Childwatch International

Report form the First Meeting of Key Institutions


Together with the Norwegian Centre for Child Research (NOSEB) Childwatch
International invited leading institutions within the field of child research
to discuss modalities for closer cooperation under the Childwatch umbrella.
Directors and other representatives from 15 institutions world-wide participated
in the meeting which took place 1-4 September 1994 at Ranten Hotel, Nesbyen,
Norway. This report gives the background and objectives of the meeting, and
presents the conclusions concerning follow up activities.

Background and Objectives of the Meeting

In order to expand the group of institutions actively involved in the network,
the Childwatch Executive Board decided to establish a core group of institutions
— key institutions. The Board specifically wanted to identify institutions or
organisations involved with child research to participate in such a process. The
institutional approach, the Board hoped, would ensure more long term commitments
than what individual researchers normally can make.

Childwatch’ first year of operation has verified the need for an international
network for child research to convey information and knowledge based on facts
and reliable analysis on children’s situation to those who develop policies and
programmes for children.

By establishing a closer cooperation between some key partners, and combining
their experience and capacity, the process of identifying and initiating new
research projects could become more effective. Also, the needs of governments,
UN agencies and NGOs could be served more effectively. Childwatch is set up to
play an active role in this process together with leading institutions and could
function as a facilitator in this process by:

– Coordinating dissemination of information;
– Coordinating feasibility studies and need assessments;
– Setting up an active database on ongoing research activities;
– Operating an electronic conference for the key partners;
– Identifying funding sources for joint projects

Towards the backdrop of experience that Childwatch already has gained through the
activities mentioned above, as well as the experience of the participating
institutions, the Childwatch Executive Board envisioned a discussion of ways and
means to establish and formalise international cooperation within the framework of
Childwatch, such as:

– Identifying projects for cooperation;
– Finding appropriate ways of implementing the commitment towards capacity building;
– Identifying dissemination projects and channels for exchange of information;
– Setting up a resource pool of professionals for missions, seminars, consultancies etc.

In doing this, a process of more permanent cooperation could be established, through
which the participating institutions could strengthen their own individual
programmes and consolidate a strong international body of knowledge on the situation
of children.

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