European Impact Award for new Nuffield Fellow

26 Sept 19

European Impact Award for new Nuffield Fellow

Nuffield Professorial Fellow Lucie Cluver was presented with a Horizon Impact Award from the European Commission in Brussels earlier today.

The award is the European Commission's initiative to recognise and celebrate outstanding projects that have used their results to provide value for society. It aims to show the wider socio-economic benefits of EU investment in research and innovation.

Lucie was the Principal Investigator of the winning ‘Parenting for Lifelong Health’ teen project, which she worked on with colleagues from the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, Frances Gardner, Inge Wessels, Jamie Lachman and Ohad Green, as well as Cathy Ward from the University of Cape Town and Lulu Ngcobo (Clowns Without Borders South Africa).

Lucie joined Nuffield this month as Professorial Fellow in Sociology alongside new Professorial Fellow in Politics, Andrew Thompson.

More information about the project: 'SAFE' (Stopping Abuse through Free Evidence)

Child abuse is highest in the developing world, with severe lifetime consequences. Through an ERC Starter Grant and Proof of Concept Grant, we developed and tested a free, effective parenting program that is now delivered in 21 developing countries. By 2021, it will reach an estimated two million children in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

From 2013 to 2018, we worked closely with UNICEF, the World Health Organization, USAID, African governments, and families themselves. They identified a major unmet need: for an evidence-based, open-access parenting program for low-resource settings. We developed a group-based program, delivered by local community members. This supports family relationships, shares alternatives to violent arguments, helps families budget despite extreme poverty and supports their plans to protect children inside and outside the home.

A gold-standard randomized trial of the program in 40 South African sites found 48% less physical and emotional abuse, reduced alcohol use, caregiver stress, depression and alcohol use. It improved parental involvement, supervision and economic welfare: families in the program were less likely to run out of food at the end of each month (Cluver et al, 2018).

The child and adolescent versions of the program are now freely available on the WHO and UNICEF websites. They are endorsed by the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and USAID. Program uptake includes NGOs and governments in Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, the Czech Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Macedonia, Malawi, Moldova, Montenegro, the Philippines, Romania, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Zimbabwe. New adaptations with USAID will reach an estimated new 1.5 million children each year, with sustained benefits as programs are embedded within national services. Horizon 2020 research has made these children’s lives more supported, secure and safe.

The original version of the news story was published on the website of the Oxford University Department of Social Policy and Intervention.