GPI researchers celebrate together with Naungan Kasih Programme participants

In a bid to enhance positive parenting practices in Malaysia, research manager Hal Cooper and Professor Frances Gardner from the Global Parenting Initiative (GPI) were welcomed by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), a GPI partner, for closing sessions of the Naungan Kasih Programme in Malaysia in February 2024. The visit included an engagement with Professor Rumaya Juhari, co-PI of the research at UPM.

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Group discussion: Parents reflecting on their journey through the programme.

The Naungan Kasih pilot study, implemented across eight preschools, incorporates several components such as ParentText, WhatsApp support groups, and face-to-face interactions. Notably, preschool teachers played a pivotal role as programme facilitators.

Prof Frances and Hal observed the closing in-person sessions of the Naungan Kasih programme.

During the sessions, parents engaged in reflective discussions on their journey through the programme. The atmosphere was one of celebration as participants marked the completion of the programme and were presented with certificates acknowledging their dedication.

At the UPM Faculty of Human Ecology, Prof Frances delivered a keynote address titled "Parenting Interventions across Cultures and Countries – Where and for Whom Do They Work?", shedding light on the effectiveness of parenting interventions in diverse cultural settings.


Prof Frances delivering a keynote address to the group.

The collaborative efforts between GPI, UPM, local partners, and stakeholders like the Malaysian Association of Social Workers and UNICEF Malaysia, signify a significant step forward in promoting positive parenting practices in Malaysia. With the successful completion of the Naungan Kasih pilot programme, the focus now shifts to leveraging research findings to further enhance parenting interventions across the country.

This collaborative initiative not only underscores the importance of international partnerships in advancing societal well-being but also highlights the invaluable role of research in shaping effective interventions for families worldwide. 


Group photo: Hal Cooper and Prof Frances with the participants.

The Naungan Kasih programme was funded by the LEGO Foundation and The Human Safety Net and aimed to provide universal access to parents by scaling human-digital hybrid parenting solutions to improve development outcomes for children ages 0 to 5 years in Malaysia.

Read more about the Naungan Kasih programme here.