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Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism

The Cambodian Case

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Advances in Early Childhood Development

Early Childhood Matters

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A guide

Building a society for babies, toddlers, and caregivers

Community Driven Systems Change

The power of grassroots-led change for long-term impact and how funders can nurture it

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Youth Participatory Grantmaking in Sierra Leonne

Lessons from the Tar Kura Initiative

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Never only one zebra

A Review of Measurement Frameworks in Children's Care

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see more from our members

the latest from our members

A guide:

Building a society for babies, toddlers, and caregivers

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Community-Driven Systems Change

The power of grassroots-led change for long-term impact and how funders can nurture it

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Youth Participatory Grantmaking in Sierra Leone

Lessons Learned from the Tar Kura Initiative

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the latest from our members

more from our members

Elevate Children Funders Group Publications

ECFG develops and commissions resources for our members and the wider philanthropic community to support more and better funding for children and youth.

weaving a collective tapestry

A funders' toolkit for child and youth participation

In early 2022, Elevate Children Funders’ Group commissioned a research study to better understand child and youth participatory models used by funders. The resulting Funders’ Toolkit for Child and Youth Participation, co-created by an amazing group of young leaders, and with the guidance of an advisory committee and the ECFG Child and Youth Participation working group, is the first of its kind to offer support and guidance on the substantive “how-to” of child and youth participation - tailored specifically to funders.

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The evidence is clear that from the moment a child is conceived, they need their parents, caregivers, and/or families to survive, thrive, and meet their developmental potential. Earlier this year, the ECFG Parenting & Family Strengthening interest group identified the need to understand philanthropic investments that support the adults whose behaviors, skills, and well-being impact children’s development. ECFG commissioned this exercise to map foundation investments in parenting and caregiving across the Global South. This mapping explores the who, what, when, where, and how of these investments.

for parent, caregiver, and family support programs in the global south

Philanthropic funding

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Manufacturing Moral Panic in Alliance Magazine


ECFG Executive Director, Heather Hamilton, and Matty Hart of the Global Philanthropy Project were recently published in the December 2021 issue of Alliance Magazine with an article on how the "anti-gender" movement is impacting philanthropy across program areas and around the world.

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The Shifting Power in Grantmaking series was designed to help funders explore what shifting power means for them, and how they can value community action and agency in their grantmaking. This toolkit provides a workbook overview of the series, walking participants through pre-readings, webinar recordings, and exercises. 

To improve child and youth outcomes: the series toolkit

Shifting Power in Grantmaking

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Understanding the global south

key philanthropic trends, challenges and opportunities in asia, africa, and latin america

In early 2021, ECFG partnered with the International Education Funders’ Group (IEFG) to commission research designed to help us diversify our philanthropic support networks with more members from the Global South and to make our spaces more attractive and responsive to these new members. Through the research process, the team at Sattva Consulting identified a number of observations about philanthropy in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and offered insights about welcoming Global South funders into Global North philanthropic spaces. ECFG and IEFG were delighted to support the development of this report, as a resource for the broader philanthropic community.

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We are thrilled to share this new ECFG-funded report from the Funder Safeguarding Collaborative (FSC) on the challenges, positive practices, and opportunities for collaboration between funders on safeguarding. FSC helps grant-making organizations strengthen safeguarding within their own organizations and those they fund by connecting funders to safeguarding knowledge and best practices, creating peer learning spaces, and offering high-quality safeguarding support.

Challenges, positive practices, and opportunities for collaboration

FUNDER APproaches to safeguarding

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Strategic plan 2021-2023

a summary of ecfg's new strategic plan

With the expert help of I.G. Advisors, ECFG went through an ambitious and incredibly participatory strategic planning process through the first months of 2021, including extensive consultations with external stakeholders and a series of grantee focus groups. Together, we engaged in serious inquiry about the change we wanted to see in the world, how we thought that change might happen, and what actions we could take collectively to make the biggest impact. This summary document contains key outcomes from those efforts, including a new vision and mission for our collective work, an ecosystem level Theory of Change, and detailed goals and strategies for the next three years. 

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The objective of this study was to map current practices in philanthropic support for child and youth led work at the community level and provide strategic advice to donors on how to strengthen their funding modalities through participatory approaches. The recommendations from this process will pave the road for members to challenge their own practices; build on momentum to shift money down to the grassroots level; explore ways to influence the broader sector; and influence and shift the wider donor community thinking and approaches.

Philanthropy's role in strengthening child- and youth-led community rooted groups

shifting the field

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Manufacturing moral panic

weaponizing children to undermine gender justice and human rights

This new research, co-developed with the Global Philanthropy Project with the research team Sentiido, explores how gender-restrictive groups are using child protection rhetoric to manufacture moral panic and mobilize against human rights, and how this strengthens the illiberal politics currently undermining democracies. The report’s comparative analysis of case studies in Bulgaria, Ghana, and Perú underscores recurring strategies, narratives, and actors, and gives insight into how gender-restrictive groups collaborate and engage in cross-coalition work around the globe.

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Support LGBTI Youth

A series of resources

A series of resources from Elevate Children Funders Group and Global Philanthropy Project, including a video, social media cards, an infographic, and a presentation. 

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In September 2020, ECFG Executive Director Heather Hamilton interviewed six members of the network about their journey towards participatory philanthropy, particularly engaging children and youth. This is what they said. 

six foundations' journeys

participatory philanthropy

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Pulling back the curtain

What Do Non-Funders Think Are the Key Challenges, Needs, Gaps and Opportunities in Supporting Children and Young People Facing Adversity?

 It is a rare opportunity for non-funders to honestly and anonymously share with funders their candid feedback of what is working (and not). By sharing and learning together, we can both deepen our knowledge and ensure better outcomes for children and young people the world over.  

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A series of resources from Elevate Children Funders Group and Global Philanthropy Project, including country-specific policy briefs, social media cards, and infographics for Nepal and Haiti. 

A series of resources

Why Funding for Orphanages is Harming the Children it Aims to Help

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Program learning event

Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Children in Schools July 2015

Sponsored by the ECFG, a three-day Program Learning Event (PLE) on Violence against Children in and around Schools (VACiS) held in Kampala, Uganda from 14-16 July 2015, attracted 77 practitioners, donors, advocates, researchers and government representatives in the field of violence against children from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Germany, the United Kingdom and United States of America. The theme of the event was developing a common learning agenda on preventing and responding to VACiS.

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Young people are often among the most affected by conflict. But to engage with them solely as victims or perpetrators of war obscures the vital role they play
in peacebuilding, writes Ghazal Keshavarzian of Elevate Children Funders Group and Catherine Thompson of Peace and Security Funders Group.

Peacebuilding deeply article

To achieve lasting security, invest in young peacebuilders

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Strategic Plan 2017-2019

Elevating a Holistic Agenda for Children in Adversity - A Map for Philanthropy

In 2016, ECFG embarked on a strategic review process to refine key elements of its work and to increase its relevance to the philanthropic field. This process resulted in a three-year strategic plan launched in early 2017. This resource summarizes the strategic plan process and results.

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Member Publications

Are you an ECFG member with research or recent publications that you'd like us to share? Let us know!

Building a society for babies, toddlers and caregivers - a guide

an integrated policy brief

The early years is a window of opportunity to make a lasting impact on human lives. With the right support, governments can help babies and toddlers reach their full potential. Whether making policies for a nation or a village, this guide explains both why and how policymakers and practitioners can put young children first. It covers integrated policies and vital services to promote early child development, covering six key policy sectors: Health, Nutrition, Education, Social Protection, Urban Planning, and Labor and Employment.

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Climate change is especially dangerous for young children. Yet discussions about climate seldom refer to the fate of young children. They should. This edition of Bernard van Leer's Early Childhood Matters is dedicated to examining the many ways that climate change and early childhood intersect. Hear from leading policymakers, researchers, educators, urban planners and activists from around the world, about how to both develop ecological resilience and improve well-being in the early years.

the climate issue

Early childhood matters 2021

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sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism

the cambodian case

Sexual abuse of children occurs all over the world and global research indicates that risks occurring in the context of travel and tourism are increasing. No country is immune and new travel patterns and use of new technology create specific risks for children. This report is intended to provide updated knowledge on key dimensions of sexual abuse and exploitation in travel and tourism. The report describes the changing dynamics in Cambodia regarding child sexual abuse and exploitation in travel and tourism and provides a qualitative update of the current situation.

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Between March and August 2020, International Child Development Initiatives (ICDI), commissioned by UBS Optimus Foundation and GHR Foundation, conducted a review of measurement frameworks in Children’s Care. The goal was to analyze the potential for a common measurement framework that could support Children’s Care reform and system change to improve outcomes for vulnerable children.

A Review of Measurement Frameworks in Children’s Care

never only one zebra

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Community driven systems change

the power of grassroots led change for long term impact and how funders can nurture it

Between 2017 and 2020, Firelight embarked upon a learning journey to listen deeply to CBO grantee-partners & understand how to better support them in creating lasting change at the community level for children, youth, and families. Now, they are sharing these insights with the wider sector as a source of guidance to funders, INGOs, practitioners, and scholars. Both objectives were driven by a realization that there was limited documented and published evidence on how to strengthen the capacity and success of CBOs, especially from the perspectives of CBOs themselves.

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In 2019, the Fund for Global Human Rights partnered with Purposeful, a feminist movement-building hub for adolescent girls, to pilot a participatory grant-making initiative in Sierra Leone aimed at promoting youth leadership and amplifying the voices of young people. This report captures the many valuable lessons about how to foster genuine participation of children and young people.

lessons learned from the tar kura initiative

youth participatory grant-making in sierra leone

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Early Childhood Matters

Advances in early childhood development

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the enormous gaps between communities, cities, regions and nation states. To shape a better future, investing in early childhood needs to remain a priority for all governments and societies. Front and centre of Bernard van Leer's Early Childhood Matters are resounding calls to action from global leaders and experts to ensure that young children, families, frontline workers and cities continue to thrive. The 33 articles included this year demonstrate a diversity of projects, programs, and policies on how to address several of todays’ challenges impacting babies, toddlers and their caregivers.

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Vulnerable and marginalised youth in Montreal face a complex interconnectivity of barriers to accessing crucial health-promotion tools, including: mental health services, housing, and education and employment options as they transition to adulthood. Through a combination of interviews with stakeholders in the youth-serving nonprofit sector, and contextual research into social determinants of health and institutional exclusion for Canadian youth, this report analyzes three Key Issues and their impacts on the immediate and long-term well-being of youth in Montreal. 

an analysis of key issues and community assets

Effectively supporting Montreal youth on the margins

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Resources in your inbox.

Our Secretariat team curates a newsletter of thematic resources, research, and evidence for the field, delivered monthly to your inbox.