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Conference learning report

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  • The conference purposed to cover a number of areas that are interrelated and the following learning strands guided the selection of papers and topics. One can hardly speak of one without touching on another. And as Ms Rao pointed out in her welcoming address, the process is one of an endless feedback loop. And it was repeated often enough this week about the need for ‘evidence based’ practices, although the exact nature of what are legitimate ways to measure and determine ‘evidence based’ practices is an ongoing debate.
  • We heard about the Lancet 2011 article, and the emerging recognition of the importance of maternal mental health, as well as various regional reports of research on such topics as comparing centre-based and home-based programmes in Bangladesh; engaging parents, particularly fathers, in caregiving for very young children; the development of the National Action Plan for ECCD in Cambodia; the development of the East Asia-Pacific Scales from China; and many many more. Throughout we have shared our experiences, the policy tools under which we work, or try to work to promote holistic ECD Throughout we have also questioned, clarified, challenged, and even disagreed on finer points, although we are all agree on finding ways to reach the youngest and most vulnerable members of society Networking, conversations about current or potentional partnerships, or even listening with a sympathetic ear to the challenges experienced by colleagues in other parts of our region filled our times between sessions These three days created ample opportunities to learn from one another, from experts, and even from ourselves as we perhaps began to see our work differently
  • Again and again, this was mentioned along with the debate about just how to get the ‘evidence’ most appropriately A genuine desire to listen to and work with national and local governments, communities, and parents to find the right fit of policies and programmes, international and local partners working together in mutual respect, training, learning together to find ways to serve the very young Again and again, we heard how ARNEC is provided a valued service in facilitating networking within the Asia Pacific Region The post-2015 global agenda was discussed, and the panel discussion on Wednesday raised a number areas that we—as government officials, researchers, and practitioners—would like to see included, bcs ECD does not have its own goal in either the MDG or EFA Yet we also face the challenging reality of fragmented services, and very practically we have shared our experiences “from the field” in paper presentations and in the surveys returned for the resource package. A personal word to those of you who returned the surveys—we weren’t sure what to expect, but as the surveys began showing up in my inbox and I was preparing the summaries for the resource package, I was moved by the amount of ECD work, very good work, very challenging work, that was being done all around the Asia Pacific region on behalf of very young children and their families

Transcript

  • 1. Conference Learning Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Early Childhood Development “Early Experiences Matter: Policies andPractices for Ensuring Holistic Development for Very Young Children” 8-10 November 2011 Singapore Brenda Lisenby Chief Rapporteur
  • 2. “…having so many topics to cover in a short conference can be overwhelming and difficult to digest…but it is a reflection of the holistic nature of early childhood development as all five topics are interrelated and none can work in isolation…” Ms Anupama Rao Singh Regional Director UNICEF East Asia Pacific Regional Office
  • 3. Learning Strands• Policy status and development• Capacity building and professional development• Programmes and services for very young children and their families• Community involvement and support for families• Cross sectoral responsibility for promoting holistic developmentPlus the underlying theme of research to support evidence based practice
  • 4. Conference Objectives• Provide a forum to widen and enrich regional understanding of research• Provide opportunities for participants to share policy tools and experiences• Facilitate debate on strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities for improved policy and programming• Promote networking, build stronger partnerships• Create opportunities for professional development and learning
  • 5. Concurrent Sessions 1-1, 1-2• traditional child rearing practices in Bangladesh were examined in regards to gender equity, parenting styles and impact on children• Father’s literacy level and involvement resulted in better literacy; father’s involvement increases as the child gets older; and first child in the family gets better stimulation (Pakistan)
  • 6. Concurrent Sessions 1-3, 1-4Focusing on Cambodia and the Philippines,these two presentations gave examples of the formation of national policies:• The functionality of those policies at different levels• The gaps in implementation• The reasons for inefficiency of the plans and implementations
  • 7. Concurrent Session 1-5ARNEC 2011 Noteworthy Practices• Healthy Start by Consuelo Fdn, Philippines• Hands to Hearts International, India• Mobile Creches, India• Human Development Programme, Pakistan• Community Based ECD, Thailand• A New Day for Kids (ANDK), Cambodia
  • 8. Concurrent Session 1-6Workshop—review of training provided to workers in poor resource communities to identify special needs and provide interventions (Delhi):• Training module presented and discussed• Role plays of caregiver and community worker• Small group case study discussion
  • 9. Concurrent Sessions 2-1, 2-2• Building communities for change by using Sesame Street programming (Mumbai)• Piloting a programme in Pakistan for reaching the under threes: Releasing Confidence and Creativity
  • 10. Concurrent Sessions 2-3, 2-4Early childhood development and education, home-based and center-based:• Educarers can provide models of good practice• Learning is not fragmented and should not negate cultural practices• Ongoing research needed• Policies and practices need to promote multicultural awareness within the community
  • 11. Concurrent Sessions 2-5, 2-6Two very different topics:• Need of government policy to allocate resources to very young children during natural disaster or emergency situation (proposal from Bangladesh)• Issue of quality and relationship to accreditation, and the need to base policy and programmes on philosophy of child development rather than learning or schooling (Singapore)
  • 12. Concurrent Session 2-7East Asia-Pacific Scale Development• Review of ELDS (Early Learning Dev’t Standards) from various countries, selection of 100 indicators (from1738)• Piloted in Fiji, Mongolia, and China• Sample other countries, dev age-based norms• Purpose of scale: not pedagogical ass’t or programme evaluation, but for capturing child dev’t across a population age group
  • 13. Concurrent Sessions 3-1, 3-2Examined parent education and support programmes in Bangladesh and Shanghai:• Service-based model• Community-based model• Need to ensure whichever model, that programmes are acceptable, accessible, and sustainable
  • 14. Concurrent Session 3Capacity Building in ECD, participants interested in the following areas as related to CB:• Global perspectives & success stories• Policy advocacy• Tools models and approaches• Training-practice in-service• Perspectives from Canada, Pakistan, Singapore, Bangladesh, & Australia
  • 15. Concurrent Sessions 3-4, 3-5Examined models of early intervention in several contexts:• Early intervention services in Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal were analysed using the Tanahashi Model• Case study of a mobile playgroup called PlayLinks in Australia
  • 16. Concurrent Session 3-6Play!• Guiding principles for good toys discussed• Participants chose toys from a selection—all chose home-made toys over commercial toys when divided into groups to explore, learn and practice with the new toys
  • 17. Concurrent Session 4 AdvocacyOverview of innovative advocacy strategies in the region:• Mongolia—parent’s club• Bhutan—strengthening the case for ECD• Singapore—understanding men’s perspectives• Sri Lanka—ECCD in emergency situations• Nepal—using ELDS in advocacy
  • 18. Morning Sessions Today• Capacity building of ECCD workers• ECD leadership• Exclusion of marginalized & its impact• Child protection• Disaster risk reduction for very young children
  • 19. Afternoon Sessions Today• Training certification in Singapore• Capacity building of health workers and parents, Thailand• Pilot project in China for holistic ECD• ECD Observations from Hong Kong• Family and community based support for ECD in the Philippines and Sri Lanka• Workshop for a development appraisal tool used in Pakistan
  • 20. Common Themes of the Week• Evidence based ECD practice• Culturally and contextually appropriate ECD policies, programmes, and interventions• The need for an effective communication platform to share ECD knowledge and experience• The need to find effective ways to influence national ECD policy and the global agenda• The need to develop a range of entry points to serve very young children and their families when confronted with the reality of various sectors providing services in isolation
  • 21. Thank you!