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Letter to the Editor: How to Help Caregivers Help Children in Emerging Humanitarian Emergencies

Parenting programs are early childhood interventions focused on engaging parents to provide in-home stimulation to infants and toddlers with the hope of improving young children’s cognitive and motor development, social emotional skills, and overall wellness as they grow. These programs teach parents techniques to stimulate their children’s brain and body development through talk, play, and frequent high-quality interactions. Parenting programs are often combined with other public health programs, specifically programs focused on providing nutritional supplementation. There is evidence that parenting programs, when implemented at a small scale by researchers and non-government organizations, can have a significant impact on children’s cognitive and social-emotional development outcomes, as well as on their future education and earnings. This brief reviews evidence from the SIEF portfolio to assess whether these successes be replicated at scale in low- and middle-income countries.

Lessons from Parenting Programs in Early Childhood

Parenting programs are early childhood interventions focused on engaging parents to provide in-home stimulation to infants and toddlers with the hope of improving young children’s cognitive and motor development, social emotional skills, and overall wellness as they grow. These programs teach parents techniques to stimulate their children’s brain and body development through talk, play, and frequent high-quality interactions. Parenting programs are often combined with other public health programs, specifically programs focused on providing nutritional supplementation. There is evidence that parenting programs, when implemented at a small scale by researchers and non-government organizations, can have a significant impact on children’s cognitive and social-emotional development outcomes, as well as on their future education and earnings. This brief reviews evidence from the SIEF portfolio to assess whether these successes be replicated at scale in low- and middle-income countries.

Social Emotional Learning and Reading Comprehension

The Reading Comprehension Special Interest Group developed this interactive guide to kickstart conversations about social emotional learning (SEL) and reading comprehension with parents and caregivers. It was designed for use by teachers, organizations, and individuals who support children in learning to read in almost any context. It is a resource for all community members who want to connect a child’s love of reading with reading comprehension strategies and developing social and emotional skills in children. 

Nurturing Care and Men’s Engagement

Men caregivers play an important role in providing children nurturing care. Yet, often even when they want to be more involved, they are left out of the equation in policies, services and in communities. This thematic brief summarizes the evidence regarding the benefits of men’s engagement on outcomes for women, children, and even men themselves. It consolidates the learnings thus far regarding designing and adapting services to engage men in providing nurturing care. Finally, it recommends practical actions for policymakers and programme designers across four enabling environments: policies, services, communities and caregivers – all illustrated with case studies. It focuses particularly on what health services can do, while also covering education, social protection and other sectors.

Parenting interventions to promote early child development in the first three years of life: A global systematic review and meta-analysis

Parents are the primary caregivers of young children. Responsive parent–child relationships and parental support for learning during the earliest years of life are crucial for promoting early child development (ECD). We conducted a global systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of parenting interventions on ECD and parenting outcomes.

Review and Analysis of Lessons Learned from Existing Positive Parenting Programmes in East Asia and the Pacific

This Review and analysis of lessons learned from existing positive parenting programmes in East Asia and the Pacific (‘The Review’) builds upon momentum generated through UNICEF’s June 2016 Regional Conference on Parenting Support Interventions for Violence Prevention and its call for an analysis of learning with regards to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and scale-up of existing parenting support interventions in the region. The purpose of this Review is to provide guidance to key stakeholders at national level who are engaged in or responsible for promoting parenting interventions as they plan, design

Promoting Positive Parenting: Lessons from Programmes in East Asia and the Pacific – Case Studies

Working in coordination with UNICEF EAPRO and country offices, Maestral International conducted a review of parenting programmes in East Asia and the Pacific. The overall goal was to examine the landscape and typology of existing parenting programmes and provide guidance on the design, implementation and scale up of effective parenting programmes with a focus on those reducing harsh child rearing practices and creating an enabling environment for nurturing care, services, and policies for children and their families. In carrying out this objective, a team of Maestral consultants conducted field visits to observe programmes in
Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Timor Leste and Viet Nam. Key informant interviews and desk reviews of programme in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea were also conducted.

Philanthropic Funding for Parent, Caregiver, and Family Support Programs in the Global South

The evidence is clear that from the moment a child is conceived, they need their parents, caregivers, and/or families to survive, thrive, and meet their developmental potential. Earlier this year, the ECFG Parenting & Family Strengthening interest group identified the need to understand philanthropic investments that support the adults whose behaviors, skills, and well-being impact children’s development. ECFG commissioned this exercise to map foundation investments in parenting and caregiving across the Global South. This mapping explores the who, what, when, where, and how of these investments.

Regional Mapping and Scoping Report Parenting Support Interventions Middle East & North Africa Region

The overall purpose of the regional mapping and scoping exercise is to increase cross-country learning by providing a general overview of the parenting landscape in the MENA region as well as reviewing selected interventions that meet criteria associated with parenting programming effectiveness. This report summarises the findings of this exercise, highlighting examples of parenting interventions that are being implemented across the region and case studies that reflect different aspects of parenting interventions across the life cycle. In view of the Jordan-specific focus of the consultancy, a more detailed case study on Jordan’s Better Parenting Programme is also presented in this report. Specific recommendations are highlighted at the end of each section and are summarised again at the end of the report. These recommendations are intended to inform discussions on strategic objectives and key priority interventions around parenting support in the MENA region as well as concrete actions needed to support countries in their programming. This will be followed by the development of a MENA-specific Strategic Framework for Action, Road Map and Practical Guide on parenting support programming.