About us

This programme is co-developing, with stakeholders, innovative and context-appropriate ways to increase options for children to avoid engagement in hazardous, exploitative labour in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. It is designed to generate innovation from the ground, which can sustainably improve the lives of children and their families.

Its focus is on surfacing key drivers of the worst forms of child labour and developing interventions to counteract them (preventing push factors at community, family and individual level and pull factors from unethical business).

The primary beneficiaries are children in the worst forms of child labour and those who are vulnerable to being drawn into it. The families of these children will benefit from greater resilience to shocks, better options for their children’s safe and healthy future and less intra-family stress and conflict. Businesses will benefit from practical solutions to child-labour free supply chains. Policymakers, NGOs, and researchers will benefit from a knowledge of what works.

Action research for innovation

We will generate activities and interventions through a large scale action research process. Interventions will range from small scale solutions to local problems, behaviour change initiatives, and large scale pilots. Action research is a programming modality which combines evidence gathering and learning from action. It is designed to enable diverse groups to meet over a period of time to consider evidence and generate theories of change about interventions; plan and programme innovative solutions; test the solutions in real-time, and then evaluate them.

In this way, action research groups act as engines of new innovation. These cycles of action and reflection continue until a robust model of action is developed, trialled and can be scaled. We will link multiple and parallel action research groups to form a sophisticated architecture for adaptive learning and management (systemic action research) and will ensure that children are central to this process.

Our aim is to co-develop, with children and families, innovative and context-appropriate ways to increase options for children to avoid engagement in hazardous exploitative labour with the impact of decreasing the numbers of children engaging in the worst forms of child labour, modern slavery and risky migration and improving child wellbeing.

Key research themes

There are four key strands of work:

  1. Innovations in targeted social protection.
  2. Supporting positive family dynamics and social norms.
  3. Revealing and reducing harm in supply chains
  4. Building children’s agency and child-led coalitions.


Danny Burns is Programme Director of CLARISSA. His work focuses on participatory learning for social change with a strong emphasis on systems thinking and complexity – this experience and knowledge will guide the approach of the consortium. Alongside and complementary to CLARISSA Danny is co-directing a ten-year programme on Community-Driven Peace Building in Mali funded by Humanity United. Danny’s work has long involved participatory action research and learning within large-scale operational programmes – including an initiative funded by the Freedom Fund to reduce the prevalence of bonded labour in India and Nepal.


Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the consortium includes the Institute of Development Studies; Terre des hommes; ChildHope; Consortium for Street Children; Children-Women in Social Service and Human Rights; Voice of Children; Grambangla Unnayan Committee and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development.