RCT study of ICDP shows positive results

This study investigated the effects of the group-based parental guidance programme, the International Child Development Programme (ICDP), in Norway. The study was initiated by the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir). ICDP was developed in Norway in the 1980s and is currently being used in more than 50 countries worldwide. In Norway, ICDP parental groups are provided by the government as a universal, free-of-charge and voluntary intervention offered to parents of children aged 0–18 years (Hundeide & Armstrong, 2011). In Norway, ICDP is implemented by Bufdir and is available free of cost to all parents on a voluntary basis.

The overarching objective of the study was to gain knowledge about the effect of the universal ICDP parenting programme in Norway using an RCT design that included three measurement points, validated instruments and a larger study sample than previously used. More specifically, its aim was to examine changes in the parents, the parent–child relationship and the child. A total of 590 parents completed at least one of three questionnaires that were administrated before and after ICDP and 4 months after completing the intervention. The ICDP groups were recruited from all across Norway during the period from January 2017 until October 2020, and data were collected until May 2021.

Click here to read the full article published in the journal “Child and Family Social Work”:

Effectiveness of the International Child Development Programme: Results from a randomized controlled trial

Idunn Brekke,Otto R. F. Smith,Eia Elena Skjønsberg,Tonje Holt,Maren Sand Helland,Leif Edvard Aarø,Espen Røysamb,Gun-Mette Røsand,Leila Torgersen,Ane-Marthe Solheim Skar,Heidi Aase

First published: 02 October 2022 – lin to the article


This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the International Child Development Programme (ICDP), a group-based parenting programme used internationally and implemented nationally in Norway. We used a cluster randomized controlled trial in which 81 groups were randomly assigned to either the intervention or waitlist control condition after the baseline data collection. A total of 590 parents completed at least one of three questionnaires (administrated before and after ICDP and 4 months after completing the intervention). Primary outcomes included parental self-efficacy, parental emotion sensitivity and positive involvement with their child. Secondary outcomes included parents’ perceptions of their relationship with the child, child-rearing conflicts and the child’s psychosocial health. We found significant effects favouring the intervention arm following the intervention and at follow-up on two primary outcomes (parental self-efficacy and emotion sensitivity). For the secondary outcomes, we found a significant reduction in child-rearing conflict at the 4-month follow-up, increased closeness to the child, reduced child internalizing difficulties and increased prosocial behaviour immediately following the intervention. However, ICDP seems to have limited effects on parent-reported changes in children. We conclude that ICDP as a universal preventive programme offered to parents in groups can be effective in strengthening parental self-efficacy and improving parental emotion sensitivity.


Celebration in Colombia

OUR LEARNING CURVE – a celebrationton to mark 30 years of ICDP

2022 represents the 30th year since the founding of the ICDP Foundation in Oslo, Norway. It is therefore a special year for ICDP – as one of the founders I felt there was a need to mark this in some way.

As I have spent so many years travelling to and designing projects in Colombia, where I had the pleasure of working with an excellent team, where I discovered the power of the ICDP programme to reach out to the most humble communities, where for the first time I saw that ICDP can impact lives for the better, where thanks to the advice, support and guidance from UNICEF’s Manuel Manrique, as well as ongoing support from our business colleague Marzuki Andujar, ICDP reached over half a million children – for all these reasons I proposed to have a gathering at Amanecer, Quindio, Colombia. ICDP Colombia agreed and their team is now in the process of organizing the event, which will take place over a period of four days in November 2022. It will be attended by some of the key people from Latin America.

The theme of this even is «Our learning curve», with the idea to reflect together on our learnings and experiences with the ICDP programme. By doing that, we will of course be exploring different ways of «keeping the ICDP flame alive»!

Nicoletta Armstrong, ICDP Foundation chair

Photo above, ICDP trainers, Anisah Andrade and Ilaina Ramirez introducing ICDP to a group at the Amanecer centre


New group trained in South Africa

ICDP’s partner in South Africa is the Ubulele Educational and Psychotherapy Trust, a non-profit organizaion in Johannesburg (, that provides therapeutic services to families and children in impoverished communities. The ICDP programme was well received by the Ububele organization in 2019, and after the training of trainers was completed they integrated the ICDP programme as one of their activities aimed at strengthening child and family mental health in the township of Alexandra.

ICDP trainer at Ubulele, Nicky Dawson, reports:

“In early September 2022 a new group received their ICDP certificates (on photo above) after attending the workshops. This training was carried out by facilitators from Ubulele. The implementation of the ICDP programme is helping create positive changes and thus it is extending our support to families and contributing to Ubulele’s own efforts of improving the lives of families in Alexandra”.


Update from Sweden

Change in the composition of the board: The Board of Directors of the ICDP Sweden Foundation has a new chair. After several years of greatly committed work in her role as chair, Annelie Waldau resigned in June 2022 and Veronica Kindbom was elected in her place. Grete Flakk, who contributed with her knowledge and experience from Norway, also stepped down and was replaced by Jenny Jakobsson Lundin.

The home page: ICDP Sweden is continuing to work on the development of their website. Among other things, the plan is to create a forum with the focus on sharing and highlighting good examples from ICDP practice. Educators from all over the country will be given the opportunity to talk about their ICDP work. The request will primarily go to educators, but guidance counsellors will also be targeted to talk about their work in their respective activities and municipalities. This aim is to inspire colleagues across the country, through raising awareness and networking. The ICDP Sweden board has already been receiving feedback from those working with the ICDP programme in different ways – and  the idea is to unite the network and work together.

Autumn 2022 training dates:

Basic ICDP training at caregiver level: It is taking place in Gothenburg on the 20-21st of September and 18-19th October. In Stockholm the training is on 28-29th of September and 25-26th of October.

Facilitator level training: It is to be held in Stockholm on 10th of November 2022, and it will continue in January, March and April 2023.

The training of trainers will start in Stockholm, on the 20th of October. In addition, ICDP Sweden is hosting a digital trainer meeting on 11th of November.


Photo report from Colombia

Click here to see images from the work in the department of Boyaca, Colombia.


A new study about ICDP

Child and Caregiver Reporting on Child Maltreatment and Mental Health in the Philippines Before and After an International Child Development Programme (ICDP) Parenting Intervention

Emil Graff RamsliAne-Marthe Solheim SkarVilde SkylstadDisa SjöblomZenona GreadWayomi Chiong & Ingunn Marie S. Engebretsen 

Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma (2022)


Child maltreatment is a serious problem affecting millions of children. Research on self-reporting of child maltreatment has shown a difference in reporting between caregivers and children. Increased understanding of this has implications for further evaluations of parenting programmes and assessment of violence and maltreatment. The purpose of this study was to explore caregiver-child reporting discrepancies on child maltreatment and emotional health before and after piloting of the International Child Development Programme (ICDP) in the Philippines. Data was collected from caregivers and their children before and after caregiver participation in ICDP. Participants were selected from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programme in Leyte by Save the Children. Caregivers and children completed a questionnaire with some adapted items from the Conflict Tactics Scale Parent–Child version (CTSPC), some relevant complementary items on psychological aggression and items from the emotional problems subscale from the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Matching items, subscales and total count scores were compared using paired t-tests in STATA 14. Forty-six caregivers and 43 children aged from 5–13 years participated at baseline, and 44 caregivers and 42 children at endline. At baseline, children reported significantly more maltreatment than their caregivers. The groups reported similarly at baseline and endline on the items from the subscale on emotional problems. Both children and caregivers had lower scores on our harsh discipline scale at endline, indicating improved parenting strategies after the intervention. These results indicate a difference in reporting of child maltreatment between caregivers and children, with higher rates reported by the children before the intervention, but not after. This is important because it illustrates child and caregiver perspectives on maltreatment, and how they can differ. As such, our findings point towards a positive effect of ICDP on parenting.

Link to the study:

Link to the study on this website


Project in Brazil: Bem me quer

Located in the São Franciscano hinterland, northeast of Brazil, the civil association ACARI, has been developing actions since 2004, being officially established in 2005.

ACARI is an NGO dedicated to the work of construction and implementation of public policies for women, youth and children – It has a multidisciplinary team, experienced in working with the population of this region through cooperation with those committed to achieving its main objective: to promote citizenship, to defend human rights and to struggle for political, cultural, social and environmental democracy. ACARI adopted the ICDP programme. It has been running projects ever since a group of professionals from ACARI received ICDP training from Nicoletta Armstrong in 2010-2012.

ICDP trainer, Ilze Braga, a psychologist from ACARI, informs about the development of a new ICDP project in 2022:

During this year, Simone Souza (ICDP trainer) and I, have been developing together a very special project here in Pernambuco, Bahia province in Brazil. The project is called “Bem Me Quer: lead a family life with love, dialogue and understanding”. Our key strategy has been the ICDP programme.

This initiative is supported by Kindernothilfe (Homepage – Kindernothilfe), a large Christian organization founded in 1959 in the German city of Duisburg. It operates in developing countries with the aim of enabling girls and boys to live a dignified life, free from poverty and violence.

For this project we produced new ICDP materials, that we call “a kit for positive interaction”, which proved very popular with parents.

As a result of our work 340 children and adolescents from Fundação Lor Feliz and Projeto Vida Nova will experience healthier family life that minimizes the use of psychological and physical violence. These families are now leading positive interactions with their children.

It has been very rewarding for us to see that families were becoming very interested in attending our ICDP sessions. They have been putting into practice the received knowledge with great enthusiasm. Children and adolescents who participated in this project have been developing positive interpersonal relationships, and started communicating assertively with their peers and family members.

Ilze and I hope to travel to the ICDP Network Conference in Colombia, in November this year, in order to meet up with other ICDP teams from Latin America, to learn more and to share this experience.


Aubin Sanou on ICDP in Burkina Faso

The ICDP Parenting Skills Programme in Burkina Faso

The social protection of children in families and in their communities provides a reliable basis for the survival and healthy growth of all children and for their learning. It should be remembered that the main factors and conditions for success in education and good health for children depend on the treatment and education practices of parents, caregivers and communities.

In order to improve the practices of caregivers, the NGO Save the Children in Burkina Faso has undertaken to roll out the ICDP parenting skills programme as part of the project “Combating child poverty and vulnerabilities in the regions of the Boucle du Mouhoun, Centre North, East and North, through Child-Sensitive Social Protection”.  Through these four regions, the project intervened in 11 municipalities: 4 in the Boucle du Mouhoun region, 3 in the Centre North, 2 in the East and 2 in the North. 

The programme was able to proceed despite the precarious security situation in these areas. Some displaced parents were able to benefit from the programme at their host site and they actively participated. 

From 2021 to the present day, a total of 323 groups have been sensitized on the ICDP parenting skills programme in the 11 municipalities, reaching 4141 people, of which 2508 were women.  The changes are perceptible and very remarkable; we can mention the rapprochement of parents with each other first, then parents with children, also the improvement of children’s academic results.  Joy and happiness developed within beneficiary households.  In some communes today, husband and wife can sit and talk together, whereas in the past this was not possible.

Click here for full report with testimonials from beneficiaries.

News Uncategorized

ICDP annual report 2021

Click here to download the report.


ICDP course in Stafford, England

Read the summary of the project for Syrian families, which was carried out in cooperation with “Stafford Welcomes Refugees”.

Stafford Welcomes Refugees (SWR) is a constituted voluntary group of local people. It was set up in 2015 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis to press the UK to take its fair share of refugees fleeing war and persecution. The group also wish to provide a welcome and support for any refugees coming to Stafford. From these initial aims SWR has developed, and now has several action groups which work on specific areas.

SWR website: