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Child Poverty and Disparities: Public Policies for Social Justice

International Conference

Child Poverty and Disparities: Public Policies for Social Justice

Organized by UNICEF Egypt

Cairo, Egypt, January 2009


Realizing the importance of sharing and enhancing developmental knowledge and enhancing developmental cooperation between the developing countries, the Egyptian Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) has taking the initiative of holding a first ever international conference on the role and challenges of, and solutions for Think Tanks in Developing countries (see www.idsc.gov.eg for more information).

In close collaboration with, and in parallel to this conference, IDSC, the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) and the United Nations Children’s Fund in Egypt (UNICEF) are organizing an international conference on “Child Poverty and Disparities: Public Policies for Social Justice” under the umbrella of the Egypt National Observatory for Child Rights. The conference serves as a platform for innovative thinking on social policy and child rights. It will bring together academics, policy makers, practitioners as well as university students to exchange experiences and discuss proposals for inclusive and child-sensitive public social and economic policies which aim to reduce child poverty and are based on scientific evidence.

The conference is the first in a planned series of bi-annual conferences on Child Rights, Social Justice and Equity that aims to contribute to the attainment of child rights through 1) sharing of ideas, research findings and good practices; 2) strengthening the collaboration between researchers, practitioners and policy makers working on children’s issues and 3) encouraging innovative research in “under-researched” areas.


Manycountries have been unable to set their economic agenda to eliminate poverty at the rate foreseen by the MDGs and which is required to achieve the rights of the child. In addition, inequalities have persisted or even increased in part because poverty reduction strategies and development plans have struggled to be pro-poor and to help disadvantaged populations including women and families raising children. Moreover, even though children often constitute around 40% of the total population, their rights and special needs are often placed below other priorities, leading to lost opportunities in terms of both human and economic development.

It is therefore important to produce, discuss and apply evidence that will help influence economic and social policies in order to affect resource allocations and put children as high priority in national legislation, policies and programmes.

Call for papers

The conference organizers welcome proposals for presentations from academics, researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. University students and recent graduates are particularly encouraged to respond to the call for papers. The presentations at the conference can be any of the following formats:

  1. Individual paper presentations of applied research or documented experiences;
  2. Poster presentations on research findings or successful experiences; and
  3. Feedback sessions for ongoing research projects by university students and PhD candidates.

Papers and presentations submitted should focus either on Egypt specifically or should discuss relevant applied research and experiences reporting on policy proposals that could possibly be transposed to the Egyptian context. They should 1) have a solid methodological approach, be it quantitative or qualitative; 2) have a strong evidence base and 3) discuss implications for inclusive public policies that advance children’s rights and reduce their vulnerability to the multidimensional notion of poverty.

Focus on disparities between boys and girls, and/or between other groups or geographical regions within a country, is highly encouraged.

Feedback sessions give university students and PhD candidates a chance to receive constructive comments and suggestions on their hypotheses, methodologies, field work, findings and conclusions with the aim to help in finalizing their research project.

Selected papers, presentations and research projects will address at least one of the following themes:

1) Policy implications of child poverty from a child rights perspective with a focus on:

  1. income deprivation and/or
  2. education deprivation and/or
  3. health deprivation and/or
  4. nutrition deprivation and/or
  5. deprivation of social protection and/or
  6. deprivation of social support systems for children at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation

2) Child and adolescent participation in research and development to achieve child rights

Structure of the conference

The conference is planned to have the following components: 1) Presentations of selected research papers, poster presentations and post-graduate feedback sessions; 2) discussion on child rights and well-being indicators and their importance for monitoring the situation of children; 3) essay competition by Egyptian secondary school students on the perception of poverty from a child’s and adolescent’s perspective. Furthermore, as part of the IDSC Think Tank conference, a selected number of observatories for child rights will exchange experiences and discuss the role of these child rights focused think tanks.


The conference provides simultaneous interpretation for both English and Arabic. Presentations of selected papers, research projects as well as poster presentations at the conference can be either in English or Arabic. However, proposals (abstracts) and final papers must be submitted in English.

Financial assistance

There is no conference registration fee. Small grants covering accommodation can be provided to scholars and students from developing countries that have been selected to present their papers or projects. Grants will be provided in the form of free accommodation and daily subsistence allowance. Individuals who wish to be considered for grants need to specify this in the Proposal Submission Form. Please note that funding is limited, so grants are subject to fund availability.

Calendar of events

• NEW 16 November, 2008Deadline for proposal submission: Please submit a one-page abstract on paper, poster or post-graduate research project of no more than 400 words in English and accompanied by a CV by e-mail to [email protected]. Please use the Proposal Submission Form.

• 30 November, 2008Selection of papers, poster presentations and research projects: Selection will be done by a review board composed of renowned Egyptian scholars based on specified selection criteria.

• 15 December, 2008Deadline for final paper, poster and research project submissions: All papers should be submitted in .pdf or .doc format to [email protected]. Papers can be in a provisional version, but must contain a clear presentation of the results obtained and a complete reference list in order to be considered by the review board. The first page of the paper should include: i) submission title and affiliation; ii) author(s)’ name(s); iii) abstract and keywords; and iv) contact information (name, surname, e-mail address) of the author in charge of the communication. Final papers and poster presentations should be in English.

• Mid-January, 2009Conference: There is no registration fee and both English and Arabic simultaneous interpretation will be available.

For more information on Think Tanks conference, please contact:

  1. Nesreen Khaled El Molla, International Cooperation Specialist, IDSC Egypt, [email protected].

For more information on the Child Poverty and Disparities: Public Policies for Social Justice conference, please contact:

Dennis Arends, Chief, Social Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation, UNICEF Egypt, [email protected].



Egypt was an early signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and one of the six initiators of the first World Summit for Children. Over the past three decades, Egypt’s economic and social indicators have improved significantly, and its Human Development Index ranking increased by...

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