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15 speakers, 24 experts and 118 participants from 34 countries have been part of the 8th Edition of the International Advocacy Workshop (IAW) on 9th, 10th, 11th September, 2020. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, it was held online by the International Federation for Family Development in collaboration with Instituto de la Familia (Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia). The Workshop had no cost for participants and was conducted in English. The participants attended individually and in small local groups, to facilitate personal interaction and team work.
As usual, it was mainly oriented to entry-level professionals or students of social studies/political sciences or a related field who demonstrated a strong interest in family issues and wanted to gain experience in the work of International Organizations, as well as other practitioners. They came from diverse geographical, cultural, and academic backgrounds in 34 countries.
The course critically assessed the field of international human rights and development advocacy, its institutions, strategies, and key actors. It explored how domestic, regional, and global policy strategies are set. Also, it promoted discussion on various challenges that family friendly advocates face together with a range of stakeholders, including governments, international institutions and the private sector.
It consisted of a three-day educational alternative program with diverse lectures, initiatives and interactive discussions:
- Lectures: oral and audio-visual presentations by a specialist. The purpose of a lecture is to convey critical information and theories.
- Interventions & Good Practices: tutorials led by a moderator with the participation of policymakers and practitioners. The purpose of this session is to share local or regional experience on family policies’ design, implementation and evaluation.
- Interactive Discussions: The purpose of this session is to finalize a Unified Proposal with the merge of Draft Statements produced by each Group and inputs of all participants in light of the previous sessions of the day. The Moderator is in charge to facilitate this Unified Proposal, together with the Coordinators of the Groups.
Each Group was expected to elaborate previously a simulated Draft Statement for one of the following bodies and with the indicated theme:
· Wednesday 9th: Unicef Executive Board on child development (Groups 1, 2, 8);
· Thursday 10th: UN Commission on Social Development on youth transition (Groups 3, 4);
· Friday 11th: UN ECOSOC High-level Political Forum on intergenerational solidarity (Groups 5, 6, 7).
A Certificate was provided to each participant upon attendance of at least 85% of the sessions. Group work, class participation and interactive discussion were highly recommended.

Some speakers, coordinators and other participants, individually or in group (Warsaw and Sao Paulo).

Anis Ben Brik ...


Donna Butts ...


Heba Al Fara ...


Kinga Joo ...


Veerle Miranda ...


Chemba Raghavan ...


Ana Margarita Romero ...


Bahira Trask ...

All times are in CET (Central European Time, GMT+2:00).
Time (CET) Wednesday 9th Thursday 10th Friday 11th
Theme Child development Youth transitions Intergenerational solidarity
Moderator Alex Vazquez Rodolfo Canonico Ignacio Socias
Join Virtual Room
Welcoming speech:
The Role of IFFD
in Family Advocacy.

Javier Vidal-Quadras
Secretary General, International Federation for Family Development
Opening speech:
Family-Work Integration
after COVID-19.

Ana Margarita Romero
Director, Family Institute, Universidad de La Sabana (Colombia)
Initial discussion:
Working at the
United Nations.

Renata Kaczmarszka
United Nations Focal Point on the Family
Lectures SDGs and Preventing
Violence Against Children.

Daryl Higgins
Director, Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University
Youth Transitions in
Latin America: the Role
of Families.

Heidi Ullmann
Social Affairs Officer, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
Survey on the Impact of the
Pandemic on Family Life
Across Cultures.

Anis Ben Brik
Associate Professor, College of Public Policy, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (Qatar)
Early Childhood Development and Parenting: Responding to the Crisis of Care and Learning.
Chemba Raghavan
Acting Chief of Early Childhood Development, UNICEF
Youth Transitions in
Times of Covid-19.

Veerle Miranda
Senior Economist, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Directorate, OECD
Megatrends and

Bahira Trask
Professor & Chair, Department of Human Development & Family Sciences, University of Delaware
Interventions & Good Practices Early Childhood Development
Local Policies.

Karina Tollara d’Alkimin
Coordinator of Early Childhood Policies, São Paulo Municipality
The Role of Policies
in Youth Transitions.

Enrico Misasi
Member, Federal Chamber of Deputies, Brazil
Uniting the Voices of
Young and Old.

Donna Butts
Executive Director, Generations United, Washington DC
Helping Children
to Grow Safely.

Sofia Garcia
Head of Strategic Partnerships and External Engagement, SOS Children’s Villages International
The Impact of Parenting
on Youth Transitions.

Heba Al Fara
Family Policy Officer, Doha International Family Institute (DIFI)
Demographic Challenge
in the European Union.

Kinga Joo
Member, European Economic and Social Committee
Interactive Discussion
Statement for the
UNICEF Executive Board
on Child Development.
Introductions by Coordinators:
Franciszek Wiacek
Ana María Idárraga
Renato Cursi
Statement for the
UN Commission for Social Development
on Youth Transitions.
Introductions by Coordinators:
Coen Vermeij
Amanda Oliveira
Statement for the
UN ECOSOC High-Level Segment on
Intergenerational Solidarity.
Introductions by Coordinators:
Chiara Ledda
Charles Aigbona
Zsuzsa Radnai

  Javier Vidal-Quadras

Vidal-Quadras holds a degree in Law from Universidad de Barcelona and is one of the founders of a well-known Spanish Law Firm, Amat i Vidal-Quadras Advocats. Currently, he is also Associate Professor of Law at Universidad Abat Oliba in Barcelona and Assistant Director of the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Familia at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya. As president of FERT, the IFFD branch in Catalonia, he became part of the International Board and later Secretary General of the World Federation. He has published seven books on family enrichment and other human values.

  Daryl Higgins

Professor Higgins is the Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University (ACU). His research focuses on public health approaches to protecting children, and child-safe organisational strategies. A registered psychologist, Prof Higgins has been researching child abuse impacts and prevention, family violence and family functioning for 25 years. Prior to joining ACU, Prof Higgins was the Deputy Director (Research) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, where he had responsibility for the research program, knowledge translation and exchange functions focusing on issues affecting families in Australia. He has also been part of the SDGS and Families Project together with researchers from all over the world.

    Chemba Raghavan

Dr. Raghavan is currently the acting Chief of Early Childhood Development at UNICEF. She has more than 20 years of experience and leadership in evidence-based policies, results based management, quality assurance and monitoring, advocacy and communications, especially in the East Asia Pacific region. Her work has covered 14 country offices serving 580 million children, with a strong understanding of issues relating to poverty, equity and development, education and gender issues, peacebuilding and ECD. She holds a Ph. D. in Human Development and Family Studies and has directed multicultural projects on child development, parenting, and gender, and several years of teaching, research and project management experience in universities across the US.

  Karina Tollara d’Alkimin

Dr. Tollara d’Alkimin is a Sociologist with a Master Degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, with 15 years work experience in the fields of social development and public administration. Since 2018 she is a special advisor at the Government Secretariat of the City of Sao Paulo, responsible for the coordination of the municipal early childhood policy. Before joining the Municipality, she worked as a consultant for Getulio Vargas Foundation and UNICEF Brazil, as well as for the German cooperation agency in Mozambique.

    Sofía García García

Dr. García is SOS Children’s Villages’ Representative to the United Nations in New York. In her role, Sofia represents the rights and voices of children without parental care in front of UN member states and other actors. Previously, she led SOS Children’s Villages engagement at the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs negotiations, with a key focus on ensuring a comprehensive approach to the “leave no one behind” concept and operationalization. She graduated in Journalism and Political Sciences and holds a Masters in International Affairs by The New School University of New York and a Masters in European Union Studies by the Universidad de Salamanca.

  Ana Margarita Romero de Wills

Romero de Wills holds a degree in Economy by the Corporación Universitaria Tecnológica de Bolívar (Cartagena, Colombia). She is a specialist in Marketing Management and has a diploma in Family Development by the Universidad de la Sabana (Bogota, Colombia). She was legal representative of Acción Social Naval Nacional in different cities and became president of it. In 2005 she was awarded as Mujer Sobresaliente en el Atlántico. Currently, she is the director at the Instituto de Familia, Universidad de la Sabana and coordinates the work of dozens of researchers and lecturers in this area.

      Heidi Ullmann

Dr. Ullmann is a social policy officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). She holds a Ph. D. in public affairs from Princeton University. She has considerable experience in public policies, especially those relating to health issues. She acts as the Focal Point for Youth in ECLAC and her work focuses on two portfolios: children, adolescents, and youth in Latin America and the Caribbean; and persons with disabilities in the same region. Her experience provided her with thoughtful insights into Latin American youth issues.

    Veerle Miranda

Dr. Miranda holds a Ph. D. in Economics from the Catholic University of Leuven. She has written on a wide range of labour market and social policy issues, and specialised in the past couple of years in mental health and work issues. She is a Policy Analyst in the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs. She has analysed and published studies on a wide range of topics and countries: employment policies in Colombia, Russia, Chile, Estonia and Slovenia; gender equality, unpaid work and well-being; mental health at work and the role of benefit systems.

    Heba Al Fara

Al Fara holds a Master’s degree in Political Science, specializing in International Relations, from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is currently working as a Family Policy Officer in the Policy Division at the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation, in Doha, Qatar. She has worked on topics such as adolescent wellbeing, child wellbeing, social protection, youth transitions to adulthood, as well as family policy as a whole. Her research interests include international relations, refugee politics, social policy, including family policy.

  Enrico Misasi

Misasi graduated from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and holds a Ph. D. in Constitutional Law. He has worked as a lawyer in Sao Paulo and was elected there in 2018 as a member of the Brasilian Parliament, when he was only 24 years old. He is a member of the Green Party (Partido Verde). Previously, he was Parliamentary Advisor and participated in different political fora and social activities. In 2020 he has been appointed leader of his Party in the Chamber. He has been active in many aspects of the Parliament work such as agriculture, justice, citizenship, social security and families.

    Renata Kaczmarska

Kaczmarska has served as the Focal Point in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs since 2009. In this capacity, she acts as a spokesperson on family issues for the UN Secretariat. Her major duties include providing substantive support to intergovernmental bodies of the United Nations; drafting of reports; organization of expert group meetings; coordination of technical cooperation activities; managing of the Trust Fund on Family Activities and organizing of awareness raising events. She has organized international expert group meetings and assisted in preparations for regional expert meetings on a number of family policy issues, such as family poverty, work-family balance and intergenerational relations.

    Anis Ben Brik

Anis B. Brik is Associate Professor at Hamad Bin Khalifa University College of Public Policy, a member of Qatar Foundation. He served as the Director of Family Policy Department at the Doha International Family Institute. His fields of expertise include evidence for policy and knowledge valorization; gender equality, inclusive social development, inclusive societies and social inclusion; policy design and delivery; social change and social transformations; social policy and social protection; sustainable development goals; youth.

  Bahira Trask

Prof. Trask is Professor and Chair of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Delaware. She holds a B. A. in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations from Yale University and a Ph. D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on globalization, women’s employment and family change. Dr. Trask has authored and edited a number of books. In 2019, in recognition of her intellectual contributions, she was awarded the NCFR Jan Trost award, in 2018 she received an Erasmus fellowship to Greece, and in 2015 she was elected a fellow in NCFR, an honor accorded to 3 percent of the membership.

  Donna Butts

Donna has been the Executive Director of Generations United since 1997. Generations United’s mission is to improve the lives of children, youth and older adults through intergenerational collaboration, public policies and programs for the enduring benefit of all. Previously she held leadership positions at the YWCA, National 4-H Council, and Covenant House. She is a graduate of Stanford University’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders and her awards include: recognition three years in a row by The Nonprofit Times as one of the Top 50 nonprofit executives in the US; one of the 2015 Top 50 Influencers in Aging by Next Avenue; and the 2017 Family Award from the International Federation for Family Development.

    Kinga Joó

Dr. Joó is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Vice President of the Hungarian Association of Large Families (NOE) and member of the board of the National Cooperation Fund (NEA). She is an international expert on education, training, youth, employment, social affairs and human rights. She was head of office at the World Science Forum secretariat and Advisor to the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In her work as responsible for the international area of the Hungarian Association of Large Families – the biggest in Europe –, she has worked for different entities of the European Union and is a member of the Administrative Council of COFACE (Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union).

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