In the El Salvador two versions of the ICDP programme are being used: the original version for parents of young children and the new version for parents of adolescents.
In addition, the material of a third and newest version of the ICDP programme, which is designed for use by adolescents to act as facilitators to other adolescents, i.e., peer-to-peer, was made ready for printing during 2022. The review process of these materials has been completed by the autumn of 2022 and the printing will be completed by the end of the year. The design of the backpack (mochila) which contains the peer-to-peer version of ICDP has also been finalized.
Several young people were involved in the process of formulating and finalizing of the peer-to-peer version. They showed a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about the ICDP process and expressed willingness to become ICDP facilitators to their peers. The newest version of ICDP with its adapted materials will be used in 2023, in a pilot project whose aim is to test out and evaluate the application of the peer-to-peer programme.
Online training has been used successfully by trainers and facilitators in El Salvador. Face to face and virtual training are combined, with some advantages and disadvantages of each method. Through virtual training a greater number of people is being reached by the programme, whereas face to face training has deeper impact, through sharing, listening, and bonding. In 2022, staff of ISNA has been training with both versions of the ICDP programme (version for parents of younger children and for parents of adolescents) in this way. The aim is to work towards continuity, so parents are given both versions of the ICDP programme as their children grow up. The whole ICDP programme is in a digitalized format and this was mainly produced by ISNA but UNICEF helped to review it. Facilitators and trainers are using the digitalized material in their own training, as well as when training others. The digitalized version of materials contributes to sustainability. Families are given a link to an app with ICDP materials. It is possible that in future ISNA may share this app with others in Latin America.
New law and parenting programme in the country
For over ten year, Instituto Salvadoreño para el Desarrollo Integral de la Niñez y la Adolescencia (ISNA) has been the key organization responsible for rolling out the ICDP programme nationwide in El Salvador – and in order to facilitate this process ICDP had become institutionalized by ISNA several years ago. In 2022 a new law was passed by the government regarding children’s rights and one of the repercussions of the new law is that ISNA will cease to exist. From January 2023, a new institution will replace ISNA, although most of the work ISNA has been doing will continue as part of the new institution. During the year, the office of the First Lady has been conducting a survey with parents mapping home practices in order to ascertain how parents interact at home. This was done in view of the government aiming to standardize a parenting programme for the country. UNICEF and ISNA are working on including ICDP as part of the new parenting programme established by the government.