Fathers’ Perceptions of Play: Evidence from the Rohingya Camps
In 2020 and 2021, NYU Global TIES for Children (NYU-TIES), along with our Play to Learn program partners, BRAC and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), set out to better understand how parents perceive play in the Cox’s Bazar camp in Bangladesh. This research was conducted as part of NYU-TIES’ efforts to prepare for larger scale longitudinal and impact evaluation studies, the validity of which is dependent upon the team’s ability to accurately understand and develop data collection tools that capture the socio-cultural context connecting play to parenting, learning, and child socialization. Our research involved interviews with both Rohingya mothers and fathers as well as observations of children at play in the Cox‘s Bazar camps. Though designed as part of a broader measurement pilot, the combined findings from these multiple data sources captures a shift in fathers’ roles in children’s development and sheds light on cultural dynamics that expand our conventional notions of play and how caregivers perceive it.
This brief highlights some of the most critical findings supported by multiple data sets, focusing in particular on the role of fathers in supporting playful learning and concluding with reflections on how these findings might be valuable for future program implementation and research.