Sharing perspectives in newborn and child health

On 4 December 2023 representatives from international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), other third-sector organisations and academia gathered at Christ Church’s Research Centre to share their perspectives and experience in the field of neonatal and paediatric health.

The event, ‘Learning from Evaluations of Projects and Programmes in Newborn and Child Health’, was convened by Professor Mike English, Senior Associate Research Fellow at Christ Church. Professor English planned the event in the wake of discussions he had with two INGO colleagues regarding the challenges they have faced in learning from evaluations made of paediatric health projects and programmes. They decided to bring together a group of experts from across the third sector and academia to discuss these issues in person, with interactive pre-reading framing objectives and areas for discussion during the day.

A presentation at the conference

The Research Centre provided an ideal location for the participatory event, with short presentations from attendees, two 'fishbowl'-style discussions, in-depth group discussions, a networking lunch and tea breaks. 

Dinner following the conference

The fishbowl discussions were a particular highlight of the day (think: BBC Question Time meets your own living room), where a handful of the participants were invited to sit in a small circle, whilst others were encouraged to stand around this circle for the discussion. A single empty chair allowed those standing to take up a seat, thereby displacing someone else, and for the 'inner circle' to evolve. 

The relaxed, respectful and enjoyable space led to valuable sharing of insights and debate throughout the day. Participants found many commonalities and a shared vision, with ideas emerging around how learning from the evaluation of projects and programmes might be enhanced to improve newborn and child health.