Author: King, Adam
Early childhood is a critical period of human development, during which the rapidly developing brain and nervous system are sensitive to negative exposures, such as malnutrition, toxins, stress, lack of nurturing and brain stimulation. Many risk factors for early childhood development (ECD) have been associated with poverty, and an increased risk of poor health, education, and economic outcomes later in life. Cost-effective interventions do exist, but action in developing countries has been slow. Key informant interviews were conducted to explore the obstacles to promoting ECD in developing countries. The most prominent obstacles identified related to the challenges facing the international ECD field itself, and included: lack of clarity on operationalizing and measuring interventions; lack of health sector involvement; and lack of engagement in political advocacy. This study indicates clear recommendations for the ECD field to build its own capacity to better promote ECD in developing countries.
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