Latest on Partnerships
- Knowledge Library
- Contact Us
Early Childhood Development is a challenge for cities hosting forcibly displaced populations. The arrival of forcibly displaced means an increase in the urban population with social and economic repercussions on the lives of children and caregivers. Children fleeing conflict often experience trauma and need to be given the chance to grow with more stability. The period from birth to five years old is a time of remarkable growth with brain development at its peak when children are highly influenced by the environment and the people that surround them. This process is particularly at risk for children displaced by conflict and in refugee communities. In the Eastern Mediterranean, most Syrian refugee children between 0 and 5 years old have no access to early childhood development services and are the most at risk of missing out on pre-primary education, due to factors such as poverty, transportation issues and language barrier.
Cities can have a role in supporting early child development. Besides preparing children for school or having a quality pre-primary educational offer, public space, transportation infrastructure, and urban planning have a big influence on children’s ability to thrive. If municipal leaders can see their cities from the perspective of a young child or caregiver, these groups can have a better chance of being included in meaningful ways in society. For example, if the work of childcare responsibilities is valued in society and that value is reflected in policy, caregivers could have increased access to the labour market. Effective Early childhood development significantly improves the life outcomes of all children, including those affected by conflict and displacement, by reducing learning difficulties, fostering social inclusion and reduced psycho-social damage caused by childhood trauma.
In 2021, the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) collaborated with the World Bank in a webinar on Early Childhood Care and Education. The event tested the interest of cities members of the CMI-managed Host Municipalities Learning Network (HMLN) in several sub-themes of this important topic. After discussing main policies for early child development and education implemented at the local and central level in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, stakeholders from cities and local organizations in the Eastern Mediterranean identified their thematic of interest for future exchanges and learning. These are identification of the role of cities in child development, ways to improve the development of refugee or displaced children, how to improve the quality of early childhood education, and awareness of the role of parents and caregivers.
To answer requests from municipalities and local organizations, the CMI is partnering with the Urban 95 Academy. The Academy is a fully-funded leadership program, delivered online over six weeks, designed to help local governments develop urban strategies and systems that improve the lives of babies, toddlers and caregivers. The course includes online learning modules and virtual meetings with LSE Faculty, Bernard van Leer Foundation leadership and global knowledge partners. The Academy aims to help city leaders learn how to implement child and caregiver friendly policies, gain effective strategies, and hone leadership skills to create urban environments that support healthy child development.
This webinar is organized as part of the CMI’s support to the Mediterranean Host Municipalities Learning Network (HMLN). The HMLN provides a platform for peer-to-peer learning, training and collaboration for local governments hosting refugees in the Middle East and Turkey and contributes to improving the capacities of local authority representatives for ensuring the common welfare of host communities and refugees through regular workshops, training, online discussions, and periodic collection of experiences implemented in local governments hosting refugees.
This webinar will continue the CMI’s learning offer to local authorities who are members of the HMLN, as well as interested local stakeholders. Objectives of this webinar are:
To raise awareness on the importance of early child development, especially in contexts of forced displacement;
To present the Urban 95 Academy and encourage cities to apply to next cohorts;
To present experiences from cities in the East Mediterranean that implemented urban approaches to enhance early childhood development.
The webinar will target representatives of local authorities, members of the HMLN, CMI partner organizations, representatives of local organizations and INGOs interested in implementing child development-oriented actions in cities. It will consist of presentations of the Urban 95 Academy and urban experiences in child development, followed by Q&A, allowing participants to interact by connecting directly from their computer or smartphone with a stable internet connection.
If you wish to participate in this webinar, register here to receive connection details.
Arabic-English simultaneous interpretation will be provided.
Speakers’ Presentations (coming soon)
Summary of the event (coming soon)