Evaluation of Early Childhood Development Interventions

Image/Headshot of Stephane Verguet.

Early childhood development (ECD) sets the foundation for healthy and successful lives with important consequences for education, labor market outcomes, and other domains of well-being. Even though many ECD interventions are implemented and evaluated globally, there is currently no standardized framework for comparing these interventions’ relative cost-effectiveness. CHDS faculty Stéphane Verguet along with GHP colleagues Sarah Bolongaita, Anthony Morgan, Nandita Perumal, Chris Sudfeld, and Aisha Yousafzai, teamed with Günther Fink of the University of Basel, Switzerland, have aimed to fill this gap with their recent research.

The investigators developed an economic evaluation framework that focuses on the immediate impact of ECD interventions targeting motor, cognitive, language, and socioemotional skills. They applied the framework to compute the relative cost-effectiveness of ECD interventions for which recent effectiveness and costing data were published.

Based on their framework, cost-effectiveness estimates, expressed in dollars per unit of improvement in ECD outcomes, varied greatly across interventions. The cost-effectiveness rankings were dominated by implementation costs; the interventions providing higher value for money were generally those with a lower implementation cost (e.g., psychosocial interventions involving limited staff).

Learn more: Read the article, Priority Setting in Early Childhood Development: An analytical framework for economic evaluation of interventions
Learn more: Resource Pack: Economic Evaluation Guidelines

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