April 28, 2023

One Child Every Child

A Canada-first research initiative, with a vision for all Canadian children to be the healthiest, most empowered and thriving in the world

The Government of Canada is investing $125 million for child health and wellness research, helping launch the One Child Every Child initiative.

The Canada First Excellence Research Fund support for One Child Every Child was announced today in Montreal. Led by the University of Calgary, institutional research partners also include the University of Alberta, through the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI).

Children in Canada and across the world face disparities, barriers and impositions that prevent them from living their brightest and fullest lives. In 2020, UNICEF ranked Canada 30th out of 38 wealthy countries in child health and wellness. This failing is most pronounced for Indigenous children, exacerbated by a history of colonialism and systemic racism.

To address this, One Child Every Child brings together Indigenous partners, Canada’s child health research institutes, equity-deserving communities, local and national stakeholders, as well as global collaborators. 

“This investment is an amazing opportunity to build a transformational research program aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of children – in Alberta, across Canada, and around the globe,” says Sandra Davidge, Executive Director, WCHRI.

A story of partnership. 

Parallel paths shape, inform and guide all aspects of One Child Every Child, setting it apart from any research initiative ever attempted.

One Child Every Child will focus on improving the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, infants and pre-schoolers to ensure better beginnings. It will investigate precision health and wellness, improving the journey from diagnosis through treatment for kids with chronic and complex medical needs. And it will support children with neurodevelopmental and mental health conditions to help them shift from vulnerable to thriving.

A story of community.

One Child Every Child’s EDI action plan identifies three priorities: Indigenous self-determination and health equity, inclusive governance, and disrupting child health inequities through an intersectional lens. 

“We met with equity-deserving organizations across Canada as we wrote our plan,” says Bukola Salami, a professor in the Faculty of Nursing and WCHRI member. “The voices and priorities of these national partners will allow us to accelerate outcomes for equity-deserving children.”

This initiative will build the foundation for global excellence and leadership in research to enable every Canadian child and community to thrive.

More than 130 organizations across 25 countries are partnering for the initiative, including the Azrieli Foundation, UNICEF Canada, Children’s Healthcare Canada and the national network Inspiring Healthy Futures. Investments from all partners bring total research support for the project to $268 million. 

With files from the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the University of Calgary.

Read the University of Calgary’s announcement.