2015 | Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: Is early childhood development a pathway to peace?

2015 | Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: Is early childhood development a pathway to peace?

Members of the Yale delegation at UNICEF. © 2015 Photo William Ge


Early childhood development (ECD) has been included in the 2030 Development Agenda in recognition of its foundational role in building peaceful sustainable societies. Taking the opportunity of this global recognition, the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC) hosted a panel discussion, sponsored by UNICEF and Yale University, on the role ECD could play in promoting peace and reducing violence. The evidence is clear – investments in ECD have a multiplier effect with benefits not only for later health, learning and well-being of the individual, but also resulting in more productive, peaceful and equal societies.

The panel discussion was also very timely given the recent refugee and migrant crisis and the potential of ECD programs in the resettlement of families by providing secure, safe spaces for learning and play, and parenting support. The main objectives of the panel discussion were to explore how the ECD evidence could be applied to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.


“Attending the panel event at UNICEF was a tremendous opportunity both from the perspective of a Yale UNICEF member and an undergraduate student hoping to work in the scope of UNICEF’s efforts in the future. I could relate what Yale UNICEF club advocates for with real initiative and action from influential people in the field of early childhood development and peacebuilding and I admired the solidarity and collaboration of all the panel speakers. Even more so, I was inspired to continue to learn more about early childhood development and get involved in efforts that use early childhood development as a means for change. I was especially moved by the need for a paradigm shift of peacekeeping: a transition from believing that peace is a consequence of militaristic action to investing in early childhood, which has great evidence for creating lasting peace in communities. I am so grateful to have attended an exciting event that is at the forefront of this topic and am excited to see what happens next.” 

— Neha Anand, President Yale UNICEF

Top image: Yale Delegation (© 2015 Yale University)
Top LR: Anna Zonderman, Rima Salah, Kaveh Khoshnood, Caroline Tangoren, Athanasios (Jason) Doukakis, Nealie Ngo, William Ge, Pia Britto, James Leckman 
Bottom LR: Angie Ponguta, Sarah Merchant, Neha Anand, Chanel Marin, Catherine Panter-Brick


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