On December 13, 2017, Watchlist participated in the Children in Adversity Stakeholder Symposium, hosted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, DC. The symposium brought together experts from a range of fields, including development, health, human rights, and child protection, to take stock of the US Government’s Action Plan on Children in Adversity (APCA).

The US strategy for international assistance for children, the APCA is a five-year plan (2012-2017) that seeks to address three main objectives: build strong beginnings, put family care first, and protect children. Under the coordination of USAID, several US government agencies, in collaboration with civil society partners, the UN, and other technical experts, implemented the APCA.

At the symposium, stakeholders, including representatives from international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), health care and education professionals, and staff from government agencies such as USAID and the State Department, identified some of the progress the APCA had made during the implementation period, as well as the challenges it faced. Watchlist and partners working in humanitarian emergency situations noted the challenges of addressing the needs of children in these types of contexts, especially given the strategy’s broader scope, which included development contexts.

Participants also discussed possible ways forward for the development of a new strategy. Among issues discussed was the need for multi-sectoral, integrated approaches to respond to children’s health, education, and protection needs.