Conference name, dates, place

International Conference on Contemporary Development Issues in Ethiopia, August 16-18, 2001, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Document Type


Presentation Date



One of the key development challenges posed by AIDS in Ethiopia is providing care for the vastly increased number of orphans resulting from the pandemic. The organizational initiatives and policy responses will have an impact on a wide range of developmental indicators, as well as on the formative experiences of millions of Ethiopian children in the years to come. This paper explores the strategies and basic assumptions of community based care—which has become the orthodox approach to orphan care in Africa. Two limitations of this approach are discussed. First, it is often based on an outdated understanding and assessment of the capabilities of traditional institutions to care for children. Second, it provides inadequate protection and condones a variety of arrangements that are inconsistent with the needs and interests of orphan children. A set of practices and normative principles is then reviewed by which innovation in orphan care may be promoted that is consistent with child protection functions as well as the utilization of available community resources.