Policy engagement and communication

In line with the study’s second objective of Informing the development and implementation of policies and practices to reduce childhood poverty, Young Lives Ethiopia is engaged in various communication and policy engagement activities. Now it has accumulated three rounds of data, Young Lives Ethiopia is in a strong position to inform both policymakers and practitioners.

Communicating our work is vital at all levels - from the children and grassroots communities we work with to government officials and the international decision-makers who shape policy and practice. We target key audiences with appropriate tools and messages, including meetings and events, a range of publications, audio-visual materials, development education materials and media products. Overall, we aim to bring about child-focused, evidence-based policymaking.

Policy monitoring and analysis

Our research data is supplemented by policy analysis to review how national government policies are implemented at the local level and how they affect poor children and their families.

This helps us understand how government policies and promises actually play out at community level and what impact they have on children’s lives. Collecting this information and monitoring the policy environment in each country contextualises our findings and deepens our evidence base.

In Ethiopia, our policy work focuses on education, health, child work and nutrition. Currently we are investigating  quality of education whereby the data is collected through both quantitative and qualitative methods from Young Lives children, teachers, school headteachers and through observation of school facilities and classroom activities. This includes looking in detail at issues including In-service teacher training, Informal training such as on-the-job teaching experience, and teachers’ motivation.

Child Research and Practice Forum (CRPF)

A good example of Young Lives Ethiopia’s work in linking policy and practice is the Child Research and Practice Forum (CRPF) which came in to being following a consultation workshop organised by Young Lives with financial support from the Oak foundation in April 2010.

The CRPF started in September 2010 with the main objectives of linking research, practice and policy. So far Young Lives is taking the lead in coordinating the forum with logistical support from UNICEF. The forum holds a monthly lunchtime seminar where research on children is presented for a number of participants followed by debates and discussion.

Other policy engagement activities:

Based on the evidence it has, Young Lives has been presenting its outputs through various national, regional and international events which help it to disseminate and share its outputs with relevant stakeholders. Examples of national conferences and workshops where Young Lives Ethiopia research team has presented papers include academic associations such as the Ethiopian Economic Association annual conference and the Ethiopian Society of Sociologists, Social Workers and Anthropologists (ESSSWA) annual conference.

Community reciprocity

We are committed to ensuring our findings and policy recommendations are used to support pro-poor, child-sensitive policies. A core component of this is to ensure that our research is beneficial for the respondents and their wider communities. We feed back relevant, valuable information about our aims and our findings to the children, families and communities involved in the research.