The Safe Online Initiative at End Violence is launching a targeted investment round focused on generating evidence on what works to tackle online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA). We will be providing funding for select Safe Online grantees with project interventions that have the biggest potential for impact and scale, as well as accompanying funding to evaluate those interventions.
The scale and complexity of online CSEA are increasing, with the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) processing, on average, 60,000 reports of child sexual abuse online every day1. Growing awareness and political interest in the issue provides a unique opportunity to drive large scale and sustainable change but much more needs to be done by societies and Governments to understand how technology is rapidly reshaping our children’s lives and how to keep them safe online. Data is a critical part of this, and the need for reliable research and evidence of what works on a national, regional and global scale to prevent online CSEA is more urgent than ever.
This latest funding round of US $6.5 million is fully aligned to Safe Online’s vision of generating data and evidence on tackling online CSEA and builds on knowledge and insights generated during previous rounds. In the last six years, our portfolio has grown significantly with US $70 million invested in over 80 countries across the world which has led to an increasing focus on ensuring that our investments provide maximum value for ongoing efforts to tackle online CSEA. This means a much greater push for producing evidence on the effectiveness and impact of the programmes and tools we are funding, as well as identifying lessons from the ground on how the change happens. The Safe Online investment portfolio offers a unique opportunity to use results reported by grantees to understand progress and further enhance the knowledge and evidence base to support scale-up of tested approaches and solutions which will provide key insights to stakeholders in the larger online CSEA ecosystem as well.
Targeted grantees, selected through a rigorous process ensuring a fair representation of different thematic interventions and geographic areas, will propose existing interventions with the potential for impact and scale-up. They will also evaluate these interventions to show their relevance, effectiveness, sustainability and impact and enable generation of robust evidence throughout the life cycle of the projects.
This process will be supported by the newly convened Safe Online Evaluation Advisory Group (EAG) The EAG, includes experts, academics and practitioners in the field and has been established with the objective of providing strategic guidance on selection of projects to be funded from the existing Safe Online portfolio and identification of evaluation design and methodology which will enable us to generate the most valuable evidence.
The new evidence and learning generated through this investment round will help our joint global efforts to tackle online CSEA to become more efficient and effective and guide future investments to where they have the potential to make the biggest impact.
The investment round has been made possible with the generous support of the UK Home Office and the Oak Foundation.
Meet the EAG members:
1. Data taken from Global Threat Assessment 2021
Image: © UNICEF:UN0581677:Al-Smadi_Jordan