Lucie Cluver and Jamie Lachman win ESRC Panel’s Choice award

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Many congratulations to Professor Lucie Cluver and Dr Jamie Lachman for winning this year’s Economic and Social Research Council Panel’s Choice award for COVID-19 parenting emergency response: supporting 197.8 million families globally.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) awards are given to researchers whose work has made an outstanding difference to society and the economy. The Panel’s Choice award is given to a finalist whose work that shows great promise and is expected to reach its full impact in future.

Dr Jamie Lachman and Professor Lucie Cluver’s COVID-19 Playful Parenting Resources have reached more than 197 million people around the world since March 2020, helping to reduce violence against children and improving child wellbeing during the pandemic.

You can watch Professor Cluver and Dr Lachman discuss the inception and development of the project, and the impact it has had, at the Social Sciences Division YouTube Channel.

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered unprecedented stress for families around the world, with the pressures of lockdowns, economic crises, and mental health distress corresponding to a significant increase in violence against children. With school closure leaving some 1.8 billion children out of school, Dr Lachman and Professor Cluver pivoted rapidly to form an interagency emergency response: in collaboration with international partners, they adapted their evidence-based Parenting for Lifelong Health programmes into easily accessible ‘playful parenting resources’, which were swiftly endorsed by multinational agencies including the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, UNODC, USAID, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Early Childhood Development Action Network, and the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

Reacting to their award, Dr Lachman and Professor Cluver said:

This award is for the work of a team of incredibly dedicated people – who dropped everything at the start of the pandemic and committed themselves to supporting families and preventing child abuse. We are so grateful to our donors: UKRI ESRC and GCRF, the Oak Foundation, LEGO Foundation, the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, and the Human Safety Net Foundation. And to every parent who is stressed due to COVID-19 (which is every parent in the world) we hope you can take a moment to praise yourself for making it this far. You are doing an amazing job in such a difficult time.