Highly Vulnerable Children Research Center

Mama Mkubwa Psychosocial Support Program

This case study describes the Salvation Army’s (TSA) Mama Mkubwa Psychosocial Support Program model, including challenges, successes, lessons learned and the way forward. The case study and report are focused on the program components that aim to strengthen community responses to the needs of vulnerable children and their families and provide psychosocial support for OVC. To accomplish these goals, TSA focuses on building capacity, aiming to empower communities with skills for identifying the problems faced by children, youth and families as well as collective resources for addressing them; providing psychosocial support through kids clubs; and offering ongoing support to orphaned and vulnerable children and their families through home visiting.  The case study identified several program challenges. Mama Mkubwa committees have found it difficult to meet the overwhelming needs of vulnerable families.  Much of TSA’s success and innovation stems from a program engagement process that fosters community ownership.

MEASURE Evaluation conducted research on programs for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in five unique settings — two in Kenya and three in Tanzania. Case studies were the first phase of MEASURE Evaluation’s targeted evaluations and began the process of information sharing on lessons learned in programming for OVC. Additional evaluation activities under the MEASURE Evaluation targeted evaluation activity included an impact assessment and costing activity for four of the five selected programs.

Case study information-gathering activities included program document review; program site visits, including discussions with local staff, volunteers, beneficiaries, and community members; and observations of program activities. The primary audience for these case studies includes OVC program implementers in Kenya, Tanzania and elsewhere in Africa, as well as relevant policy makers, funding agencies addressing OVC needs, and other local and international stakeholders.

Suggested Citation: Littrell, M., Thurman, T.R., Chatterji, M., & Brown, L. (2007). A Case Study: Mama Mkubwa Psychosocial Support Program. Chapel Hill, NC: MEASURE Evaluation.

Download Case Study >>