Frequently Asked Questions

About the IDELA Tool

What is IDELA?
The International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA) is an easy-to-use, rigorous, global tool that measures children’s early learning and development and provides Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) programs, donors, and governments with clear evidence on the status of children from 3.5 to 6 years.

How long does the IDELA assessment take?
Each assessment takes about 35 minutes per child but depends on the assessor, child, and language being used.

Who scores these assessments?
Data collectors score the IDELA assessments. Whether you use paper and pencil or electronic data collection methods, assessors will mark children’s responses to each question. Once the data is collected, item scores, domain scores, and an overall IDELA score can be generated using available quantitative software (e.g., Excel, SPSS, Stata, SAS, R, etc.). Guidance on how to create item scores, domain scores and an overall IDELA score are available in the IDELA resource manual.

What is the cost of IDELA?


IDELA is free and open source. In addition, Save the Children provides no-cost training materials and survey templates for registered members who have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Requirements to using IDELA
Save the Children asks organizations to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to use IDELA. This is done to protect Save the Children’s intellectual property, promote the quality and safety of data collections, and to help build a global IDELA community of practice.

Why require the MOU?
Save the Children encourages the appropriate application and use of IDELA to protect children and families involved in studies. The MOU asks partners to share resources and data created in relation to IDELA. The MOU also asks partners to share resources like translated tools and guides so we can create a repository of information which will benefit all IDELA users. By asking partners to share their data and information, we can begin to fill global knowledge gaps about young learners.

The agreement in the MOU reflects a worldwide, collaborative effort to pull together information to advocate, disseminate, and create better programs for children. The MOU is designed to entice partners to contribute towards a common goal.

Click the button below to review a sample copy of the IDELA MOU.

IDELA training and services


Any organization can learn and understand the tool, train their staff, analyze data, and write reports using our free manuals and administration guides. In addition, Save the Children offers services to organizations and groups interested in hiring us for IDELA-related training, data collection, data analysis and report writing.

Sharing your data

Why should we share our data?
All data sets, large and small, provide some information about the learning and development of young children. Large data sets often get the attention of donors, ministries and policymakers. However, smaller data sets related to target projects (such as the ones likely to be produced for IDELA) have equally important information and insights to contribute to the worldwide conversation about early childhood education.

Will the results of our research be made public?
All data and research done by partners will remain private unless the partner chooses to self-identify. If Save the Children chooses to use partners’ data in summary reports or studies, partners will be notified ahead of time and measures will be taken to ensure privacy and anonymity. If a partner has a report to disseminate widely, we are happy to include their research in the IDELA web portal (click on the button below to contact our staff).

What if we don’t show great results? Does Save the Children still want our data?
Yes! All information is useful, regardless of the intended results.

What if we don’t share our data?
The more everyone contributes to the common pool of IDELA data, the bigger and more accurate the picture we are able to paint of educational efforts and effectiveness worldwide. Sharing your data with Save the Children contributes to a worldwide, collaborative effort to improve early learning and education.

Who analyzes the data?
Analysis can be done by your own research and monitoring teams if you have the proper staffing and resources. Alternatively, Save the Children is happy to set up an agreement to assist or train your team, or to do the work in analyzing your data and writing a report.