Global Initiatives

The Center for Child and Human Development is deeply committed to Georgetown’s role as a global university to address issues of equity, inclusion, and social justice. Through training, technical assistance, research, workforce development, and advocacy, our faculty and staff globally carry forth our Center’s mission to create equitable and inclusive societies. Building on our domestic work in early childhood, disability, cultural competence, behavioral health, and gender equity, our programs have touched all regions of the world.

Over the decades, our technical assistance activities have had a profound impact. For example, starting in the 1990s, we became a partner for reformers working in early childhood education to establish more democratic societies in more than 30 Central and Eastern European countries. As cofounders of the International Step by Step Program, we established and continue to support developmentally oriented preschool programs that emphasize critical thinking as an underpinning of building democracies throughout Central and Eastern Europe. More recently, we have provided consultation, professional development, and technical assistance to two universities in Australia and the United Kindom. Our faculty helped the University of Sydney to establish its own National Centre for Cultural Competence focused on embedding cultural competence in teaching, research, and engagement with an emphasis on Indigenous peoples. At the University of Exeter, in partnership with the Provost and Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, we conducted a Community of Practice in Cultural Competence for faculty and staff as a component of the University's diversity and inclusion efforts.

Currently we are addressing the global mental health crisis for children and families. Through our global training initiatives, the Center has fostered certificate programs in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the Early Childhood Authority and in Azerbaijan with United Aid for Azerbaijan. Additionally, we have collaborated with government and non-governmental agencies and intervention programs throughout Europe (Poland, Greece, United Kingdom), the Gulf Region (Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, United Arab Emirates), and Latin America enrolling students in our virtual Georgetown Early Intervention Certificate Program.

To further our global mission, our Center is host to international visiting scholars interested in collaborating on research, training, and technical assistance activities that explore contemporary topics in support of children, adults, and families. To that end, we have partnered with organizations like the China Scholarship Council, Fulbright International, and a number of similar groups. Our faculty serve on a range of advisory groups and support a range of international organizations including the World Bank, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations (UN). Working closely with the United Nations Scientific, Educational, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), our center Is home to a UNESCO Chair promoting disability and gender equity in over 190 country with culturally diverse frameworks, as well as addressing the globally neglected issues of young children.

In 2020, our center established a gender and health strand with a strong global focus and a research portfolio addressing social norms, reproductive health, and gender-based violence, primarily in several African countries, leaving a legacy of significant findings. Our US Afghan Women’s Council, a public-private partnership whose mission is to mobilize the public and private sector to support Afghan women and girls and address gender equity issues related to health, education, entrepreneurship, and leadership, joined this strand.

Afgan girls holding little Afgan flags

Selected Activities

Research and Evaluation

  • The Passages Project Project - a USAID-funded, seven-year implementation research project aimed at addressing a broad range of social norms to achieve sustained improvements in voluntary family planning, reproductive health, and gender-based violence.
  • The Most Vulnerable Generation: Developmental and Mental Health Challenges of Syrian Children - a Georgetown University, Global Health Initiative that examined the services and supports available to young children with disabilities who reside outside Syria, specifically in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.

Technical Assistance

Selected Resources

Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development is a designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.