International Early Childhood Development

harvard international

How can the science of early childhood development (ECD) be communicated to increase understanding and create better alignment between scientific research and international development programs and policy? The goal of this project, funded by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University with support from the Özyeğin Family – AÇEV Global Early Childhood Research Fund, is to create a communications strategy that can be used to improve understanding of the science of ECD among those working in international development, and increase funding and support for ECD interventions.

Research & Recommendations

How to Talk About Early Childhood Development to an International Audience
This Message Brief provides a summary of FrameWorks’ research on perceptions of early childhood development among international aid workers, and provides research-based strategies for translating the science of early childhood development for the international aid community.

Summary of Research on the Framing of Early Childhood Development in International Child Advocacy and Journalism
This Research Summary distills research findings on how international non-governmental organizations and media understand and explain early childhood development.

Where is Early Childhood Development on the International Child Advocacy Agenda? This field frame analysis documents patterns in the ways that international advocacy groups communicate about children’s issues. It devotes particular attention to the degree to which this field communicates the issue of early childhood development as part of its overall policy and programmatic agenda.

Finding a Place for Early Child Development in the Hierarchy of Needs: A FrameWorks Research Report This report lays the groundwork for a larger effort to translate the science of early child development for the international development and policy community. Using data from a series of in-depth interviews, it identifies and describes the implicit assumptions, norms and patterns of understanding that leaders in the field of international development employ in thinking about their own work, children’s issues generally, and early child development more specifically. The report concludes with a set of key messaging implications and directions for future research.

Framing Early Childhood Development in a Global Context: An Analysis of Children’s Issues in International News Media
This media content analysis examines the explicit and implicit messages, or “media frames,” embedded in the international news coverage of children’s issues, and analyzes the likely effects of exposure to these frames on the thinking of global decision-makers. The report finds that, when international news media discuss children’s issues, early child development is very rarely part of the discussion.

Taking the First Step: Using Metaphor to Open Space for the Science of Child Development in the Field of International Development
This report presents the results of qualitative and quantitative research to develop two Explanatory Metaphors — the Investment Multiplier and the Road to Positive Outcomes — that constitute the critical first steps in expanding the discourse in the field of international development to consider the science of early childhood development.