251597 Evaluation of the Child Status Index (CSI) Tool

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:30 AM

Candace Miller, MPH, DSc , Center for Global Health and Development, Boston University, Boston, MA
Introduction: We present results from the study “The evaluation of the Child Status Index (CSI) Tool”, which was developed with USAID funding to measure the vulnerabilities of orphaned and vulnerable children.

Methods: An age-specific instrument, comprised of previously validated tools and indicators commonly considered best practice, was administered to 102 children aged 5-10 years and to 100 children aged 11-17 years in Malawi. Respondents were randomly sampled from a roster of children recently scored with the CSI tool. For each of the CSI's twelve sub-domains, we assessed construct validity using Spearman Rank correlation coefficients. We also calculated cross tabulations to explain the resulting correlation coefficients. Analyses were conducted separately for the two age groups.

Results: No relationships exceeded the standard for high construct validity (≥0.7). Only 2 were moderate (0.3-0.7), both for the younger age group: food security (0.4) and wellness (0.36). All other relationships were weak or negative. In most sub-categories, a substantial proportion of children indicated distress that was not evident from CSI scores. In the abuse and exploitation sub-domain, all children were rated as “good” or “fair” by the CSI, but among surveyed children aged 11-17, 20% or more reported being beaten, kicked, locked out of the house, threatened with abandonment, cursed, and made to feel ashamed. Conclusions: In this rural Malawi population, we were not able to validate the CSI as a tool for assessing the vulnerabilities of OVC. We recommend caution in interpreting CSI scores and revisions to the tool before further use.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe a methodology developed to evaluate the Child Status Index Discuss the implications of the validation study for future policy development

Keywords: Evaluation, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.