by: Sophie Naudeau, Naoko Kataoka, Alexandria Valerio, Michelle J. Neuman, Leslie Kennedy Elder
The World Bank created this Early Child Development (ECD) Guide in
response to a growing demand from Task Team Leaders (TTLs) for advice
and support to facilitate the policy dialogue on the topic of ECD and
to help policy makers make and implement relevant choices on how to
best invest in ECD in the context of their country’s economy and
national priorities. This Guide fills a gap in the literature by (i)
distilling existing information in a user-friendly format, (ii)
providing practical information on topics that have recently become
particularly relevant in ECD (e.g., measuring child development
outcomes through the identification and adaptation of relevant
instruments, conditional cash transfers for families with young
children, etc.), and (iii) assessing the quality of the latest evidence
on each topic and identifying the knowledge gaps/remaining questions
for which additional experimentation and evaluation are required.
This Guide is designed as a series of short notes (approximately 6-8
pages each), clustered into thematic sections: (i) Initiating the
policy dialogue: Why invest in ECD? (3 notes); (ii) Assessing needs,
measuring outcomes, and establishing policy frameworks (2 notes); (iii)
“Strategic entry points” for ECD investments (4 notes); and
(iv) Costing and financing (2 notes).
The notes are summarize the main debates in the field. Each note is
designed to be read independently, so information is sometimes repeated
or cross-referenced across notes.