Virtual Conference Panel: Advancing early childhood care and development with evidence from IDELA


What was once an in-person conference presentation at CIES 2020 in Miami, is now an online session open to the public!

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Ample evidence now confirms the importance of early childhood as a crucial period of growth and development for children. Positive relationships with caregivers, stimulation and access to learning materials help children reach their full development potential, while violence, stress, or lack of learning opportunities limit children’s growth (Black et al. 2016). Yet the application of this evidence to ensure its benefits reach all children remains challenging in a diverse world. More information is needed about the type of programs that work, for which children, and in which contexts. Thoughtful leadership and the ability to scale programs is then required to put knowledge into practice.

The International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA) is one assessment tool that builds evidence of what works for young children. IDELA is an easy-to-use, rigorous, global tool that measures children’s early learning and development. IDELA was identified as a promising new tool in the ECD field by the 2016 Lancet series and is now used by over 85 organizations worldwide across 71 countries and 51 languages (Black et al., 2016). Data from IDELA studies is used to inform a variety of decisions from program design and teacher training, to global learning about early childhood and national scale policy change. IDELA’s development as a tool specifically for the 3-6 year old age range and its adaptability to different contexts makes it a fitting framework for this fishbowl discussion.

This fishbowl features three of the 100 organizations and individual researchers using IDELA. It will examine how they each make data informed decisions in their programs, schools, training, policy and advocacy work. Each presenter will provide background on their work and give an overview of their research. They will focus then on how they moved from evidence to change, both within their own staff, programming and outside. Each will cover the successes and challenges they encounter working with communities and governments. The presenters will each offer a different question or challenge that the audience can help address, but all will be focused on the effort to bring early childhood evidence beyond the organizational level to affect greater change for young children.

Individual Presentations:

From implementation to Policy: Using IDELA data to inform program decision making, policy and practice in Rwanda, Malawi and Ethiopia – Caroline Dusabe, Save the Children

Why we draw stick figures: Using IDELA to build staff knowledge of child development – Sarah Strader, Two Rabbits

Impact for Whom? The Challenges and Opportunities for Translating and Sharing Results to Downstream Audiences – Victoria Brown, Ichuli Consulting in collaboration with the Aga Khan Foundation Uganda.

With support from:

Chair: Frannie Noble, Save the Children

Discussant: Lela Chakhaia, Save the Children

Discussant: Alodia Santos, World Vision

Note Taker: Saori Iwamoto, Save the Children