The Challenge

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as child maltreatment and institutionalisation present urgent public health emergencies in many Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). ACEs have long-lasting impacts, hindering child growth, lowering IQ, and affecting overall health and wellbeing. The countries of the Maghreb – Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia – have some of the highest rates of ACEs in the world.

Dr. Fadi Baghdadi's research aims to tackle this challenge head-on. By fostering stronger connections and promoting knowledge-sharing within and across the Maghreb and the United Kingdom, his work aims to inform child health policies, support families and reduce ACEs.

The Method

The SECURE team co-designed a programme of Professional Exchange and Research activities.

Professional Exchange 

We facilitated opportunities for child safeguarding professionals and researchers from Wales and the Maghreb to: 

  • Present at international conferences in Wales and Morocco 
  • Attend research development workshops with Public Health Wales and Swansea Council Local Authority
  • Build relationships with key stakeholders in Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Wales


Dr Baghdadi worked with local researchers and Non-Government Organisations to develop and conduct 12 workshops with 98 participants across Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. Workshops asked participants to identify and rank child safeguarding factors in their communities. In each country, workshops were held with:

  1. Parents of children at-risk
  2. Local NGO frontline professionals
  3. Child protection professionals
  4. All participants to synthesise findings


The Impact

Transformative Collaboration and Intervention Development

The SECURE team has developed large-scale multi-country consortium proposals, aimed to foster collaboration between NGOs and universities in the Maghreb and Swansea University. Together, we also created a proposal to develop a parenting intervention to reduce child maltreatment and institutionalisation in the region.

Research Impact

Our mapping workshops are under review by a high-impact journal. SECURE also led to the creation of formal collaboration agreements between Mauritanian and Moroccan NGOs and universities.

Visibility and Recognition

Members of SECURE showcased their work at the PRIME Centre Annual Meeting 2022 and a national conference in Morocco, receiving recognition in national Moroccan news.

Knowledge Sharing and Education

Dr Baghdadi, together with Mr Abdellah Soussi and Professor Sana El Mhamdi, conducted a workshop on research project development with postgraduate students in the Faculty of Law Economic and Social Sciences at Ibn Zohr University, Agadir, Morocco. Dr. Baghdadi has also developed a module for a postgraduate course in the Medical School using the experience and network of SECURE. This module will provide Swansea University students valuable opportunities to gain insights and diverse perspectives on global child health challenges and strategies to overcome them.