The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 1038–1052 | Cite as

Protecting Children in Low- and Middle-Income Countries from Abuse and Neglect: Critical Challenges for Successful Implementation of Parenting Programmes

  • Anilena Mejia
  • Divna Haslam
  • Matthew R. Sanders
  • Nicole Penman
Special Issue Article


Child maltreatment in low- and middle-income countries overburdens health systems, compromises education, perpetuates gender inequalities and slows down development. Research suggests that parenting programmes are effective for the early prevention of child maltreatment. However, wide deployment in LMICs where violence towards children is high is yet to take place. In this overview article, we identify some critical challenges that LMICs currently face in ensuring the sustained implementation of parenting programmes for the early prevention of child maltreatment. The article is structured in three main sections: (1) a brief review of the effectiveness of parenting programmes for preventing child maltreatment; (2) a discussion of the critical challenges in LMICs for the widespread and sustained implementation of parenting programmes; and (3) we propose recommendations to promote effective implementation in these countries. We also suggest a series of steps to overcome these challenges, such as investing on capacity-building for sustainability.


parenting low- and middle-income countries child maltreatment implementation prevention science 

La maltraitance des enfants dans les pays à faible et à moyen revenu entraînent une surcharge des systèmes de santé, compromettent l’éducation, perpétuent les inégalités entre les sexes et ralentissent le développement. Les études sur la question montrent que les programmes d’éducation parentale sont efficaces pour la prévention précoce de la maltraitance des enfants. Cependant, un passage à l’échelle dans les pays à faible et à moyen revenu où la violence à l’égard les enfants est fréquente n’est pas encore une réalité. Dans cet article de synthèse, nous identifions certains défis majeurs auxquels font actuellement face les pays à faible et à moyen revenu pour assurer la mise en œuvre durable de programmes d’éducation parentale visant à la prévention précoce des maltraitance des enfants. L’article est structuré en trois sections principales: 1) une brève revue de l’efficacité des programmes d’éducation parentale visant à la prévention de la maltraitance des enfants; 2) une discussion sur les défis majeurs dans les pays à faible et à moyen revenu pour la mise en œuvre à l’échelle et durable des programmes d’éducation parentale; et enfin 3) nous proposons des recommandations pour promouvoir une mise en œuvre efficace dans ces pays. Nous proposons également une série de mesures pour relever ces défis, par exemple en investissant dans le renforcement des capacités pour la durabilité.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anilena Mejia
    • 1
  • Divna Haslam
    • 2
  • Matthew R. Sanders
    • 2
  • Nicole Penman
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT)Panama 5Panama
  2. 2.Parenting and Families Support CentreThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.The Energy and Poverty Research GroupThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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