Collaboration Among Global Advocacy Initiatives Targeting Children’s Issues

The Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) engages more than 80 high-profile stakeholders, representing UNESCO, WHO, ILO, CSOs, NGOs, foundations, regional networks, academics and the private sector. It was launched by the World Bank Group and UNICEF in 2016. ACEI is part of ECDAN and has been able to participate in their consultative processes.

On April 4, 2017, ECDAN organized a webinar, moderated by Sara Watson from ReadyNation International that focused on collaboration among global advocacy initiatives targeting children’s right to early childhood development (ECD). This webinar brought together children’s experts on global advocacy initiatives targeting children’s issues, particularly ECD: UNICEF, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), Every Woman Every Child, and Theirworld. The speakers presented their advocacy tools and strategies and discussed how to engage in their initiatives.

Sam Mort and Alicia Marin from UNICEF talked about their new Early Moments Matter campaign, which was launched in January, 2017. The campaign, supported by the LEGO Foundation, seeks to increase awareness about the importance of a child’s first 1,000 days, particularly the impact of early experiences on the developing brain. By the time children reach age 5, 90% of their brains has already developed, making these first years the most important of their lives. UNICEF also stressed the importance of a father’s role in a child’s upbringing and development. Therefore, UNICEF encourages everyone to share a father moment on Father’s Day, June 18, using the hashtag “#EarlyMomentsMatter.” Their Father’s Day Toolkit will be available on May 4, 2017.

Nana Taona Kuo shared insights on the United Nations Every Woman Every Child (UN EWEC) movement. This movement mobilizes national and international actions by governments, civil societies, and the private sector to address health challenges facing children, adolescents, and women worldwide. Nana Taona Kuo also talked about the importance of early childhood education, which will not only benefit the children but also directly impact the stability and prosperity of states in the future.

Countries in the Scaling Up Nutrition movement work together with the civil society, UN organizations, businesses, and donor networks to end malnutrition in all its forms. Maria Pizzini stressed that by working together, across sectors and with different stakeholders, they can reach the most vulnerable communities to ensure that no girls or women are left behind.

Theirworld is a global children’s charity committed to ensuring a bright future for the most vulnerable children worldwide. Belinda Turffrey and James Cox from Theirworld talked about one of their campaigns, the 5for5 campaign, which aims to raise awareness of early childhood development and to put pressure on world leaders to ensure that all children globally have access to quality care, including nutrition, learning, play, health, and protection.  Theirworld encourage everyone to sign the #5for5 petition.