Activating change through young fatherhood research: A case for longitudinal co-creation, innovation and transformation

Event details

The Global Parenting Initiative (GPI) is committed to integrating gender-transformative approaches into its programmes to promote gender equality and reduce violence against women and children. A key part of this strategy involves recognising the essential role that fathers and male caregivers play in children's positive development.

To foster male engagement in parenting interventions, GPI combines evidence-based research with targeted implementation strategies. This includes systematic reviews and comparative analyses to understand male involvement, the creation of quantitative and qualitative measures to track male engagement, and the design of inclusive messaging, content, and recruitment strategies.

This webinar will explore the evolving landscape of young fatherhood, focusing on young fathers aged 25 and under. The event will highlight the paradigm shift towards acknowledging the diverse realities of young fathers and advocating for their inclusion in societal conversations and policies. By examining the multifaceted aspects of young fatherhood- parenting, relationships, education, employment, and housing.

Join us to envision a future where young fathers are valued, supported, and empowered to fulfill their potential as parents and active members of society.

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Anna Tarrant

Anna Tarrant

Anna is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Lincoln, where she is also the Director of a new research center, the Centre for Innovation in Fatherhood and Family Research. She has been by the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship scheme to lead Following Young Fathers Further, a seven-year qualitative longitudinal and participatory study about the parenting journeys and support needs of young fathers. 

Anna has built a corpus of publications in recent years around the theme of men’s care responsibilities in low-income contexts. Notable recent contributions include ‘The Dynamics of Young Fatherhood’, ‘Men, Familie, and Poverty: Tracing the Intergenerational Trajectories of Place-Based Hardship’, and a single-authored monograph called Fathering and Poverty (2021, Policy Press).

Lauren Van Niekerk


Lauren-Jayne van Niekerk is a lecturer in the Department of Social Development at the University of Cape Town; and the Male Engagement Research Fellow within the Global Parenting Initiative. She is a social worker and holds a MSocSc in social planning and administration.

Lauren started her career in the early childhood development (ECD) non-profit sector where she managed large-scale ECD programmes across South Africa that aimed at increasing access and improving the quality of ECD. She also engaged in several research endeavours concentrating on inequality within early education. Looking to engage more significantly in the science behind early childhood, Lauren then moved into academia with a strong research focus on early childhood development and father involvement in the early years.

She is presently engaged in PhD studies centering on father involvement in children’s early learning and development aiming to provide a positively nuanced discourse on fatherhood in South Africa. This study explores how contemporary South African fathers, from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, understand and describe their identity and role as a father, as well as explores the type and extent of their engagement with their children and the barriers and facilitators to this engagement.