The Foundation started to work in Côte d’Ivoire in 2015. Our overall objectives in the country are to test and scale up different permutations of Parents+, and to increase political commitment to and financial investment in early childhood development among the government, international development funders and the cocoa industry.
Our main strategic partnership so far is with Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC), along with the Jacobs Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation and the national government. TRECC has five pillars of action:
- Pilot to scale: grant-matching for cocoa companies to partner with NGOs on parent coaching projects
- Research: studies to develop robust data about the state of young children in Côte d’Ivoire
- Policy strengthening: working towards a national, cross-sector policy and action plan for early childhood development
- Capacity building: developing the skills to design and manage large-scale early childhood programmes
- Engagement: bringing in additional funding for early childhood development.
As part of TRECC, a December 2017 agreement with the Power of Nutrition saw the start of the Multisectoral Nutrition and Child Development Project – the first large-scale government programme in the country to bundle nutrition with parenting support.
Also under the rubric of our Parents+ programme, we are working together with the Aga Khan Foundation to explore how Filtisac, an Abidjan-based packaging company, can support its employees in their role as parents. The choice to work in Côte d’Ivoire – our first engagement in Francophone Africa – was made as part of a strategic planning process that sought deliberately to select a representative range of countries, spanning cultures, geographies and income levels.