Four Smiling Children

Data-to-Action Workshop in Guatemala Advances Protecting Children From Violence Efforts

University Research Co. LLC (URC) participated in Guatemala’s Data-To-Action workshop in August / September 2022. Held in Guatemala City, facilitated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and hosted by the International Organization for Migration, the workshop presented results from the Violence Against Children and Survey and engaged key stakeholders in action planning prioritization using the INSPIRE framework.

Participants, which included key Guatemalan government institutions and civil society organizations, expressed that Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) data was useful. Guatemala’s Ministry of Health highlighted the importance of seeking the buy-in of the National Institute of Statistics (NIS), as all public policy needs to not only be based on representative data, but also recognized by the NIS. Given this, it may be useful for stakeholders and partners to consult with NIS and potentially aim to publish the VACS study on their website, which serves as an important portal for demographic information in Guatemala.

Among the next steps discussed during the workshop is disseminating VACS results in other regions of Guatemala and relying more on local institutions to take leadership in the presentation and facilitation of the data. Other proposed action items included bi-lateral meetings with institutions to foster the development of their action planning. Further, USAID/Guatemala expressed interest in the HEARD project’s help with communications and collaborative efforts to move action planning forward. 

This may include supporting the mapping of who does what in terms of youth and adolescent protection programs, identifying the strategies and needed adaptations to operationalize them, and involving local government officials in the planning process. USAID/Guatemala is also interested in supporting events in decentralized locations in Guatemala to share VACS results as well as making information available in Mayan languages. 

Participants of the workshop included the following stakeholders. 

  • Representatives from the Guatemalan government, including the Ministries of Health and Education
  • Civil societies such as The Foundation for the Development of Guatemala and the Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies 
  • International Development Agencies World Vision, URC, UN Women, and others 
  • U.S. Government (USAID/DC, USAID Guatemala, CDC)