Scaling and strengthening ECD initiatives through South-South Cooperation
The Community of Practice on South-South Cooperation for Children (CoP-SSC4C), a joint initiative of UNICEF, UNOSSC and IPC-IG, hosted a webinar on Early Childhood Development (ECD) solutions and successes that are promoted and scaled through South-South Cooperation.
About 250 million children under five years of age in low and middle-income countries are at risk of not attaining their developmental potential because of extreme poverty and stunting. The effects reach far beyond the individual lives of children and affect families, communities and the development of nations. In response, UNICEF’s ECD programmes support parents, caregivers and communities to help vulnerable children get a fair start in life. Increasingly these interventions utilize South-South cooperation as a powerful and low-cost modality to strengthen ECD in countries in need.
This webinar presented three projects that highlight the added value of South-South cooperation in bringing to scale and sustaining ECD initiatives. These included a closer look at the South-South cooperation between Brazil and São Tomé and Príncipe to improve quality and access to preschool education; Cuba’s bilateral cooperation with Bolivia and Honduras on Integrated ECD approaches; and Turkmenistan’s cooperation on multi-sectoral early childhood interventions with several countries in the region.
The three projects will all be featured in the upcoming UNICEF-UNOSSC joint publication South-South in Action for Children. The webinar have also provided an opportunity to share these projects with members of the CoP-SSC4C, and to discuss the potential to further expand their access and the added value of South-South Cooperation in doing so.
Mariavittoria Ballotta, Deputy Representative, UNICEF São Tomé and Príncipe
María de los Ángeles Gallo, National Director of Early Childhood, Ministry of Education, Cuba
Sachly Duman, Health Officer, UNICEF Turkmenistan
Martha Santos, Programme Manager, South-South/Horizontal Cooperation, UNICEF NYHQ