The SDG Impact of COVID-19: The view of Mark Waddington, CEO of Hope and Homes for Children

21st April 2020

In this segment, RELX’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, Dr Márcia Balisciano, talks to Mark Waddington, CEO of Hope and Homes for Children. 

Hope and Homes is a global expert in the field of de-institutionalisation. By closing institutions, supporting children into loving, stable families and working with governments to tackle the root causes of family breakdown, the charity are working towards a day where orphanages have been eliminated for good.

Mark has 27 years’ experience working in the humanitarian and international development sectors, of which sixteen years have been as a CEO - eight years running Hope and Homes for Children, and eight years running War Child. He has also served as an NGO Chair for nine years, and was recently appointed to the Board of the UK's largest children's charity, Barnardo's. He received the CBE for services to global child protection in the 2019 UK Honours List.

Since 2012 Mark has led Hope and Homes for Children as CEO. During this time he has overseen the doubling of income and trebling of beneficiary reach. In the last five years Hope and Homes for Children has raised more than £45 million which it has deployed to drive reform of child care and protection internationally. The impact of this work has been significant: including the development of our work in in partnership with the Government of Rwanda that is delivering an internationally recognised flagship programme of child care reform. Mark has overseen the strategy and resourcing of the expansion of Hope and homes for Children’s work in Africa, including in Sudan, Uganda, South Africa and Kenya.

Over the last four years Mark has worked directly with the British government – and convened a private sector taskforce to assist with this - to secure a cross-government statement that established the UK as the first OECD country to formally recognise the harm done by the institutionalisation of children and commit itself to influencing international reform. This has subsequently been included in DFID’s Disability Strategy. Mark is currently focused on working with Commonwealth influencers to secure agreement to have a declaration to eliminate orphanages in all Commonwealth Countries by 2045.