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New Childwatch International Board 2013

A new 10-member Board for Childwatch has been elected by Childwatch Key Institutions for a three year term. The new board’s membership reflects the global reach of Childwatch and the broad range of expertise within the Child Research community.

Childwatch International Key Institutions have elected a new board, comprised of 6 new members and 4 re-elected members. 8 of the 10 members represent Childwatch Key Institutions. The members will serve in their personal capacity for a term of three years.

Over the next few weeks the board will meet over video conference to elect the new President and Vice Presidents of the Childwatch board.


New Childwatch International Board 2013.

New additions to the CW board:

Aida Essaid Information and Research Center /King Hussein Foundation - Jordan

Dr. Aida Essaid is the Director of the Information and Research Center (IRC) - King Hussein Foundation, a leading applied research establishment for effective socio­economic planning and decision making in Jordan and the Middle East which was initially launched in 1996 as part of the National Task Force for Children. She founded the Jordanian coalition; My Nationality is the Right of My Family, which advocates for the rights of Jordanian women married to foreigners, and in which she now serves as a member of the Steering Committee. Dr. Essaid has also served as the Senior Coordinator for the West Asia ­ North Africa (WANA) Forum in Jordan.


Maria Cristina García Vesga – CINDE, The International Center for Education and Human Development  –Colombia

Maria Cristina García Vesga is Member of the Board of Directors of CINDE and she teaches in the  Ph.D program on Social Sciences, Childhood and Youth of CINDE in agreement with the University of Manizales. She has been Director of the Research Line on Early Childhood and Child Rearing Practices and presently is directing several research works. She also serves as an advisor and consultant at the national and international level in the Design and Evaluation of Childhood Training programs.


Shanaaz Mathews - Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town South Africa

Associate Professor Shanaaz Mathews is the director of the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town. She is a specialist public health researcher and has a PhD in Public Health. She was previously with the South African Medical Research Council’s Gender & Health Research Unit. She is a founding member of the Western Cape Network on Violence against Women and was chair of the network 1999 – 2000, and vice-chair from 2000 – 2002. Associate Professor Shanaaz Mathews has 25 years’ experience of the women’s and children’s sectors and has worked within civil society organisations, as an academic, and as an advocate for the women and children’s rights.


Asha Bajpai Tata Institute – India

Dr. Asha Bajpai is the Dean and Professor of Law of the School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, India. She is a PhD in Law with specialization on Child Rights. Her PhD thesis was on the ‘Best Interest of the Child in the Indian Legal System’ She has been involved in, teaching, research, training and legislative reform, for more than two decades. She was the lead writer of the Victim Witness Protocol for victims and witnesses of child trafficking for exploitation in South Asia. She has been designing and conducting training programs for the police, judiciary and other law enforcement agencies on child protection and law.


Graciela Tonón -  UNI-COM, Faculty of Social Sciencies, Universidad Nacional de lomas de Zamora - Argentina

Dr. Tonon, is currently the Director of  UNI-COM (community-university relations) and the Quality of Life Post-doctoral Studies Program, University of Lomas de Zamora.  She is professor at the Doctoral Program in Psychology in University of Palermo, Argentina. She is professor in two public universities at the periphery of Buenos Aires (University of Lomas de Zamora and University of La Matanza). She has been tutor of the CWI Diplomas for young researchers coordinated by CINDE. She directs doctoral thesis and is international tutor of students in the Doctoral Program in Social Sciences, Childhood and Youth (U. Manizales- CINDE, Colombia).


Bame Nsamenang – Human Development Resource Centre - Cameroon

Bame Nsamenang is professor of psychology and counselling at the University of Bamenda, Cameroon, and Head of the University Cooperation Division. He is a visiting professor to national and foreign institutions and is the founding director of the Human Development Resource Centre (, which hosts an Africa-centric international initiative for research and publishing of literature and educative tools. Nsamenang is a leading African developmental scientist who is well connected to global scientific and professional networks within which he strives to garner opportunities for Africa's emerging scholars and strategizes to bring Africa's developmental and educative knowledges into Western-dominated scientific discourses and literature.


Re-elected to the board are:

Nicki Taylor – Childrens Issue's Centre  - New Zealand

Associate Professor Nicola Taylor is the Director of the Children’s Issues Centre at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She also holds the Alexander McMillan Chair in Childhood Studies and has a part-appointment in the Faculty of Law. Nicola has a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) degree, a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree, a PhD, and has been admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. She has worked at the Centre since its inception in 1995, leads the Centre’s postgraduate teaching programme and supervises students enrolled in the Masters in Childhood and Youth Studies and PhD programmes. Nicola has a particular interest in socio-legal research with children, parents and professionals.


Norma del Río - Research Program on Infancy and Childhood, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana -Mexico

Professor Norma Del Río Lugo is a researcher and professor of Psychology in the Department of Education and Communication at the Metropolitan Autonomous University-Xochimilco (UAM) in Mexico City. Del Río is cofounder and current director of the Interdisciplinary Research Program on Childhood at UAM, a key institution in CWI. She is currently coordinating a permanent online seminar on First Infancy in the Public Space, with a monthly conference and discussion with a Latin American expert ( with an average audience of fifteen interdisciplinary research groups from different countries and states of Mexico. 


Elisabeth Backe-Hansen - NOVA (Norwegian Social Research) - Norway

Elisabeth Backe-Hansen is researcher I (professor) at Norwegian Social Research (NOVA), where she has been working since the Institute was established in 1996. She is a psychologist by education, and started her career as a clinical psychologist within the field of child protection. As a researcher she has worked with child welfare issues, but also with child and youth research. She was a member of the Norwegian Ethics Committee for the Social Sciences and the Humanities for nine years, with a special focus on involving children and young people in research. Her doctoral dissertation analyzed the ways child welfare workers justify out-of-home placement from a decision-theoretical perspective.


Roger Hart - Children's Environments Research Group, The Graduate Center of the City - U.S.A

Roger Hart is a Professor of Psychology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is also Director of the Center for Human Environments and Co-Director of the Children’s Environments Research Group (CERG): His research has focused on understanding the everyday lives of children and youth and, to this end, he has designed many methodologies for working with young people of all ages. Roger is currently involved in two multi-nation research programs with CERG, both of them conceived from the start as Childwatch International projects. Child Friendly Places ( and Article 15: Supporting children’s rights and capacities to self-organize ( ).




Tags: Childwatch International, new members, announcement, Board By Natalia Qvortrup
Published Oct. 21, 2013 1:25 PM - Last modified Oct. 28, 2013 11:17 AM