Advocate Updates

Collaborative advocacy for the sustained institutionalisation of parenting programmes via policy change


Reported by Chisom Aina


In the month of May, there were a number of activities across the GPI Teams. A webinar on evidence and policy- Exploring the WHO Parenting Intervention guidelines to reduce child maltreatment and enhance parent-child relationships was held earlier in the month by Prof Frances Gardner and Sophia Backhaus, who led the team developing these guidelines.

A new publication was released by Patty Leijten, Sophia Backhaus, G.J Melendez Torres, Janina Jochim and Frances Gardner on the effects of parenting programmes to reduce violence against children over time.

Prof Lucie Cluver participated in several high-profile lectures and meetings; here are the events where she shared research findings and advocated for preventing violence against children: The UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Global Partnership to End Violence Ending Child Sexual Violence Meeting and The Viva International NGO Annual Meeting.

Dr Jamie Lachman participated in a panel discussion at SERSPI Conference and also shared his expertise in an advocacy presentation at The UNICEF East and Southern Africa Regional Child Protection Meeting.

Dr Awah carried out several advocacy activities in Nigeria. In addition to courtesy visits to relevant key policymakers, she spoke on positive parenting to teachers and parents in different schools as well as in a well-attended education event. She co-hosted a workshop on 'Evidence-based Parenting Support to Help Nigerian Parents Raise their Children to Reach their Full Potential in Life’. The workshop was attended by key policymakers from relevant Federal Ministries in Nigeria and colleagues from UNODC, UNESCO, The WHO, Society for Family Health and other organisations. On a few occasions, Dr Awah also shared parenting tips on the Nigerian National TV, NTA International.

Kathleen Murphy, a PhD student in the Department of Social Policy and intervention, University of Oxford shared a paper that was developed with Lonnie Embleton, Dr Jamie Lachman, Erica Di Ruggiero and other team members on factors that impact implementation based on two programs in Kenya with useful considerations for practitioners, policymakers and researchers.

A number of  GPI members, including Prof Frances Gardner, Sophia Backhaus, Dr Jamie Lachman, Dr Godfrey Siu, and Prof Liane Peña Alampay presented at the recent World Health Organization webinar- From evidence to action: towards scaling up parenting interventions to prevent maltreatment and enhance parent-child relationships.

Prof Lucie Cluver conducted high-level meetings in Washington DC and New York, USA, with partners and others.

The GPI team is shifting the Parenting in Crisis work to PLH Charity. The new Parenting for Children in Crisis manger for PLH Charity, Faith, resumed at the start of the month.

The Parenting in Crisis team launched a response to provide parents and caregivers with evidence-based resources in response to the conflict in Sudan. The resources have been shared with partner organisations and dissemination is still ongoing.

GPI member, Isang Awah, was featured in an article in The Times.

On 7 March, GPI Lead Jamie Lachman presented on Parenting for Lifelong Health and programmes aimed at improving the well-being of families at risk of social exclusion at CaixaForum Macaya.

On 14th March, GPI’s Parenting for Respectability (Uganda) team presented the preliminary findings of their study on Zoom.

On 14th March 2023, our colleagues at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford released an article on the instrumental roles GPI and DSPI members played in the WHO guidelines on parenting interventions to prevent child maltreatment. The GPI team made a major contribution to the release of the WHO Parenting Guidelines. Several GPI members including Prof Frances
Gardner, Sophia Backhaus, Jamie, Mackenzie, and Cathy Ward conducted the systematic review and wrote for the publication.

An article entitled ‘Optimising adolescent wellbeing in a digital age’ that was co-authored by Dr Isang Awah and external collaborators was published in the BMJ.

GPI members, Inge Vallance, Isang Awah and Paula Zinser, presented at the Oxford Social Sciences Impact Conference 2023: Hope into Action! The team described PLH’s evolution on its mission to ensure families everywhere access effective parenting support.

Isang Awah spoke during the plenary panel at the Oxford Social Sciences Impact Conference 2023: Hope into Action!

The Advocate team has been speaking about parenting during crisis situations, and how PLH is ensuring all families have access to effective parenting support. Part of this effort to ensure access is the continued dissemination of resources by the Pakistan Parenting team, and the development of materials for Syria and Turkey in collaboration with the UN and other international agencies.

In Malaysia, the Naungan Kasih at Scale Project in Malaysia began in early February and aims to scale up the successful Naungan Kasih model which will provide universal access to parents by scaling human-digital hybrid parenting solutions to improve development outcomes for children in Malaysia. The team met with a group of collaborators and colleagues from UNICEF, UNHCR, The National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), the Community Development Department (KEMAS), the Malaysian Association of Social Workers (MASW), University Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Generali Malaysia. This visit was essential in bringing together key stakeholders and building a strong foundation for the project's success. The team looks forward to working with all stakeholders and being guided by their expertise to create a more effective and impactful project that will improve the lives of children in Malaysia. The team also met with Early Childhood and Care Education @ Community Development Division (KEMAS) in Malaysia.

The team looks forward to collaborating with them and integrating the PLH curriculum within their existing delivery model. In South Africa, the Advocate and Accelerate teams successfully facilitated an in-person meeting between Larry Cooley, Founder and President Emeritus of Management Systems International (MSI), Suzan Eriksson, co-director of  partner Clowns Without Borders South Africa (CWBSA) and Wilmi Dippenaar and Kaathima Ebrahim, two members of the South African Parenting Programmers Implementors Networks (SAPPIN) driver group. Among other things, the parties discussed developing a political strategy to engage political actors willing to promote parenting in preparation for scaling existing PLH programmes. The meeting concluded on an encouraging note, affirming cognizance that preparations for scaling up in South Africa are progressing positively.


Reporting by Dr Isang Awah


GPI’s Advocacy work has already made a strong start this year, with a number of events, meetings and outputs across our teams. In a January 12 meeting with Ministry of Health Zambia (ZNPHI) and Social Protecting Cooperating Partners which included colleagues from the FCDO, UNICEF, ILO, UNDP, World Bank and the Embassies of Canada, Switzerland, Ireland and Sweden, Prof Lucie Cluver and other members of the Global Reference Group for Children Affected by COVID-19 and Crisis presented on the benefits of hybrid human-digital parenting tools and the cost-savings of using human-digital hybrid models at scale.

In Uganda, the Parenting for Respectability (PfR) team held a successful dissemination event on January 12, 2023, to present the results and recommendations from the Parenting for Respectability Implementation Science Evaluation RCT cluster trial to various stakeholders, including government officials, faith-based leaders, and community leaders. Speakers at the event included Dr Godfrey Siu and Dr Jamie Lachman, GPI Leads, and Hon. Kabahenda Flavia Rwabuhoro, Chairperson of the Gender and Social Services Committee of the Uganda Parliament.

On January 20, 2023, Catholic Relief Services organized a meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, attended by local implementing partners, partner NGOs, and government officials. The meeting was an opportunity for Dr Nyasha Manjengenda to introduce the PLH system to the audience, and for Prof Cathy Ward to share feedback from the SUPER study. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education expressed interest in the initiative, and requested a meeting to discuss PLH’s work further.

Dr Jamie Lachman presented during a UNICEF-PLH webinar held on January 24, 2023, to over 160 participants from across the UNICEF network.

On January 26, 2023, researchers from Malaysian Naungan Kasih Positive Parenting and GPI, including Professor Dr Rumaya Juhari, from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), visited the Office of Department of Community Development (KEMAS) at the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development in Putrajaya to introduce an action plan for the implementation of the study “Parenting Within Preschool System: Optimisation and Scale-Up of Human-Digital Playful Parenting Programmes within the Malaysian Preschool System.” As KEMAS is a key agency handling the preschool education system across Malaysia, close collaboration will facilitate the sustainability of the intended parenting programme, and help in building upon their existing initiatives in promoting parental involvement in children’s lives.

In South Africa, Prof. Lucie Cluver and Dr Elona Toska presented on ‘The role of social protection programmes in supporting education outcomes’ at the 2023 BASIC EDUCATION SECTOR LEKGOTLA, which was attended by President Ramaphosa and other high-level policy makers. The meeting took place from January 26-28 and had about 700 participants.

The pilot study of the Naungan Kasih parenting programme in Malaysia was published in BMC as a new paper titled “Before I was like a Tarzan. But now, I take a pause.” Additionally, the Parenting in Crisis resources have been disseminated to families affected by the floods in Pakistan, reaching over 5.7 million people so far. GPI Head of Advocacy, Dr Isang Awah, also shared parenting tips every week of January on her parenting programme on XL 106.9 FM, which reaches an estimated 12 million people or more.

With a busy month behind us, the Advocate team looks forward to an exciting year ahead.

Reporting by Dr Isang Awah


It has been a very busy few months for the Advocate team, with some great achievements all around! Highlights include our Covid19 Parenting Response winning  an award at the University of Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation and Engagement Awards 2022, our members presenting at a number of conferences and meetings worldwide, and the development of the Pakistan Parenting resources to support families impacted by the floods in Pakistan. Read on for more!

September 2022

Godfrey at SVRI Forum 2022

We are thrilled to have received the Covid Response Winner award for our COVID-19 Parenting Emergency Response at the  University of Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation and Engagement Awards 2022 on September 6, as well as participating in the VC Awards exhibition which was held on September 13.

A number of our members attended and presented at various international conferences and meetings in September, including the SVRI Forum 2022 (19-23 September, Mexico) and the Ukraine Parenting Response at the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) Conference (28 - 30 September, Estonia), where Dr Isang Awah and Dr Yulia Shenderovich presented.

October 2022

Saara at GISP

In collaboration with the National Institute of Psychology at Quaid-i-Azam University in Pakistan, the WHO, UNICEF, the Early Childhood Development Action Network, the Global Initiative to Support Parents, International Rescue Committee, and other international agencies, we have developed evidence-based parenting tips to support families impacted by the floods in Pakistan. The Pakistan Parenting resources are available in English, Urdu and six additional Pakistani languages and have been shared directly with many organisations including UN Agencies, non-governmental organisations, and local organisations in Pakistan. You can read the press release about these resources here.

A number of our members attended and presented at various international conferences and meetings in October. Well done to GPI members Maira R. Alvarez L. B., who presented at the Global Initiative to Support Parents’ (GISP) Latin America Regional Meeting (5-7 October); Saara Saara Thakur and Dr Amalee McCoy, who presented at the GISP regional consultation on parent and caregiver support for Southeast Asia (12-13 October, New Delhi); and Prof Lucie Cluver, who presented on Parenting in Crisis to Humanitarian colleagues at the WHO on October 22.

Under the Global Initiative to Support Parents (GISP), we also organised a workshop on parenting in Tanzania. The workshop which was held virtually on October 17, 2022, had participants that included practitioners and policymakers in Tanzania, technical representatives from UNICEF, the WHO, ECDAN, and The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

November/December 2022

The end of the year has been very busy for the Advocate team, with members presenting at a number of meetings, and our very successful GPI Online Launch being well attended on 6 December. GPI Leads Prof Lucie Cluver presented on parenting support and on the Global Initiative to Support Parents (GISP) at a USAID parenting workshop on 7 November, while   Dr Jamie Lachman gave a keynote on scaling evidence based playful parenting programmes at the Home Start Worldwide conference which was held in Malta from 7-9 November. Both gave presentations at The Human Safety Net Networks 2022  held in Venice on 16-18 November. Lastly, Dr Susan Hillis made a presentation to high-level policy-makers in Zambia on December 1. Prof Lucie Cluver and Dr Isang Awah also participated in the meeting.

The Global Initiative to Support Parents (GISP), which include Parenting for Lifelong Health/GPI organised a session on parenting support as part of the main agenda of the WC ECCE, a UNESCO-organised conference featuring Ministries of Education from around the world. Our session took place on November 14 and featured Ben Perks from UNICEF as a keynote speaker with panel discussions from Tanzania, North Macedonia, Indonesia, the LEGO Foundation, and Porticus. Furthermore, the GISP Asia Webinar series on Supporting Parents and Caregivers, in which we featured, was held on November 24 and December 6.

Ukraine Parenting
Our Ukraine Parenting resources for parents in conflict continue to be distributed by our interagency partners, and have been translated into Kiswahili and shared with Learn to Play, an organisation in Botswana, to share with families that they work with in refugee camps in Botswana.

The Ukraine Parenting team has revised and resubmitted the ethical approval application for the evaluation of the Ukraine Parenting resources study. In addition to addressing the reviewers’ comments, the application was amended to make it ideal for a more generalised study that is open-ended and covers an evaluation of the Pakistan Parenting resources. Additionally, personalised Certificates of Appreciation have been offered to organisations that partnered with them in the dissemination of the parenting resources. They have also informed the partner organisations of the planned evaluation, and sought their participation in the study. Many organisations have indicated willingness to participate in the study which will begin as soon as ethical approval is given.

Advocate Lead Prof Lucie Cluver also presented a lecture on “Basic training on responding to sexual violence disclosures” at the ‘Train the trainers’ webinar for psychologists at the Ukrainian Institute of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy on 18 November. 

Pakistan Parenting

Our Pakistan Parenting Response team have been working hard to get our tips for parents affected by the devastating floods. Additional resources have been launched, including TikTok videos and radio scripts. These resources have been shared with partner organisations for dissemination.  Dr. Sobia Masood, a member of the Pakistan Parenting Response team, shared these parenting tips on the Pakistan national radio. The team has also begun training for staff of partner organisations. The first training was successfully held on December 2.