About Us

The Early Childhood Rights Indicators (ECRI) project was an initiative accomplished with the participation of many global partners and international agencies, while Drs Clyde Hertzman and Ziba Vaghri led the team and acted as the secretariat of the project during their tenure at the University of British Columbia. ECRI is a global tool to facilitate the monitoring and implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for children ages 0-8.

Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP)

HELP acts as the secretariat of the GC7 project.


Clyde Hertzman, (OC),MD, MSc - Human Early Learning Partnership (Canada)

Dr. Hertzman, Founding Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP); former Canada Research Chair in Population Health and Human Development and Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. Nationally, Dr. Hertzman was a Senior Fellow of the Experience-based Brain and Biological Development Programme and the Successful Societies Programs of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and he held an honorary appointment at the Institute for Child Health, University College, London.

Dr. Hertzman played a central role in creating a framework that links population health to human development, emphasizing the special role of early childhood development as a determinant of health. His research contributed to international, national, provincial, and community initiatives for healthy child development. He was the recipient of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 2010 Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013.

Dr. Hertzman passed away suddenly in February 2013. His legacy continues as this work advances under the umbrella of Dr Vaghri’s GlobalChild Program of Research.


Ziba Vaghri, BN, MSC, PhD - University of Victoria (Canada)

Ziba has spent three decades in different areas of child health and development. She holds a doctoral degree in Human Nutrition, with a special focus on Pediatric Nutrition from the University of British Columbia. She was the Director and cofounder of the International Program of Human Early Learning Partnership (I-HELP) at UBC (2008-2014). Ziba was in the front line of the team of GC7 indicators and during her Directorship I-HELP acted as the secretariat of this project. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy in the Faculty of Human and Social Development at University of Victoria. Ziba is the lead author of the implementation manual for “The Indicators of General Comment 7”. This manual is the source document which this site has been based on. Ziba was also the lead researcher behind the idea of digitizing the Indicators of General Comment 7 and creating the Early Childhood Rights Indicators (ECRI). She developed the idea, secured funding for, and directed the entire process of developing ECRI and the projects that piloted ECRI in Tanzania (2009-2010), Chile (2011-2012), and the province of British Columbia of Canada (2015-2016). In 2014 Ziba was the successful recipient of the prestigious Scholar Award of Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), in recognition of her work in linking child development and child rights. In September of 2016, Ziba secured a $1.15 million research grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to develop GlobalChild: a comprehensive child rights monitoring platform to assist all 196 States parties to CRC with the important task of reporting on the implementation of CRC for all children below the age of 18. She is currently developing the GlobalChild Program of Research at the University of Victoria.

Partner Organisations of the GC7 team


Adem Arkadas, BA, MA - International Children’s Center (Turkey)

Adem serves as Child Rights Policy and Advocacy Officer at the International Children's Center, running child rights advocacy initiatives. He holds an MA in Human Rights from the University of Essex and a BSc in Political Science from the Middle East Technical University. Adem is a member of the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and the International Society for Child Indicators, and also a member of the Governing Board of the South East Europe Child Rights Action Network (SEECRAN). Adem's main areas of interest are monitoring the implementation of human rights normative framework including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and human rights impact assessment. Adem plays a key role in data analyses and interpretation of the GC7 Indicators pilot data. Adem is a lead author with Ziba Vaghri of the implementation manual for "The Indicators of General Comment 7."


Caroline Arnold, BA - Aga Khan Foundation (Switzerland)

Caroline Arnold has worked in education for 30 years and has spent most of that time in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. She has worked for international NGOs, such as UNICEF, and universities in London and the Pacific as well as working closely with the Consultative Group for Early Childhood Care and Development. For the past 6 years she has been Co-Director of the Education Program at the Aga Khan Foundation based in Geneva. She is the author of numerous publications (research studies, handbooks, training manuals, policy articles) in the area of Early Childhood Development and Early Primary Education.


Lothar Krappmann, PhD - United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Past Member (Germany)

Lothar was a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) from 2003-2011. He studied Sociology, Philosophy, and Modern History at universities in Frankfurt a.M. and Cologne, and took his doctorate in Sociology at the Freie Universität Berlin. Until his retirement he was a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Human Development in Berlin. His main field of research is the social, emotional, and moral development of children in family, school, kindergarten and day care institutions, with special interests in vulnerable groups of children, particularly children growing up in poverty. He remains involved in a number of activities and programmes promoting citizenship education and children's participation in kindergarten and school, and served on advisory boards to research institutions, social welfare organizations, and governmental agencies.


Meena Cabral de Mello, PhD - World Health Organization, Retired (Switzerland)

Meena is an international expert and advisor with over 25 years of experience in providing policy, technical, and programmatic support to Ministries of Health, UN agencies and intergovernmental organisations, NGOs and scientific and professional groups in the areas of: early childhood development as a social determinant of health and wellbeing across the life course; integration of child development interventions into health policies and programmes in resource poor settings; mental health policies and programmes with special emphasis on vulnerable groups (children and adolescents suffering from disrupted nurturing; people living in poverty; populations affected by HIV/AIDS; and people affected by trauma, conflict and displacement); and mental health consequences of violence, abuse and discrimination on women and children in the home and community environments and the development of international and national policy for mainstreaming gender issues in health with a life course perspective. Until 2012, Meena led the Child and Adolescent Health Department of the World Health Organization and was the focal person on Early Childhood Development.


Marcus Marcellus Stahlhofer, LLB - World Health Organization (Switzerland)

Marcus Stahlhofer is Human Rights Adviser for the Department of Child and Adolescent Health (CAH) at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. He coordinates the work of the WHO in the area of children’s rights, and is responsible for the integration and application of international human rights norms and standards to various aspects of the Organization’s work on child and adolescent health. His work ranges from training WHO staff, Government officials and health professionals to developing and implementing rights-based guidelines and tools to strengthen national legal and policy environments to support child and adolescent health policies and programmes. Prior to his post with the WHO, Mr Stahlhofer worked as a volunteer and human rights specialist in refugee camps in Croatia during the armed conflict, and worked at UNAIDS as associate human rights adviser. He holds degrees in International Relations and International Human Rights Protection from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University of Kent at Canterbury.


Nurper Ulkuer, PhD - UNICEF, Retired (United States)

Until 2012, Nurper was Senior Advisor for Early Childhood Development (ECD) and the Head of the ECD Unit/Programmes at UNICEF New York Head Quarters. She started her career as an Associate Professor and the Chair of Child Development at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey. Her professional interest is in policy planning and advocacy for quality child development programmes for children and families, especially for families in need of immediate support.


Louise Zimanyi, MEd - The Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development (Canada)

Louise Zimanyi has been working in the area of ECCD and adult education for the past 20 years or so in the areas of programming (0-8), teaching and training, both within Canada and globally. For the past 10 years, she has been leading the Consultative Group on ECCD, a global consortium of partners, established in 1984, working to facilitate a broad-based understanding of the importance of early childhood for social development and poverty reduction and to advocate for improved investments, policies and actions to support the holistic development of young children. Key activities include convening an annual consultation, publication of the Coordinators’ Notebook and other briefs, convening of thematic working groups, dissemination of information through the CG website, advocacy in key fora and supporting ECCD in the regions, primarily through existing/emerging networks and platforms.


The team of GC7 indicators and all of its partner agencies would like to express their deepest gratitude to all employees, volunteers, and other contributors who helped us during different stages of this project.