Pathways Advancing Viable Education/Employment (PAVE)
Critical to ensuring that children receive services that are tailored to their needs while recognizing the situation in their family and the circumstances of their community requires a thoughtful, child-centered approach. Critical to effective implementation for most service programs is the start-up phase (first six months of the program). This is when it is important to clearly identify the needs of children, schools, communities, employers, and government, and partners and their own staff and organizational capacities in order to address the challenges the program or project will face. Following the hiring of staff, procuring and setting up of facilities, equipment and supplies comes the challenge of orienting staff to their goals and strategies for achieving their objectives and designing the systems and methodologies needed to track and record services, document achievements and monitor and measure performance. All too quickly, recruitment of children for the program must be accomplished, essential in the first year of the project in order to have sufficient time to monitor progress against program outcomes over the course of the project. Outreach, intake and assessment, placement into an educational or vocational training activity, and follow-up are at the heart of delivering effective services that will have a meaningful impact on each targeted child or youth–regardless of whether the objective is placement into education or into a vocation. Effective outreach strategies and critical assessment to identify those children most at-risk of child labor or former child laborers, and those in the worst forms of child labor to ensure that eligible and targeted children are recruited for the program is essential.
To help achieve these goals and to build the capacity of service providers to more effectively serve children, Ms. L. Diane Mull, executive director of the International Initiative to End Child Labor (IIECL), developed the PAVE© approach.
What does PAVE mean?
PAVE stands for ‘Pathways Advancing Viable Education/Employment.’ PAVE is a systematic, child-centered, case management methodology that is designed to enable program staff to jointly explore and plan with the beneficiary (children and their parents, guardians, or, in the case of orphans, person standing in place of their parent):
appropriate interventions needed to achieve entry, retention and completion of education or job skills training, and
various educational options and opportunities that will enable the child or youth to advance down viable paths to achieve education and ultimately enter the job market at an appropriate age.
Why is PAVE needed?
Given the need of most donors that fund children’s education, child labor or other service programs, this requires an efficient and effective methodology to:
identify children most at-risk (outreach),
enroll and track individual children throughout the program (intake),
identify services needed and educational or employment goals of the beneficiary (assessment),
provide and track services related to program goals (financial and program accountability),
conduct planning jointly with beneficiary to determine educational goals (educational or employability development planning),
follow the success of the interventions to address targeted need (follow-up), and
monitor progress and need for modifications or sharing of good practices (monitoring for continuous improvement).
The PAVE approach is designed to equip staff to work with children to identify and make appropriate interventions to ensure that children enroll, persist and complete education and/or skills training, and do not enter or re-enter child labor or exploitive labor situations. It also enables staff to identify those children most at-risk and their family’s circumstances that contribute to this. The methods used help staff to identify those services appropriate to prevent children from not entering school or dropping out of school and entering child labor. It also affords staff an early opportunity to consider alternative educational strategies for children who are not progressing well in formal school.
The PAVE approach helps to ensure that children and their parents have input into the planning process for child-centered education options being made available for the child, both formal and non-formal. A critical aspect of this approach is that the educational activity planned is:
of interest to the child, and
in the child’s best interest.
This enables the child to have an active part in the planning of their education and helping children and their parents recognize the value of education related to obtaining meaningful, future employment.