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University of North Carolina and ChildFund Commission Innovation Lab

  UNC Innovation lab

ChildFund has formed a partnership with the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health to improve the lives and health of vulnerable children from birth to age 2.

The Innovation Lab will develop and test in two countries an evidence-based program that can be scaled up globally across ChildFund’s projects in 31 countries.

Peggy Bentley, Ph.D., nutrition professor and associate dean for global health, will lead the program, and Cyril Engmann, M.D., neonatologist in UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and adjunct assistant professor of maternal and child health at the public health school, is co-principal investigator. Other faculty with expertise in safe water and sanitation, child development, injury and violence prevention, implementation science, curriculum development, breastfeeding and weaning, and monitoring and evaluation will contribute expertise as the work develops.

“We are tremendously excited about this opportunity to build a partnership and a program that makes a huge impact on children’s lives during their most critical period of growth and development,” Bentley says.

“The partnership provides a unique opportunity for Carolina faculty members and students to partner with ChildFund to transform the lives of millions of mothers and children, utilizing rigorous, evidence-based methods,” adds Engmann.

Anne Lynam Goddard, ChildFund’s president and CEO, and an alumna of the school, believes the UNC-ChildFund partnership will add tremendous value to both organizations. “Our collaboration links ChildFund’s unique assets and approaches with cutting-edge practice, helping us achieve our core intent to improve the lives of deprived, excluded and vulnerable children worldwide,” she says. “Our work together will advance the state of the art in child development, addressing gaps in knowledge and practice for global impact beyond the reach of either institution. This supports our goal of promoting societies that value, protect and advance the rights of children.”