Day Zero – SDG Bergen 2022
Day Zero is an academic festival with creative spaces (workshops, exhibitions, debates, etc.) presenting work of relevance to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This year GRIP hosted a discussion on the importance of including children and adolescents in SDG policies and targets. The starting point of the discussion was the book “Leaving No Child and No Adolescent Behind; A global perspective on addressing inclusion through the SDGs”
While we all know that children are the future, this too often remains an empty analogy when it comes to the actual work done and policies created to reach the SDG targets. The explicit inclusion of children and adolescents in our thinking about the SDG targets and goals will lead to a greater understanding of the lifetime outcomes of poverty and inequality, in all its forms. The book “Leaving No Child and No Adolescent Behind; A global perspective on addressing inclusion through the SDGs”, edited by Sudeshna Chatterjee, Alberto Minujin and Katie Hodgkinson, is an important addition to SDG literature and was an excellent starting point for this Day Zero session. Here you can find a short summary of the session, as well as watch the recording:
The session started with an introduction to the process of writing the book and a walkthrough of some of the chapters, by editors Alberto Minujin (Professor at the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs at The New School) and Sudeshna Chatterjee (Founder, Action for Children’s Environments).
Chatterjee crucially pointed out that we need to pay particular attention to adolescents, as they often fall between the cracks; most of the interventions for children focus on the early years and adolescents age out of these interventions, yet are not reached by programs and interventions targeted at adults. The introduction gave us a thorough understanding of the policy insights in the book for overcoming inequality and exclusion among children and adolescents.
Poverty reduction starts with children – we need to cut the transmission of poverty – Alberto Minujin
Any forward-looking development agenda must reduce inequality in the lives of children and adolescents – Sudeshna Chatterjee
The session then moved on to the 3 panellists; Marguerite Daniel (Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Development, UiB), Enrique Delamonica (Senior Adviser Statistics and Monitoring-Child Poverty and Gender Equality, UNICEF HQ) and Thomas George (Global Lead for Urban, UNICEF HQ).
Marguerite Daniel presented her chapter “The Role of Context in Social Exclusion of Children: Lessons From Children’s Homes in Ghana” (written with co-author Ernest Darkwah), which clearly shows the importance of context and local understanding in reaching the SDG goals.
Enrique Delamonica discussed “Quality of Life and Child Poverty: material and non-material dimensions of well-being”, showing how poverty measurements often render children invisible in the final data.
Lastly, Thomas George brought the focus to poor urban settings, rapid urbanisation and the children living in these areas. George showed how data from urban areas can mask inequities, as the data averages misleadingly can be seen as urban children being better off than rural children. He then discussed concrete solutions to the issues of children living in precarious urban settings, including ways to strengthen the localised response to these challenges.
The session was a successful part of Day Zero, and highlighted several important topics; in particular, the invisibility of inequality and the importance of advancing knowledge on inequalities was identified as key challenges in developing policies for the future.
GRIP extends a thank you to all who participated in the event, and we look forward to the outcomes from this insightful session.
“Leaving No Child and No Adolescent Behind; A global perspective on addressing inclusion through the SDGs” will become available Open Access in march. Follow GRIP on social media or sign up for our newsletter to be notified.