Date: 27-03-2020

ISSA embarks on a partnership with The Human Safety Net

ISSA has recently joined forces with the Generali Group’s flagship community initiative, The Human Safety Net Foundation (THSN) to work for “Maximizing Quality and Impact of Programs For Supporting Responsive Parenting”. The objective of this collaboration is to strengthen the standards, capacities and skills of organizations to work for the well being of young children and their families in disadvantaged conditions.

Officially launched in 2017, THSN is now partnering with 46 NGOs from 21 countries on three different programs to unlock the potential of families with young children and refugees in the most vulnerable conditions to grow and live at their full potential. “For Refugees Start Ups” helps refugees developing their start-up company and entering into the job market; “For Newborns” improves the quality of care for babies born preterm or with early diagnose of asphyxia; “For Families” aims to strengthen parental skills to nurture at best their children since the early years.
The Families program is active in 16 countries, most of which in Europe, and commits to the call for action of the Nurturing Care Framework (NCF) by investing in the promotion of early childhood development (ECD) in vulnerable populations through the work on parenting and caregivers’ support.

In the coming months, ISSA will cooperate with THSN to review, and further develop the quality standards and practices for implementing ECD-Parenting programs for THSN partner organizations. ISSA will then leverage on its extensive network to disseminate these standards inside and outside ISSA and THSN communities, and will provide learning opportunities to THSN NGO partners for improving and strengthening their work. Some of the most successful programs within THSN network will be identified and shared as case studies across key ECD international networks.

Partnering with THSN, ISSA will bring a great value within this community, through its extensive experience as the oldest Early Childhood Regional Network active in Europe and Central Asia. Together with its members and partners, ISSA has been active in developing and implementing programs to strengthen the early childhood education workforce capacities, influencing them around their preparation, mentoring and ongoing support. For over 20 years, ISSA has been providing cross-country shared learning meetings and nurturing an ongoing dialogue at global level which involves a variety of stakeholders, keeping the community informed and engaged with the latest evidence in the field.

Bringing together experiences from both ISSA and THSN is what, according to ISSA’s Senior Project Manager Dr. Konstantina Rentzou, most strengthens this partnership: “We hope that THSN partners, and in later stages ISSA’s own members, will benefit from this online peer learning community that aspires to foster interaction, sharing, co-creation of knowledge and ultimately to promote cooperation among members. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the implementation of their projects and improve the quality of their interventions” says Dr. Rentzou. More specifically, all outputs of this initiative (case studies, quality standards and practices for implementing parenting programs to foster ECD, learning opportunities) “aspire to equip the respective networks of THSN and ISSA with a deeper understanding of the NCF and the standards that characterize high-quality Parenting Programs, as well as a self-assessment tool, implementation tips and suggestions that will boost the quality of their programs”. A further dissemination of the outputs beyond the ISSA and THSN networks will finally contribute to increasing the societal impact of organizations working in the early years.

Emma Ursich, Director of The Human Safety Net, says: "I’m delighted to join forces with ISSA, a widely recognized institution focusing on ECD and parenting and be part of their network. ISSA’s long experience in the field and proven organization support will be an important contribution for the community of partners engaged with us in the programs for Families and Newborns.”

Photo: Courtesy of ©Bruno Zanzottera


The Human Safety Net is a global movement of people helping people. Our mission is to unlock the potential of people living in vulnerable circumstances, so that they can transform the lives of their families and communities. The Human Safety Net programs support families with young children and integrate refugees through work. To do so, we bring together the strengths of non-profit organizations and the private sector in Europe, Asia and South America. Initiated by Generali - one of the world’s largest insurers - as a foundation, The Human Safety net is now active in 21 countries with a net of 46 partners.