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CHILDLINE 1098 SERVICE » About Us » Partnership Model » Structure


Structure of CHILDLINE at the local level in any city/district

CHILDLINE functions through a network of NGOs, academic institutes, the corporate sector and the allied systems. The focus of the service is to reach out to every marginalized child and hence programmes must be designed accordingly.

The Partnership model Structure of CHILDLINE

  • CHILDLINE Advisory Board (CAB) comprises of senior level functionaries from the allied systems, NGOs, concerned individuals, media etc. It is the policy making body for CHILDLINE at the city level and it periodically undertakes reviews of CHILDLINE.

  • The Nodal Organization, essentially an academic institute ensures coordination, training, research, documentation, awareness and advocacy.

  • The Collaborative Organization, essentially a 24-hour service for children, responds to calls on 1098, provides emergency intervention, links children to services for ultimate rehabilitation, conducts awareness and outreach programmes, documents every call that comes into CHILDLINE.

  • The Support Organization responds to calls referred by the collaborative organization, conducts awareness and outreach programs.

  • Resource Organizations: These organizations act as referral centres for CHILDLINE. They also participate in outreach and awareness programs for CHILDLINE.

CHILDLINE operates in 200 cities by 'partner organizations' - a range of large, medium, and small child rights agencies. Locally, they run the full CHILDLINE service weaving 1098 into their organizational canvases. Nationally, they make up the spine of CHILDLINE.

In interviews with CHILDLINE Directors , we asked them how they would best describe CHILDLINE's partnership model to a newcomer. For most, visual metaphors of a multi-point, multi-layered web came easily:

"It's intricate and complex, yet simple and structured. like a spider's web," says Rajesh Bhat, Director, Ahmedabad Study Action Group (ASAG), a CHILDLINE collaborative agency in Ahmedabad.

"Let's call the partnership, the Child Protect-Net of India," offers Rajib Haldar, Director, Prayas, a Delhi-based CHILDLINE partner. "An integrated, inclusive system, that spreads out to get more partners in its folds."

For many others, CHILDLINE is a 'network of networks'. In CHILDLINE dictionary, the partnership model has a distinct name - the Brand Add-On Model.

"CHILDLINE's existence is an add-on," explains Jeroo Billimoria. "It's a branded service with one logo, one colour scheme, one number. The service taps into organizations that are rights-driven, not donor-driven, and strengthens child protection programs and infrastructure that already exist."

The Brand Add-on Partnership is stamped by a unique set of traits:

  • Every unit is decentralized and self-managed. But taken together, all units integrate into one common vision and one national service.

  • Partners are accountable to and interdependent on each other. Their roles are laid out in all partnership documents. They offer feedback to each other, and seek feedback from children. They take on a common voice outside at all advocacy and negotiation tables.

  • Partners juggle multiple identities with good strategy and ease. They own a common national 1098 brand that folds into their local organizational presence.

  • All partners are guided by common service standards and norms. The partnership structure is uniform. But there is flexibility, to stretch and adapt to what children tell them.

  • All partners bring a special out-of-the-box resourcefulness to CHILDLINE, just as 1098 brings them credibility. Partners nurture CHILDLINE, just as CHILDLINE accelerates their access and impact of work with disadvantaged children.

In a sector where 'identity boundaries' are ferociously guarded, CHILDLINE's identity is seamless. "It isn't easy," says Priti Patkar, Director, Prerna, a CHILDLINE support organization based in Mumbai. "But we have managed well because we don't step on each other's toes."

Brand Add-On members delight in working through a decentralized, yet integrated, local, yet national, one brand with multiple identities initiative. "It can be complex. Even chaotic," says Sreelekha Ray, Director, Voluntary Health Association of Tripura (VHAT), a CHILDLINE collaborative agency in Agartala. "But from our perspective, CHILDLINE is the best NGO partnership model in India."

This partnership is truly unique in terms of how goals are set, teams inspired, conflicts resolved and diversity managed!