More images from the conference will be added to our Flickr album over the coming weeks.
From the overall aims and a snapshot of the activites and attendees on the day, we turn now to the agenda itself:
Opening remarks were offered by Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford,who described how "Young Lives' work is very important for the University of Oxford and is [...] deeply in line with the values and agenda" of the institution.
Introduction: Stefan Dercon, Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government described how the study with its rich contextual picture captured through both quantitative and qualitative data helps tell "the story of the first part of this century" through reflection of huge economic change and impact on individuals and families.
Panel: Child Development How can we provide food for life and effective education for all?
- Rob Hughes, Senior Fellow, Early Child Development, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)
- Andrew Dawes, Professor Emeritus, Cape Town University
- Renu Singh, Country Director, Young Lives (India)
This panel, chaired by Martin Woodhead, Associate Research Director at Young Lives, drew together research and insights on nutrition, health and education – the three founding factors of children’s growth and cognitive development. The panel discussion is available on the Young Lives YouTube channel here. PowerPoint slides, where used, are hyperlinked to the panellist name.
Panel: Child Protection How do we best support young people in situations of adversity?
- Tanya Barron, CEO, Plan International
- Alula Pankhurst, Country Director, Young Lives (Ethiopia)
- Cornelius Williams, Associate Director & Global Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF
Combining the themes of work, violence and marriage, this discussion tackled the complex challenges involved in promoting the rights and wellbeing of all children to ensure no child is left behind. Panellists explored framing questions such as: 'are we making the right investments in policies and programmes to address gender disparities improve employment opportunities, promote healthy lives, and/or prevent exploitation and violence?', and 'what does the evidence say about these issues?', chaired by Santiago Cueto, Country Director of Young Lives Peru. Watch the panel back on the Young Lives YouTube channel here.
After a morning of panels and thoughtful Q&A, we moved into the early afternoon and the start of interactive World Café discussions. We held several simultaneous discussion groups across the afternoon. These were designed to encourage all participants to engage in collaborative dialogue and contribute constructive possibilities for action on addressing childhood poverty. Participants attended two sessions during the course of the afternoon and were joined by scribes who captured the sessions on illustrated boards (please see this note for images and highlights from the World Café). The sessions covered the themes of:
- Education - How do you realise quality with equity?
- Angela Little, International Advisory Board, Young Lives
- Caine Rolleston, Lead Education Researcher, Young Lives
- Nutrition - What are the biggest challenges and opportunities to improve nutrition across childhood?
- Lynnette Neufeld, Director of Knowledge Leadership, GAIN
- Mary Penny, Co-Principal Investigator, Young Lives Peru
- Gender and adolescence - What are the gender dynamics of adolescence?
- Prerna Banati, Chief of Programmes and Planning, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti
- Gina Crivello, Senior Research Officer, Young Lives
- Labour market transitions - What does preparing young people for the 21st century look like?
- Marta Favara, Senior Research Officer, Young Lives
- Nguyen Thang, Country Director, Young Lives Vietnam
- Role of social protection in child development - What are priorities in social protection for children's wellbeing and development?
- Sarah Cook, Director, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti
- Paul Dornan, Senior Policy Officer, Young Lives
- Child protection (children's experiences of violence and of work) - How do we create safe and supportive environments for children without doing harm?
- Ginny Morrow, Research Associate, Young Lives
- Kirrily Pells, Lecturer in Childhood, UCL Institute of Education
Discussion leaders prompted discussions in each group by presenting their research and insights on the topic and then inviting feedback and comment from other participants. At the close of each session, the group pulled together a handful of key takeaways from the discussion and action points.
Reflections from the World Café were offered by Gordon Alexander, Chair of the Young Lives International Advisory Board (watch out for a blog from Gordon expanding on these soon!)