Reports and evidence briefings

Evaluation of the Early Years Transformation Academy: This formative evaluation seeks to capture the early learning of the development of EIF’s Early Years Transformation Academy (EYTA), which was a 12-month intensive programme which ran between April 2019 and March 2020. The EYTA engaged with five local areas to support the development of integrated maternity and early years systems in which the latest evidence on early intervention and early childhood development was applied. This formative evaluation used quantitative and qualitative work. The report offers important findings and questions in relation to its achievements and impacts in terms of supporting evidence-use in systems planning and development.

Halting Lives: The Impact of COVID-19 on Girls and Young Women: COVID-19 is having an impact across every sector in all societies. However, the impact is not equal, and pre-existing inequalities are being exacerbated. There is little research on the social impacts of COVID-19 and on the consequences for young people, especially those specific to girls. Plan International commissioned research to look specifically at the impact of the current pandemic on girls and young women, collecting data from over 7,000 girls across 14 countries. The report also includes extracts from interviews with young women, reflecting on the impact COVID-19 has had on their lives in Mozambique, Brazil, Ghana and Nicaragua. The report seeks to understand the scale of impact of the pandemic on girls and young women across all aspects their daily lives: their safety, wellbeing, education, economic security, health, nutrition, and access to technology.

Levels and trends in child malnutrition: The inter-agency team (UNICEF, WHO, World Bank) released updated estimates for child stunting, overweight, underweight, wasting and severe wasting. These new estimates supersede former analyses results published by the JME group, and the entire time series is updated based on available data to date. Key findings show that in 2020, globally, 149.2 million children under the age of 5 years of age were stunted, 45.4 million wasted, and 38.9 million overweight with the number of children with stunting is declining in all regions except Africa. While two-thirds of countries have seen progress has been made towards the stunting target, almost half of all countries have seen no progress or are worsening for the obesity target.

Research

Parenting interventions to promote early child development in the first three years of life: Parenting interventions for children during the first 3 years of life are effective in improving ECD outcomes and enhancing parenting outcomes across all settings. This global systematic review and meta-analysis included more than 100 RCT’s. The review showed that parenting interventions had significantly greater effects on child cognitive, language, and motor development and parenting practices in LMICs than HICs. Parenting interventions with responsive caregiving elements has greater effects of development. The authors observed substantial variation in program content and implementation characteristics across studies and considerable heterogeneity in pooled effect size estimates across nearly all evaluated outcomes and future research should look at the variability in program components and the implementation of these programs.

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