICDP programme a group of ten young people who had recently come out of school. They were previously trained as peer educators and have since gained experience in assisting school teachers.

The aim of the ICDP training is to enable this group of peer educators to conduct ICDP sensitization meetings with the parents and caregivers of the children KIWAKKUKI is supporting. The plan is to reach 80 parents /caregivers. The ICDP workshop they attended took place in July 2017 over a period of five days and there will be regular follow ups in future.

Photo: ten young people/peer educators attending ICDP training


ICDP Japan news

The ICDP programme has been introduced to caregivers of older people in Japan.

Hitoshi Maeshima is an ICDP trainer and a practicing doctor working in Tokyo. He has recently conducted an ICDP seminar for a group of nurses and caregivers working in a facility for older people (on photo above).

The workshop venue was the home for the elderly called Ensemble (on photo below), which is run by local social welfare services for the aged.  The training started on the 14th of August, 2017.

Hitoshi’s commented:

Recently, I saw on YouTube an interesting film – The Heart-Brain Connection: The Neuroscience of Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning. You can find it on the following link: I think that the socio-emotional learning is partly included in the ICDP process and it was interesting talking about this at the recent seminar.
After the seminar was completed there were positive comments from the participants. Below are comments from two participants that represent the general feedback from the group.
“I saw a positive image rising within me about the ways that we should conduct ourselves and how we should be carrying out our caring duties in relation to the elderly people so that is really good for them.”

“I was very much surprised to discover how the activity of the whole brain significantly increases when we are receiving enough love, whereas the blood flow to the brain starts to run out when there are insufficient expressions of love and as a result the brain begins to fail working well.”

ICDP trainer Setsuko Kobayashi and I will be conducting another ICDP seminar, starting on the 22nd of October this year. It will take place in Hamamatsu. Several directors and caregivers from kindergartens and nursery schools will be attending. After we made a short introduction about ICDP quite a few commented that they were really looking forward to participating in the October seminar and expressed interest in the ICDP topics. We hope to identify a few candidates from this group to become future ICDP facilitators.


ICDP article by a trainee facilitator

A short article about the ICDP programme has been written for publication by the Nuns Welfare Foundation (NWF).

The article was written by German psychologist Rita Crecelius, who is in process of receiving training in ICDP. Her hope is to have her article published in the NWF’s Newsletter and to create interest in ICDP within the NWF. NWF is an interesting organization doing important work, so we hope that Rita’s efforts will bring fruits.

NWF was set up by Ani Choying Drolma. Born in Nepal to Tibetan refugee parents, Drolma’s rise from teenage nun to international music star is the stuff of fairy tales. Her prolific philanthropic work and subsequent role as Nepal’s first UNICEF national ambassador has earned her comparisons to India’s Mother Teresa.
But with 12 pop albums to her name Drolma is arguably a more unusual, ground breaking figure.

Rather than just relying on prayer, Drolma is using her voice to help needy Nepalese in one of the world’s poorest countries. All of the proceeds from Dolma’s record sales and performances go directly into the Nuns’ Welfare Foundation which she founded in 1998.

Two years later, she opened the free Arya Tara boarding school in Kathmandu, which is home to nuns from poor backgrounds in Nepal and India, and run entirely by female nuns. Unlike at the monastery where Drolma grew up, in addition to religious teachings, the girls receive lessons in English, Nepali, mathematics, science, and computing — subjects to prepare them for careers. Many have gone on to higher education.

Ani Choying Drolma is also Nepal’s first UNICEF international ambassador. Her work focusses on protecting young people in the Asian nation.
“I’m the first nun in Nepal sending children in nuns robes into normal colleges,” Drolma tells CNN. “They’ve never had that type of encouragement before.”

In 2010, the NWF opened the Aarogya Foundation, which provides medical services to those with kidney problems and has successfully lobbied the government to provide free dialysis to poor people in Nepal.

In 2014, Drolma was made Nepal’s first UNICEF national ambassador. In a country where more than 33.9% of children in rural areas and nearly 9.1% in urban settlements are doing some kind of economic work, she was assigned to protect young Nepalese from violence.


New study of ICDP in Korea

A new research project will evaluate the impact of ICDP in South Korea.

Sangwon Yoon is a doctoral research fellow at the Department of Special Needs Education, at the University of Oslo, Norway. As a PhD candidate he will carry out a research project on ICDP in South Korea. 

The Korean Parents Network for People with Disabilities will recruit research subjects among the ICDP programme participants through their homepages and mailings. The research subjects are an experimental group of 50 parents of disabled children who participated in the ICDP programme and a control group of 50 parents who have not participated in the programme for comparison and validation of the programme’s effectiveness. 

This study aims to assess the effectiveness of the ICDP as an education programme for parents of disabled children. The specific research goal is to evaluate whether the ICDP has a positive effect on the disability acceptance attitudes of the parents of disabled children, parenting efficacy, and the degree of child abuse. A quasi-experimental design will be used to objectively examine the quantified level of change in the disability acceptance attitudes of parents of disabled children, parenting efficacy, and the degree of child abuse before and after the application of the ICDP programme. In addition, focus group interviews will be used to explore the specific changes made in the daily lives of parents of disabled children in terms of their disability acceptance attitudes, parenting efficacy, and levels of child abuse after their participation in the ICDP programme.



Previously, Sangwon Yoon carried out an ICDP project for parents of children with developmental disabilities on the Jeju Island, in Korea. In this project, he held 10 ICDP meetings with a group of 10 parents and in addition carried out a study to evaluate the impact of ICDP on parents. The study involved the control and experimental group, and they were compared before and after ICDP meetings. Three types of scales were used: Patenting sense of competence, the sense of disability acceptance by mothers whose children have a disability, and child abuse. The project report was published by the Jeju Parents’ Network for People with Disabilities (JPNPD) and it was also submitted to the Educational Office in Jeju Province.


ICDP in Ethiopia and Somalia

ICDP finds fertile ground in Ethiopia and Somalia…

Atnaf Berhanu has been active with ICDP in Ethiopia for some tine, and this year (2017) she has started to give ICDP workshops in Somaliland too.

In Hawasa, the ICDP training was started in 2014 and there are groups of already trained facilitators there, although the last group will be certified by the end of November 2017.  In Harar, in Eastern Ethiopia, a group of junior school principals and teachers were also formed as ICDP facilitators, whereas at Sendafa,  30 kilometers east of Addis Ababa, a group of trainee facilitators at the Child Development Training and Research Centre will complete the ICDP process by the end of this year. The response to ICDP in Ethiopia has been positive and many organization, including churches, are interested to continue building capacity and expanding the coverage with the ICDP programme.

In Hargeisa, Somaliland, Save the Children organized the ICDP training of their national staff members as well as of some of their colleagues. After the two workshops that were held there in July and August, the feedback from the participants was good. Currently, the ICDP trainees are in the process of implementing the programme with groups of parents and Atnaf has arranged for a follow up Skype session with them to take place on the 27th of September 2017. The ICDP work in Somaliland is sponsored by Save the Children, an organization that ICDP has been cooperating quite intensely this year, with ICDP programmes currently developing in 5 countries (Somalia, Nepal, India, Burkina Faso and Philippines).


Training visit to the Philippines

An ICDP training workshop for Save the Children staff will take place in Ormoc, at the end of October.

Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) is a project developed by Save the Children Finland in a range of countries together with the local Save the Children offices. The CSSP encompasses child-focused or family-based social programmes that directly or indirectly address children’s needs and rights through a combination of economic support – such as cash transfers to families and children living in poverty – and complementary interventions; and which improve child development as well as ensure that all social protection is child-sensitive, by maximizing impact and minimizing harm on children, girls and boys alike. 

The CSSP project in the Philippines has been funded by SC Finland since 2015. One of the key interventions of the project is based around developing improved caregiving/parenting skills with families who receive a cash transfer from the government as part of the 4PS programme/ the Pantawid. A draft manual with a selected number of modules and sessions related to parenting and child development has been developed in early 2017 and local facilitators have been trained to carry out the sessions.

However, the experiences from India and Nepal of the benefits of working with the ICDP programme, led SC Finland to include the ICDP programme as a cornerstone for the parenting sessions in the Philippines CSSP project too – to enhance and enrich the relationship between caregivers and their children. The ICDP project will aim to identify and reactivate local cultural practices, in order to stimulate development that is authentic, sustainable and long lasting and the ICDP training will sensitize, build competence and confidence in members the existing local child caring system – ICDP will withdraw having transferred the project to the local resource persons.

During the last days of October and early in November 2017,  ICDP will start the training of SC staff and the staff of their partners who will all be working as ICDP facilitators in the CSSP project in the Philippines. The training will take place in Ormoc in the Philippines and Nicoletta Armstrong will conduct the sessions. Two trainee facilitators from the India project, Disa Sjöblom and Neema Pant (on photo above taken at the ICDP workshop held in Dungarpur earlier this year) will accompany Nicoletta. The workshop will provide training and materials for the local team of 15 participants to carry out their first practical tasks. Particular emphasis will be placed on discussing the content of the ICDP messages, the flexibility of the 12 meeting agenda, the application of ICDP in local context, the application of ICDP monitoring tools and on how to roll out the ICDP programme in future.  


New training in Colombia

A new ICDP project is starting to develop in Tebaida, Quindío, Colombia.

Carmen Lucia Andrade, the leader of ICDP Colombia made a presentation of the ICDP programme to the Association of Agricultural Workers of the Tebaida town who afterwards expressed keen interest to participate in the ICDP training. They felt that the ICDP psychosocial programme could play an important role in their organization by strengthening positive relationships, dialogue and good treatment within the families.

The Association of Agricultural Workers of Tebaida was legally formed in 1964 and it is currently comprised of 300 families. Many of the families live in poverty and are vulnerable, some are displaced and others have experienced violence and abandonment by the state. The objective of the Association is to promote agricultural initiatives and to support actions that benefit the families.  For example, these families are currently attending a SENA course in agricultural production (SENA is a national centre for learning). 

In the ICDP project the leaders of the Association will be receiving training as facilitators and through them the ICDP method will be transferred to parents, to help strengthen their caring skills and their communication with children, and to help create family environments where democratic dialogue and peaceful coexistence are practiced. The ICDP training will be given to as many of the 300 families as possible, trying to eventually reach them all. 


ICDP in Tiblisi

Nino Margvelashvili is a neuropsychologist, based in Tbilisi with a vision to scale up ICDP in the future.

Nino works with children with special needs in an international school, as well as doing assessments and rehabilitation courses concerning different disorders, including epilepsy, specific learning disorder, ADHD and other. On behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science she has been working as a trainer for teachers in different regions of Georgia, covering various aspects of inclusion and specific strategies on how to help students in school.

During July and August 2017, she carried out an ICDP pilot project for parents at the Institute of Neurology and Neuropsychology in Tbilisi and soon after that, in early October, she went to London to attend ICDP training by Nicoletta Armstrong..

Nino intends to start training her colleagues and hopes to encourage other organizations in her country to embrace ICDP – she explains:

“I am keenly interested in collaborating with ICDP. I have two children, my work experience is largely connected to children and I can often notice pitfalls in parents’ existing skill repertoire when interacting with children and dealing with challenging situations. During my studies in Oslo (2010-2012) I was fascinated by the importance and simplicity of positive interaction and the ICDP themes. My thesis was about ICDP, positive interaction between teacher and students of different abilities.

I believe ICDP will give a unique experience and provide skills to parents, focusing on their engagement and personal experience. More than that, in ICDP everything is done through love and acceptance of the caregiver and from my point of view this point makes the whole process worthy and valuable. My long term goal is organizing community based ICDP training in order to empower parents in many different parts of Georgia.

In the report by UNICEF and USAID called “Violence against children in Georgia” there is a section referring to the survey “National Survey about Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices”, which states that:
45% of the Georgian population accepts and regards physical violence and punishment as a discipline against “spoiling” kids.
30% of women and 17% of men said yes when asked if they use physical punishment
60% of population thinks that using punishment methods in children upbringing are more effective than using non-violent methods
Society does not know much about the meaning of psychological violence
Children’s interests are ignored – parents or caregivers deprive children’s physical or emotional needs despite having relevant possibilities, knowledge and access to services.
30% said that their parents used physical violence in their childhood.
14-18 year old youngsters think that the possible abuser of child mostly is a parent.
Society thinks that in-family violence against children is family’s business and are against intervention

However, 82% of Georgian population states that violence is a problem that should be ended This shows that there is a will to overcome this problem in Georgia.

Based on the above data UNICEF made several recommendations to the Georgian government and NGOs, and one of them is to launch special programmes and campaigns to make parents use non-violent discipline, encourage positive parenting and introduce alternative methods to physical disciplining; to raise awareness of parents to develop children’s potential. In line with this, I would like to spread ICDP to parents nation-wide. I feel strongly that it is time to try to change the basis of parenting for children’s happier and healthier future. “


Comments from participants of ICDP training at the Institute of Neurology and Neuropsychology in Tbilisi:

My child and I became more engaged in our shared activities; communication is now easier and more interesting for both of us.
Our relationships in the family became more peaceful and balanced; we started to find common ground for problem solving and consequently we now dialogue with each other more.
I became more confident, more aware and mindful, paying more attention to each word and gesture. Thank you.
It’s very important to use the guidelines. I will use it more in my life.
I discovered that we are different from our parents’ generation; we express more love, through close dialogue with children.
I follow my child’s initiative, I discovered that I can do it and that it is important – I should not be the leader but follow the child.
I now know how to regulate behaviour through explanations, giving alternatives.
I understand how important it is to pay attention and show love, have close dialogue and not to be afraid to express love and emotions.
I loved role play, analyzing videos and photos.
I discovered how much meaning I can provide to my child through explanations of everyday objects – my interactions can become more educational and I can increase my own knowledge by guiding my child. 
I have to work on how to console my child. I realized the importance of non-verbal ways of showing love and that details are important.

(Photos above and below are from the ICDP training)