Event: Putting children first: identifying solutions and taking action to tackle poverty and inequality in Africa

Artwork: Jorge Martin. Picture: Global Coalition to End Child Poverty and IDS. © All Rights Reserved

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

23/10/2017 - 09:00 to 25/10/2017 - 17:00

This three-day international conference aimed to engage policy makers, practitioners and researchers in identifying solutions for fighting child poverty and inequality in Africa, and in inspiring action towards change. The conference offered a platform for bridging divides across sectors, disciplines and policy, practice and research.

The conference was framed around the following themes:

  1. “Setting the scene: Who and where are the poor children?” This theme aims to provide insight into the plight of overlooked children, to strengthen data collection and measurement efforts to ensure that no child is overlooked in the future.

  2. “Child-sensitive social protection: Making social protection work for children”. This theme aims to promote a better understanding of how social protection can be improved to help children, including links to services and the adoption of more child-oriented approaches.

  3. “Ensuring access to basic services for all: Reaching the poorest and most marginalised children”. This theme aims to gain insight into how access to services can be secured for the most excluded and marginalised, including views on how to remove specific barriers and involve a social workforce and community-based mechanisms.

  4.  “Supporting secure transitions to adulthood”. This theme aims to explore how the ‘youth bulge’ can be considered a ‘demographic dividend’ and how young people can be supported in the transition to adulthood with regard to education, work, family and aspirations.
More detailed information about the themes, key questions that were considered and the conference objectives can be found in the conference concept note:

Programme and speakers

Speakers included:

  • H.E Ms Demitu Hambisa, Minister Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Ethiopia
  • Ms. Leila Pakkala, Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF
  • Dr. Agnes Akosua Aidoo, International Board of Trustees, ACPF
  • Jane Kabubo-Mariara, Executive Director, PEP
  • Nora Groce, Director of the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre, UCL
  • Jo Boyden, Director of Young Lives

The Keynote Speech by Dr. Agnes Akosua Aidoo can be read here:

More detailed information can be found in the conference programme and conference book: 

PDF iconPutting Children First - Conference book FINAL revised [20-oct-17].pdf

Call for action

The conference concluded with a commitment to action towards fighting child poverty and inequality in Africa. 

Conference highlights

Watch conference highlights in this Storify.

Conference presentations - Day 1

Session 1.2 Jane Mariara - Who and where are the poor children [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.3 Keetie Roelen - Making social protection work for children [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.4 Nora Groce - Reaching the hardest to reach [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.5 Jo Boyden - Child poverty, youth and transitions to work [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.6.A Saleem Falowo - Mapping and analysing multidimensional child poverty at local level in Nigeria [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.6.A Yele Batana - Do demographics matter for the poverty of African children? [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.6.B Harman, Oluwatosin and Zvogbo - Tackling malnutrition with a cash plus approach [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.6.B Catherine Porter - Smarter social protection [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.6.B Elaine Chase, Grace Bantebya & Florence Muhanguzi - Shame-proofing anti-poverty programmes [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.6.C Albert Dube - Improvement of maternal and newborn health in Malawi [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.6.C Oluwaseyi Somefun - Child health outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.6.D Gina Porter - Physical and virtual mobility for youth employment [24 Oct-17]

Session 1.6.D Alebel Weldesilassie - Towards ensuring the youth bulge for structural transformation [24-Oct-17]

Session 1.6.D Ted Johnson and Krijn Peters - Motorcycle taxis and reintegration of ex-soldiers in Liberia [23-Oct-17]

Session 1.6.D Emebet Mulugeta - Can they get there? Aspirations and setbacks of working children in Addis Ababa [23-Oct-17]

Conference presentations - Day 2

Session 2.1.A Adrian Gauci & Kalkidan Assefa - Nutritional improvements in Ethiopia [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.1.A Stephen Devereux & Julian May - Child malnutrition in South Africa [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.1.A Tefera Darge Delbiso - Are droughts bigger drivers of child undernutrition? [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.1.A Winnie Sambu - Child poverty and hunger in South Africa [24-Oct-17] (updated 06.11.17)

Session 2.1.B Francisca Mujawase - Impact of VUP on children in Rwanda [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.1.B Munshi Sulaiman - Returns to capital and labelling cash transfers [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.1.C Foster Kholowa - Can CBCCs do the magic? [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.1.D Marlene Ogawa - Social connectedness as an enabling condition [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.1.D Sita Conklin - Making the case for the enabling environment [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.1.D T. Hlabana & N. Ansell – Social Cash Transfers, general relations and trajectories Lesotho & Malawi [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.1.D Zlata Bruckauf & Yekaterina Chzhen - Transitions to adulthood [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.2.A Elizabeth Ngutuku - Beyond categorisation [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.2.A Gina Crivello & Ginny Morrow - Beating the odds [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.2.A Tassew Woldehanna & Yisak Tafere - Dynamics of multidimensional poverty [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.2.B Aislinn Delany - Towards comprehensive social protection for children in South Africa [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.2.C Ilze Plavgo - Inequality in education in Ethiopia [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.4.A Louise Yorke - Rural Girls Educational Migration in Southern Ethiopia (SNNPR) [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.4.A Vicky Johnson - Youth Creativity in the Face of Uncertainty [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.4.B Mike Wessells - Strengthening community-based child protection [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.4.B Shimelis Tsegaye - Poverty among child-headed households in sub-Saharan Africa [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.4.C Rossiter, Vadete and Berhanu - Scaling-up early learning in Ethiopia [24-Oct-17]

Session 2.4.C Paul Lynch - Exploring the complexities of helping children with disabilities to be school-ready in Malawi [24-Oct-17]

Conference presentations - Day 3

Session 3.1.B Enrique Delamonica & Alberto Minujin - Children and adolescents in urban settings [25-Oct-17]

Session 3.1.B Saurabh Sinha & Kalkidan Assefa - Analysing child stunting in Africa [25-Oct-17]

Session 3.1.C Barbara Kalima-Phiri - Link between child marriage and economic empowerment [25-Oct-17]

Session 3.1.C Mokhantso Makoae - Young adolescents sexual and reproductive health literacy [25-Oct-17] (updated 23.11.17)

Session 3.1.C Nicola Jones - What shapes adolescent psycho-social wellbeing and resilience? [25-Oct-17]

Conference photos

Photos from the event are available here.

ESRC-DFID research evidence for policy makers and practitioners