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Ensure strong beginnings and support for development from conception to adolescence

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This presentation by Andy Dawes, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town, was delivered as part of the Child Development panel 'Can we provide food for life and effective education for all?' at the 'Young Lives, child poverty and lessons for the SDGs' conference on 27th June, 2018.

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Ensure strong beginnings and support for development from conception to adolescence

  1. 1. June 27th 2018, London Andy Dawes Ensure strong beginnings and support for development from conception to adolescence Young Lives Child Development Panel: Can we provide food for life and effective education for all? @yloxford
  2. 2. Overview 1. Young Lives Design 2. An ecological systemic orientation 3. Developmental Cascades: virtuous or vicious cycles? 4. Modelling a cascade using Young Lives data 5. Policy & intervention: Promoting positive cascades
  3. 3. Study Design
  4. 4. Ecological Framework Life Events Family ill-health Death Livelihood change Societal context Household context Children’s development: key development periods and transitions Impact of events moderated by protective factors Nature of events shaped by contexts Institutional context (esp. school)
  5. 5. A negative developmental cascade Early childhood 0-5 years Growth stunting Poor Health Compromised cognitive development Not ready for school Middle childhood 6-11 years Weak basic skills Poor school progress Early adolescence 12-15 years Unprepared for senior school Growing risk of school drop out A new generation in poverty? Household Context: Poverty; food insecurity; family stress; shocks Policy & Institutional Context: Inadequate access to social protection; Weak basic services; limited opportunities to learn and progress in school; Poor public health services Late adolescence 16-19 years Limited skills Poor job prospects Transition to adulthood 19-22 years Unemployed & poor with limited ability to sustain a family
  6. 6. MODELLING A CASCADE FOR MATHEMATICS ABILITIES AT FIFTEEN IN THE FOUR YOUNG LIVES COUNTRIES
  7. 7. HH WEALTH Predictors of Mathematics Abilities R1 1 YR R 2 5 YR R 3 8 YR R4 12 YR R5 15 YR MATERNAL EDUCATION MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH GROWTH STUNTING HOURS SCHOOL & STUDIES HOURS CHORES & TASKS MATHS 8 MATHS 12 MATHS 15 MATHS GROWTH - - - PRESCHOOL + + + + + + + + + - EARLY QUANT SKILLS + - - +
  8. 8. POLICY & INTERVENTION PROMOTING POSITIVE CASCADES
  9. 9. Early childhood Middle childhood BasicEducational,Emotional&SocialSkillsinplace • Healthy growth & development • Ready for School Provide enabling and protective environments across childhood (1) Reduced Household poverty (2) social protection (3) low environment and economic risk; (4) strong basic services (especially water and sanitation); (5) universal health coverage; (6) no violence; (7) inclusive and gender equitable values and social norms. Strongfoundationsforhealthanddevelopmentinplace • Healthy growth & development • Start school on time • Age appropriate grade progression • Achieving expected learning outcomes • OTL at school and home • Quality vocational training • Safe schools and communities • Gender appropriate facilities • Access to social capital • School and other institutions are platforms for youth services • Healthy growth & development • School completion • Equipped for Further education, training and work • Positive psycho-social development A successful transition to adulthood Appropriate skills and psychosocial well-being in place Ready for Adult Roles & Responsibilities Adolescence WhatmattersWhatmakesadifference • Maternal and child nutrition • Attentive care • Maternal mental health • Maternal education • Family support • Quality preschool • Opportunities to learn (OTL): a) Schools: quality pedagogy and facilities; school feeding; safety b) Home: high parental aspirations and support for learning; limited tasks and chores
  10. 10. Thank you Special thanks are owed to the children and families who participate in Young Lives, without whom this study would not exist. Young Lives is a collaborative partnership between research institutes, universities and NGOs in the four study countries and the University of Oxford. The study has been core-funded by UK aid from the Department for International Development (DFID). We are hugely grateful to our collaborators, research teams, wider staff and funders.

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