Children and families in humanitarian emergencies around the world lack affordable, accessible and high-quality childcare. This is especially important during the acute onset stage of emergencies, where no existing childcare models are available and service delivery is more challenging. This lack of childcare has significant consequences for the roughly 59 million children living in crisis around the world, as well as for their families. Childcare programmes provide care for children provide opportunities for children to play, learn, grow and develop through interactions and relationships. For children, high-quality childcare provides opportunities to socialize with peers, interact with the environment and build strong and close relationships with caregivers. It can provide a critical space to manage stress, which is essential for children facing conflict and crisis.
Elizabeth Lule — Elizabeth Lule is a widely recognized expert on international development and global health issues, and has devoted her career to strengthening global commitments and programs addressing the needs of women, adolescents, children and infants. Before joining ECDAN, she served as a senior consultant with the World Bank Group supporting the Global Financing Facility for Every Woman and Every Child and increasing financing for multisectoral pandemic preparedness at both global and national levels. She’s worked previously at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as their Director of Family Planning, at Pathfinder International as their Regional Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, and with USAID in Nigeria. She has a joint advanced degree in Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics.
Chemba Raghavan (ECPC Global Vice-Chair) — Dr. Chemba Raghavan currently works as a Senior Advisor in UNICEF HQ in New York. She serves as the deputy for the team, and leads on the work on Parenting and Family-Friendly Policies with a focus on public-private collaborations. She is also in charge of global Results Management and field engagement. Prior to joining UNICEF HQ, Chemba worked in the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) as the Regional Focal Point for the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) and as ECD/Education Specialist. She has also had several years of experience in teaching and research in academic institutions in the United States.
Lucy Bassett — Lucy Bassett is associate professor of practice of public policy at the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. She is an expert in children, caregivers, and communities in humanitarian and development contexts. Before joining the Batten School, Bassett spent ten years as an education and social protection specialist with the World Bank. Her practitioners’ perspective is further grounded by previous work at UNICEF, the World Food Programme, Save the Children, the International Food Policy Research Institute and Peace Corps. She is currently leading research on how to best support young children’s development and learning in humanitarian contexts as well as how to support migrant children and families coming to the US/Mexico border.
Sara-Christine Dallain — Sara-Christine is the Executive Director at iACT. Her work has focused on facilitating community-led early childhood education and sports programs that foster individual and community well-being and providing funding and financing directly to refugee organizations. Sara-Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master’s in Public Health. She worked with iACT from 2013 to 2019, ending her time as Co-Executive Director. Before returning to iACT in 2022, Sara-Christine was the Director of Development for Los Padres ForestWatch and Executive Director of the Fund for Refugee Initiatives. She is passionate about creating a humanitarian system rooted in compassionate listening, trust, and dignity.
Erinna Dia — Dr. Erinna Dia currently serves as Associate Director, ECD, UNICEF, providing intellectual and strategic vision, advisory support and guidance to ensure that the agenda for young children’s development is actively pursued and institutionalized in UNICEF’s work. Prior to that, Dr. Dia worked as Chief of Education in West and Central Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. She has also held technical positions in the human development and economics departments of the African Development Bank. She has co-authored several papers and journal articles on education challenges and opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Siwar Hashwe — Siwar Hashwe is the Early Childhood Development Senior Technical Quality Manager at the International Rescue Committee. In her role, Siwar ensures that the design, content, technical implementation, and monitoring of the ECD programming are in line with appropriate technical guidelines. Siwar holds a master’s degree in Elementary Education from the American University of Beirut and has twelve years of experience in teaching, training, and content development. Before joining the IRC team, Siwar worked for different Lebanese Education Organizations and Schools, where she designed and developed educational material in compliance with organizational requirements.