Innovations in Investing in Young Children Globally—A Workshop
The Forum has explored innovations in investments from both the private and public sectors as well as highlighted several innovative programs that address children’s health, education, nutrition, and social protection needs. While innovation has been a thematic area of broad interest for the Forum overall, specific approaches for catalyzing innovation in research, policy, and practice has not been a central focus of any particular workshop to date. Therefore, the workshop in Abidjan held in partnership with Jacobs Foundation, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, and the Institute for Human Development at Aga Khan University, will allow for further exploration of current innovations related to investing in young children globally, yet with a regional focus on West Africa. A focus on innovation will be central to the format and content of the workshop as both a platform for highlighting and synthesizing existing science, policy, and best practices in an engaging way, and as a conduit to infuse new energy and direction into the future of investments in young children globally.
Research on the costs of quality investments in young children, policies and financing that capitalize on existing investments and other contextual advantages, and practices and research that are culturally grounded and developmentally informed will be addressed. This workshop will also provide an opportunity to highlight the work of innovators from academia, non-governmental organizations, governments, and businesses conducting cutting edge work in these areas. While not traditionally considered “innovative”, long term approaches to investing in young children in West Africa will also be presented. Furthermore, given the unique circumstance of Francophone countries in Africa, the workshop will highlight some of the challenges and barriers to investments in young children in these countries as well as identify examples of research, policies, and practices that overcome these barriers to support young children.
Specific topics to be addressed:
- Explore the costs and financing of quality early childhood development programs and policies with a focus on innovative financing tools, models or ideas. Include views from outside the traditional child health and development fields that may be complementary to strengthening investments in young children’s health, education, nutrition, and social protection.
- Highlight innovations from research, program development and evaluation, and technology and product development that seek to improve children’s health, education, nutrition, and social protection. Innovations can be longstanding successes or ideas that have not yet been launched or scaled.
- Discuss the challenges and historical and sociopolitical barriers to investing in Francophone countries; and explore opportunities to build off existing promising investments and innovations.