DATE:

Nov 17-Nov 19
2016

LOCATION:

Canada House
Trafalgar Square
London England

As a follow-up to the Forum, CIFAR will solicit proposals for international research workshops that will explore research focused on children, globally. For more information, please visit here

Participants from across academia, civil society, and the public and private sectors came together to inform how research, practice, and policy can converge to enable the world’s most at-risk children to thrive. Through the Forum, CIFAR convened a coalition of researchers and partners in support of a new interdisciplinary research program.

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Over 200 million children under the age of five will not reach their full potential because they live under the threat of poverty, poor health, malnutrition, family and environmental stress, violence, and inadequate access to care and opportunities. (A Post-2015 World Fit for Children: An Agenda for #EVERYCHILD 2015. UNICEF, 2015)

Children constitute societies’ most precious and irreplaceable resources, as well as the demographic subgroup most susceptible to social interventions and conditions. It is thus increasingly plausible to assert that the societies most attentive to the needs of their children will be the most successful, progressive, and strong.

W. Thomas Boyce, Forum Co-Chair
CIFAR Co-Director, Child & Brain Development program
JAMA, Vol. 313, April 21, 2015

Together, researchers and practitioners helped CIFAR to identify gaps in current knowledge to advance both research and evidence-informed policy to mitigate intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and inequity that currently prevent children from realizing their potential.

Read the Summary of Proceedings

What CIFAR Brings

For over 30 years, CIFAR has convened global research programs that connect the world’s best minds to tackle questions of importance to the world. Interdisciplinary programs give fellows the freedom and time to take intellectual risks essential to creating transformative knowledge. Their work has changed our understanding of population health, child and brain development, social resilience, inclusive institutions, the social psychology of identity and well-being among other topics. 

The theme of child well-being for the first CIFAR Forum, builds on the Institute’s sustained support of population health and child development. CIFAR is dedicated to knowledge outreach – a process designed to position stakeholders to act. A CIFAR program focused on child well-being would therefore be a natural catalyst for contributing toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

About the Forum

The two-day program will consist of formal talks and interactive dialogue, covering critical areas such as physical and mental health under environmental strain; optimizing cognitive, psychological and social development; mechanisms for resilience and skills acquisition; and the challenges of growing up in conflict settings or as a refugee.  Gender and geographic diversity is important to CIFAR and the Forum will support the participation of individuals from organizations based in low and middle-income countries.

Questions to be addressed include:  

  • How can multidisciplinary research inform policies to better reach children most at risk?
  • Can we better understand complex interactions that can determine a child’s developmental trajectory?
  • How do we leverage crucial windows of opportunity to improve the life chances of children in resource poor environments?
  • In the face of dynamic social and environmental stresses, what can be done to promote resilience of the most at risk children around the world?
Opening Lecture

 

Thursday, November 17

5:30 - 6:00 PM

Arrival

6:00 PM

Introduction by the High Commissioner of Canada to the United Kingdom, H.E. Mrs. Janice Charette

6:10 PM

HM Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport

6:15 PM Comments from Moderator, Lucy Lamble, Global Development Editor at the Guardian
6:20 PM  Dr. Charles A. Nelson III, CIFAR Senior Fellow and Harvard Professor, and Dr. Samantha Nutt, Founder of War Child Canada
7:00 PM Moderated discussion and Q&A
7:20 PM Closing Remarks by CIFAR President & CEO Dr. Alan Bernstein
7:30 PM  Reception
8:30 PM   End of evening
Forum Program

Friday, November 18

8:30 AM

Welcome

Forum Chairs, Glenda Gray and Tom Boyce; Forum Facilitators, Connie Lewis and Shelly Foston, Meridian Institute

8:55 AM  -
12:15 PM 
Plenary 1: Dynamic experiences of childhood adversity
8:50 AM 

Panel introduction
Peter Piot (Panel Chair), Director of the School, Professor of Global Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

 8:55 AM

Jo Boyden, Professor, Oxford University, Director of Young Lives
The consequences of poverty and inequality for children: Insights from the Young Lives study

 9:15 AM Jacqueline Gallinetti, Director of Research & Knowledge Management, Plan International 
Why early childhood care & development and gender equality matters: A view from development practice
 9:35 AM Theresa Betancourt, Associate Professor of Child Health and Human Rights, Harvard University
Promoting child mental health in settings of adversity: approaches to scaling up evidence-based interventions for vulnerable children, youth and families
 9:55 AM Discussion
10:30 AM Break
11:00 AM Breakout groups
12:15 AM Lunch
1:15  PM First session reflections led by Connie Lewis and Shelly Foston
1:45 - 6:00 PM Plenary 2: Complex determinants of child development
 1:45 PM

Panel introduction
Sharon Bergquist (Panel Chair), Program Officer, Family Health, Discovery and Translational Science, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

 1:55 PM Michael Meaney, Senior Fellow, CIFAR Program Child & Brain Development; Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology & Neurosurgery, McGill University
The effects of maternal mental health on child development outcomes
 2:15 PM Aisha Khizar Yousafzai, Associate Professor of Global Health, Harvard University
Optimizing effective interventions to promote early child development
  2:35 PM J. Lawrence Aber, Willner Family Professor of Psychology and Public Policy and University Professor, New York University
Promoting children’s learning and development in conflict-affected countries: building a research agenda
 2:55 PM Discussion
 3:30 PM Break
 4:00 PM Breakout groups
5:15 PM

Reflections by Shoo Lee, Scientific Director, Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health at the Canadian Institutes for Health Research

5:25 PM Day one synthesis led by Connie Lewis and Shelly Foston
7:00 - 9:00 PM Group Dinner

Saturday, November 19

8:30 AM -
1:15 PM 
Plenary 3: Protecting and promoting child well-being through policies and systems 
 8:30 AM Panel introductions:
Robert Armstrong (Panel Chair), Abdul Sultan Jamal Professor of Paediatrics, Foundation Dean, Medical College, Aga Khan University in East Africa
 8:40 AM Peter Waiswa, Professor of Public Health, Makerere University, Uganda
Neonatal health: A test of African health systems in the Sustainable Development Goals era
 9:00 AM Silvia Elena Giorguli, President of El Colegio de México
International migration and educational well-being:  How are they linked? A synthesis based on the Mexico-US experience
 9:20 AM Sarah Cook, Director, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti
Tackling inequalities that affect children: From protection to transformative social and economic policies
 9:40 AM Discussion
10:10 AM Break
10:40 AM Breakout groups
12:00 PM Final Reflections, led by Connie Lewis and Shelly Foston
1:00 PM Closing Remarks by the Honourable Louise Arbour
1:15 PM -
3:30PM
Partner Roundtable (by invitation only)
Speakers

J. Lawrence Aber


Family Professor of Psychology and Public Policy and University Professor, New York University 

Biography

Theresa Betancourt

Theresa Betancourt

Associate Professor of Child Health and Human Rights, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard University

Biography

Jo Boyden

Professor of International Development, Oxford University; Director, Young Lives

Biography

Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook

Director, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti

Biography

Jacqueline Gallinetti

Head of Research & Knowledge Management, PLAN International

Biography

Silvia Elena Giorguli

President, El Colegio de México

Biography

Michael Meaney

Senior Fellow, CIFAR’s Child & Brain Development program; Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology & Neurosurgery, McGill University

Biography

Peter Waiswa

Peter Waiswa

Principal Investigator, INDEPTH Network Maternal and Newborn Working Group; Professor, Makerere University School of Public Health

Biography

AishaYousafzai

Aisha Yousafzai

Early Childhood Development and Disability, Division of Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Biography

Leadership

Honorary Co-Chairs

Honourable Louise Arbour

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

Biography

Mark Walport

Sir Mark Walport

Government Chief Scientific Adviser in the United Kingdom

Biography

Advisory Council Co-Chairs

W. Thomas Boyce

Senior Fellow and Co-Director of CIFAR’s Child and Brain Development program; Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and head of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco

Biography

Glenda Gray

Glenda Gray

President and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council; Research Professor of Pediatrics, University of the Witwatersrand; Director of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Soweto

Biography

Advisory Council

Robert Armstrong

Foundation Dean, Medical College-East Africa at the Aga Khan University

Biography

Alex Coutinho

Alex Coutinho

Executive Director of Partners in Health, Rwanda

Biography

Janet Currie

Janet Currie

Director of the Center for Health and Well-Being, Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Biography

Shoo Lee

Shoo Lee

Scientific Director, Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health at CIHR, Paediatrician-in-Chief, Director of Maternal-In-fant Care and Human Development Research Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital

Biography

Charles Nelson

Charles Nelson

Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard University and Senior Fellow in CIFAR’s Child and Brain Development program

Biography

Jeff Murray

Jeffrey Murray

Deputy Director of Discovery and Translational Sciences, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Biography