An estimated 1.5 million children are involved in child labour in cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, most often working within their households. These households often face the reality of rural poverty, such as scarcity of land, food insecurity, limited access to quality education, lack of access to drinking water and inadequate health services. ICI’s research confirms that the creation of a protective environment for children at the household and community level results in positive benefits for child wellbeing and can contribute to decreasing the prevalence of child labour in cocoa communities. ICI’s new Protective Community Index is a tool that can be used by practitioners  or by cocoa-growing communities themselves to assess the level of protectiveness of each respective community and make informed decision to improve it.

Developed by ICI, the Protective Community Index is a simple tool used to rapidly assess the protectiveness of a community by assessing access to key services that help protect children in cocoa-growing communities. The tool consists of ten simple questions about service accessibility and quality at community level. It captures factors related to children’s fundamental rights, such as quality education and safe water, as well as other community characteristics that are associated with lower levels of child labour.  

The Protective Community Index can be used to:  

  • Monitor service quality and access, with a focus on the protective environment around children at community level to identify, target and assist particularly vulnerable communities,   

  • Identify gaps in the provision and quality of essential services that protect children in order to improve the overall level of protectivity within the community and reduce the risk of child labour,  

  • Support intervention planning to strengthen the provision and quality of basic services that protect children,  

  • Track changes to the provision and quality of services over time for continuous improvement.  

The questionnaire can be used in different contexts and is not country specific. All ten questions reflect positive factors of the child’s environment that are relevant to agricultural communities in many developing countries. This helps make the index easy to understand and interpret: the higher the score, the more protective the community.  

Learn more about the tool here