Global Development Institute Blog

Social policies and programmes for children living in extreme deprivation:

10-12 September 2018, Kampala, Uganda

While there has been substantial progress in reducing global poverty in recent years, hundreds of millions of vulnerable children remain trapped in extreme poverty. This is especially the case on the African continent, where children account for the majority and growing proportion of the population. Despite rapid economic growth in several African countries, as well as significant achievements in both development and humanitarian interventions, a staggering number of African children remain vulnerable to extreme levels of deprivation.

Existing challenges notwithstanding, a number of carefully crafted and effectively implemented social policies and programmes proved successful in alleviating the burden of child poverty and deprivation. In addition to being vitally important in promoting and protecting children’s rights, these social policies and programmes embody the international community’s commitment to achieve the Social Development Goals (SDGs) and ensuring no one is left behind.

This conference aims to contribute to global efforts to end child poverty by generating key insight on practical actions, programmes and social policy interventions that have made a tangible difference in the lives of Africa’s poorest children.

About the conference

The conference is designed to be practical and action oriented, drawing on lessons and experiences from programmes and social policies that work and show real potential for their sustainable scalability. In this regard, the organising committee hopes to attract a broad spectrum of participants, including policy makers and development practitioners, as well as representatives from local and international civil society organisations, the private sector, academia and the general public – to name a few.

The objectives of the conference are:
• To identify the social policies and programmes that are most effective in supporting Africa’s poorest and most vulnerable children, and elaborate on the key features underpinning their documented success.
• To raise awareness of all key stakeholders about the need to prioritize and join efforts to rally behind the actions required to respond to the social needs and status of deprivation of Africa’s poorest children as articulated in the SDGs agenda.

Conference themes:

The workshop will be structured around the following 4 key thematic areas of policy intervention and programme design:

1. Child poverty and deprivation
2. Child-sensitive social protection
3. Public finance for children
4. Child rights governance

Call for papers

We invite submissions of extended abstracts (minimum 3 pages), or full papers, in one of the 4 thematic areas of policy intervention and programme design articulated above.

Abstracts should be submitted by 30 March 2018 to

Successful authors will be notified by 27 April 2018, and will be expected to submit full papers by 10 August 2018. Travel and accommodation expenses for one author/presenter per paper to participate at the conference will be covered by the conference organizers.

A carefully selected collection of papers from the conference will form the foundation of an edited book: What Works for Africa’s Poorest Children? Social Policies and Programmes for Children Living in Extreme Deprivation.


Dr David Lawson
The University of Manchester

Related publications

What works for Africa’s Poorest?  Free open access download. 

What works for the Poorest? Download individual chapters for free.  



Note:  This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole.