Date: 28-09-2023

ISSA Members and partners make a strong case for the importance of early childhood development

ISSA Members and partners make a strong case for the importance of early childhood development

During a parallel session hosted at ISSA Connects for Learning 2023, ISSA member organizations and partners engaged in advocacy at local or country level shared how they elevate the importance of early childhood development (ECD) within one sector or across sectors, and on the humanitarian response agenda.

The session included two panel discussions. During the first panel representatives from ISSA Members and partners addressed the topic, “How to Put ECD on the National Political Agenda?” Trendafil Meretev  (of ISSA Member, For Our Children Foundation in Bulgaria) Andrei Iamandi (of ISSA Member, Centrul Step by Step, Romania) Krista Okma and Bob van de Schaft (of Pharos in the Netherlands) dissected various successful advocacy strategies and case studies from their respective countries, illuminating pathways for inspiration in navigating the complexities of advocacy.

A second panel discussion addressed how to advocate for young children experiencing adverse contexts. During this discussion, Vassiliki Arampatzi (of ISSA Member, AMNA Refugee Healing Network), Aljosa Rudas (from the ISSA Secretariat), Olena Hloba (of ISSA Member, Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation) and Zarina Kurbanbekova (of ISSA Member, Open Hearts) explored significant challenges and proposed strategic approaches to ensure consistent and effective ECD support, especially for children living in crises situations or adverse environments. This section underscored the importance of inclusive ECD strategies that are attuned to the variegated needs of children in diverse and challenging contexts.

Overall, the session amplified the urgency and importance of informed and adequate policy measures on ECD, as well as societal attention to the topic and highlighted the "First Years, First Priority" campaign. This campaign serves as a pivotal example of how to successfully mobilize and catalyze advocacy efforts towards ECD at a wider scale. The presentation focused on the campaign's strategies to leverage data and evidence, mobilize varied stakeholders, and develop compelling narratives to influence policy and public perception towards early years.

Read more about the First Years, First Priority Campaign| Access the campaign’s advocacy resources

Are you an ISSA Member? You may access the recording of the full session and the presentation slides. Please write to if you work for an ISSA member organization and are unable to access the session materials via the event page.

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