Assessment Topics and Items

Frequently Asked Questions

What topics and items are included in the school and community assessments?
How many assessment items are recommended for children and other stakeholder groups?

What topics and items are included in the school and community assessments?

There are six broad topics that can be examined at the scale of the school or community setting depending on local interests. If the assessment is conducted with a representative sample of schools and communities, the topics can also be examined at the municipal or city scale. In case studies from France and Jordan, the assessments were designed for use at the national scale. This resource kit is unique because the assessment topics and items include an examination of the conditions of the physical (or built), natural, and social environments of schools and communities. Because the assessment items are directly linked to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, they also addresses issues of inclusion and equity for children with disabilities, genders and cultural or ethnic groups across all of the topic areas.

Assessment Topics or Domains

Play and Recreation – This topic examines access to a diversity of spaces for play and recreation, equal opportunities for play and recreation for girls and boys, and for children with disabilities, the safety of play areas, free time, and access to play and recreation materials, among others.

Nature and Ecology – This topic examines access to nature, air quality, garbage and waste disposal, protection from weather, the availability of green spaces such as parks and community gardens, community cleanliness, and disaster preparedness and planning, among others.

Housing and Learning Environments - This topic examines the quality of the built environment within two settings. Within communities, the quality and affordability of housing is the focus, such as access to toilets with water, electricity and wash facilities, adequate space for living, and protection from weather and pests, among others. Within schools, the degree to which classrooms and the school building support teaching and learning are examined. This includes schools that can be accessed by children with disabilities, access to learning resources and spaces such as a library or laboratory, separate toilets for girls and boys, and comfortable school furniture, among others.

Participation – This topic examines opportunities for children and parents to participate in decision-making for their schools and communities, awareness of children’s rights, participation in projects or programs to improve schools and communities, and an adequate budget for children’s needs within the municipality, among others.

Safety and Protection – This topic examines the safety of schools and communities, such as children’s exposure to violence, drugs and abuse, the presence of teasing and bullying, respect for diversity, cultural and religious tolerance, safe public transportation, and children’s independent travel in the community, among others.

Health and Social Services – This topic examines access to health and social services, such as community or government clinics, emergency care, child development and mental health care support, access to information about reproductive health, and protection against diseases, among others.

The assessment topics and items for school and community settings are provided in graphic tables to help groups read and determine the items most relevant for their local context. Each assessment item has an associated image that is integrated throughout the tools to help young children or adults who cannot read participate in the process. The child rights articles associated with each assessment topic is provided to encourage groups to study the relationship between the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the items under investigation. The statements for each assessment item are displayed for each group that we recommend participate in the process. They are written in a way to compare the opinions of groups of children, adolescents, parents and service providers. The opinions of boys and girls and of children from different communities can also be determined, as outlined in the facilitator’s guide of the Assess activity.

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How many assessment items are recommended for children and other stakeholder groups?

The assessment topics and items contained in this resource kit were developed in three ways: 1) by interpreting and defining the meaning of children’s rights in a way that applies to children’s everyday experiences and conditions; 2) through collaborations with international experts in children’s rights and the pilot-testing of items in countries with different economic and social realities; and 3) through an international review of over 200 research, policy, and practice documents related to children’s rights as they apply to schools, communities and cities.

The number of assessment items is different for each group and requires the subjective response of participants. There are fewer evaluation items for children aged 6 to 9 years, and more items for educational professionals, community service providers and parents. The items are written in a way to compare viewpoints of the different groups. Each organizing group should closely examine the assessment topics and items to determine their appropriateness for the local setting. More information on the selection and inclusion of new assessment items can be found in the Introduce activity, the Tips for Developing New Assessment Items and the Discussion Guide from the Assess activity.

Total Number of Potential Assessment Items, by Topic Area and Setting

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Supporting Tools

  • 3.07 Community Assessment Items
    Tables that identify the assessment images, topics, items, and statements for the different groups included in the assessment of communities.
  • 3.12 School Assessment Items
    Tables that identify the assessment images, topics, items, and statements for the different groups included in the assessment of schools.