Article 16 (3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. Investing in family policies and mainstreaming a family perspective in policy making creates the conditions for families to perform their functions which support society and a nation’s economic competitiveness. Yet despite their contribution to society and overall development, families are rarely considered when policies are made. This session will discuss why the family should be a priority for policy makers and the social and economic implications, when for whatever reasons, families fail.
Family and Poverty
Families affected by a range of different circumstances may have insufficient means to meet basic needs. This often sharply reduces their children’s opportunities to succeed in education and employment and thereby allowing them to break cycles of intergenerational poverty. This session will consider why it is important to use the family as the unit of analysis when designing efforts to alleviate poverty, and will also look at policies and good practices for confronting family poverty.
Family and Work Balance
Work-family balance policies aim to support working parents in being productive individuals while ensuring the physical and emotional well-being of their children. Nearly all countries have implemented some policies aiming to support reconciliation of work and family life but their types, coverage and effectiveness vary. This session will discuss how to design effective policies to support family work balance and will look at policies and good practices.
Family and Intergenerational Ties
As the most basic social institution, the family is the natural and essential social structure in which intergenerational solidarity is created and reinforced. During the past decades there have been significant changes in demographic behavior that affect intergenerational relations. In light of these changes, intergenerational bonds among family members may be even more important today than in the past. This session will explore how intergenerational solidarity could be strengthened through public policies and actions and will consider policies and good practices.
Families in Special Circumstances
Families who are refugees, living in war zones, fleeing natural disasters or coping with large-scale death due to diseases such as HIV/AIDS are living in extreme sets of circumstances, which can put intolerable burdens on them and make it impossible for them to perform their essential functions. Given the long-term impact on the well-being of an adult, their ability to contribute to society and also its impact on children this session will consider the required actions by national governments and international community to support families in these circumstances.
Families and the Post 2015 Development Agenda
The Millennium Declaration and the MDG framework have inspired development efforts, helped set global and national priorities and galvanized unprecedented actions to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. The Millennium Declaration did not mention the family although the majority of the Millennium Development targets are difficult to attain unless the strategies to achieve them focus on the family. This might be due to the fact that the family is often viewed as a recipient rather than a contributor to development .Since the 20th anniversary of the IYF is coming at the eve of the target year (2015) of the MDGs, this session will discuss the need to stress the role of the family as a contributor to sustainable development in the ongoing efforts to achieve the current and future United Nations development goals.
Family and Gender Equality
Gender equality is a human right and a cornerstone for development. The treatment of women in the family and society must uphold the principle of gender equality. This session will discuss how to advance women’s equality in the family and society without overly focusing on the rights of one of the sexes over the other and will explore the need for a relational perspective to issues of gender which emphasizes the importance of gender equality for building strong societies and healthy families.
Men in Families
Men have been traditionally seen as economic providers for the family and their other contributions to the family were ignored. Many family policies unintentionally presumed men to be absent from the family and/or do not fulfill their expected family responsibilities. Thereby, men were excluded from policy considerations. This session will consider the contribution of men to the family and the impact of absence of males and particularly fathers for family well-being whether this is involuntary or voluntary.
Family Data and Research
In order for governments to understand and design polices to meet the needs of families, updated cross sectorial national statistics and data on the situation of families and children are essential. Reliable studies are also required to determine the scale of the problems families face, and trusted analyses should be available of the underlying drivers. This session will discuss and assess the availability of statistics, data and families as well as how they can be improved to inform policy design and implementation.
National Institutions and Family Policy
Countries need to define and strengthen national mechanisms that address family policies and mainstream a family perspective in public policies. They also need to adopt a comprehensive range of “family policies” which all explicitly aim to support family functions. This session will look at these institutions, their roles and challenges they face. It will also discuss the design and implementation of family policies and how it could be enhanced.
Family and Civil Society
Civil society plays an important role in defining the family agenda at the national and international levels. Non-governmental organizations provide essential ‘connective tissue’ between the families whose benefit is being sought by policies and the national (and local) governments who have directed their implementation. This session will consider the role of civil society organizations in family policy making through promotion, implementation and monitoring of family policies and programs. It will also discuss how the partnerships between civil society and governments can be improved.
Open Program 1
World Family Map Launch of Findings .... read more
The Doha International Family Institute partnered in the 2014 World Family Map Project. The project produces an annual World Family Map that provides numerous family indicators; determines how family strengths are related to important social, economic, and health outcomes; and explores various factors that strengthen or undermine family life. This open program will launch the 2014 report which examines how family structure and poverty affects children’s health outcomes in dozens of countries in the developed and developing world
Open Program 2
Family Impact Seminars (Best Practices) ... read more
The Family Impact Seminars are a series of presentations, briefing reports, and discussion sessions for communicating high-quality, objective research to policymakers. Operating in 25 states in the USA, the Seminars encourage policymakers to view policies through the lens of family impact, and provide nonpartisan opportunities for policymakers to engage in open dialogue for fostering relationships and finding common ground. The program will highlight best practices for using research to build better public policy for families.