The Global Parenting Initiative (GPI) is a five-year research-within-implementation collaboration of universities, foundations, and implementing partners, with the aim of providing access to free, evidence-based, playful parenting support to every parent, everywhere, so that they are equipped with the knowledge and tools to help their children realise their learning potential and to prevent child sexual abuse, exploitation, and family violence.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 250 million or 43% of children under five in low- and middle-income countries were at risk of not achieving their developmental potential. One billion children also experienced violence each year. COVID-19 has resulted in increased rates of violence against children and reduced educational outcomes. As a result, children and adolescents are experiencing more physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and exploitation, putting them at greater risk for school dropout, unemployment, neurological deficits, sexual risk behaviour, adolescent pregnancy, and violence in the next generation. Evidence-based parenting programmes, including the Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) suite, which are typically delivered in-person, have been shown to be effective at improving child and family outcomes, but availability and access is limited for most of the world’s parents. The global pandemic has opened up a set of new possibilities in terms of digital and hybrid-digital delivery options that could address this accessibility issue, reaching more parents and families around the world.
The GPI involves the rapid development and evaluation of open-source, playful parenting programmes based on our Parenting for Lifelong Health Suite, delivered through digital and hybrid human-digital platforms.
These innovative tools have been co-developed with children and families in Africa and Asia, with built in flexibility and adaptability. All our programmes have been designed with the aim of embedding parenting programmes within existing government and NGO services to improve child development and learning and prevent sexual, physical, and emotional child abuse globally.
The GPI’s goal is to transform systems to take playful parenting and learning through play to scale to improve child development and prevent child sexual abuse. By 2026, our aim is to have provided 25,7 million families with evidence-based human-digital playful parenting support, with our ultimate goal being to reach 250 million children by 2030.
The GPI has been built around 6 core themes, each representing a central component of our vision: