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Lancet: Early Child Development - Your Analysis and Implications?


Lancet: Early Child Development - Your Analysis and Implications?

Hi - much strength for your important work and thanks for being engaged with The Communication Initiative/Drum Beat network with a particular interest in children and development. (Cross-posted to Children, Equity and ECD networks)

The Lancet has just published two papers and a comment on Early Child Development. See The Lancet series "aims to identify gaps in implementation and coverage of interventions, calculate the economic costs of missed investment in early learning programmes, and present new evidence on the causes and effects of developmental inequities in early childhood."

The key conclusions and links to the papers follow.

As this is such an important issue and these are such substantive papers it would be excellent if you could share your reaction to below. What is your assessment of these articles for your work, strategic thinking, research, media coverage or other actions related to Early Child Development? From these papers (links below) what prompted you to reflect on your work? What changes might you consider making to that work - if any? (Please share those thoughts by simply replying to this email or clicking on the Read More link below and posting as a comment.)

The two papers are:

Inequality in early childhood: risk and protective factors for early child development - Walker et al Conclusion: "Inequality between and within populations has origins in adverse early experience" Summary at

Strategies for reducing inequalities and improving developmental outcomes for young children in low-income and middle-income countries - Engle et al Conclusion: "The evidence reviewed suggests that early child development can be improved through these interventions (parenting support and preschool enrollment) with effects greater for programmes of higher quality and for the most vulnerable children.

The Comment is by Tony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. It includes this assessment:

"As the Lancet papers show, interventions directed at the poorest children can provide enormous returns on investment"

(NB You may need to log-in for these Lancet links but it is free and painless)

So, to repeat from above please do share your thoughts (by reply email or post online - click read more below) on these papers for your work: two starter questions -

  1. What in these papers specifically prompted you to reflect on aspects of your work
  2. What changes might you consider making to that work - if any?

Just post a comment below.

Thanks - really look forward to your thoughts being shared in this network - Warren

Early Child Development
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