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ANECD Updates #8

December 2019


Save the Children's partner in Syria, Hurras Network
  1. Research conducted by Arab Resource Collective and Yale University Child Study Center, and Published in the “New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development” journal
  2. Measuring milestones: Developing a tool to assess early childhood development outcomes
  3. Leave no child behind, Invest in the early years
  4. ANECD EC Meeting, August 2019
  5. International ECD Conference in Palestine, November 2019: Children, hope and peace
  6. UNICEF calls to action: Investing in family-friendly policies
  7. Call to action statement: Early Childhood education for all
  8. ARNEC Regional ECD Conference, December 2019
  9. Reminder: IDPA Congress, Manila, December 2019
  10. ACCD Magazine: Khutwa 35 and 36
  11. UNICEF Brochure: A Resource for Monitoring and Action
  12. A guidance note: Operationalizing Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development
  13. ECD consultant needed for UNICEF ECD program MENA region.

  14. Research and Training

A pilot wait-list randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted by the Arab Resource Collective and Yale University Child Study center, to assess the impact and the process of implementing and evaluating the Mother-Child Education Program (MOCEP) among refugee families and one low-income community in Beirut, Lebanon. This paper was published in the American Scientific Journal, “New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development”, Issue 167, Volume 2019. This research paper focuses on the analysis of MOCEP implementation. The analysis suggests that, despite multiple challenges, implementation and robust evaluations of early childhood parenting programs in fragile contexts are feasible and urgently needed. This study illustrates how implementation evaluations are a key component of RCTs and crucial to identifying strategies to optimize program uptake and maximize impact.

In alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) UNICEF has led a thorough process to devise a new and robust measure that monitors and tracks progress on this indicator for children aged 24 to 59 months. One of the indicators selected to measure progress towards achieving the target is the percentage of children under age 5 years who are developmentally on track in health, learning and psychosocial wellbeing (indicator 4.2.1). The final measure is expected to be ready for countries to embark on data collection in early 2020. It will freely accessible to all countries. The questionnaire will be accompanied by implementation and dissemination tools, including interviewer guidelines, syntaxes and tabulation plans for data analysis, and templates for reporting. This measure, the first of its kind, will enable the world to track the developmental potential (including cognition, language, learning, socio-emotional competencies, etc.) of young children, at a population level.

“Light for the World” with its partners, supported by the Early Childhood Program of the Open Society Foundations, has launched the study “Leave no child behind. Invest in the early years” to uncover trends and strategic commitments in aid for inclusive ECD, on September 12th, 2019 at the UNESCO International Forum on Inclusion and Equity in Education in Cali, Colombia.

Millions of children under the age of five living in low and middle income countries are at high risk of not achieving their full potential. Multiple factors influence this risk, including health, nutrition, security and safety, responsive caregiving, early learning opportunities, and access to safe water, sanitation and other basic services. High quality, equitable and inclusive early childhood development (ECD) can help mitigate this risk and smooth the pathway for the most marginalized to access their rights.

You can access the summary report of the study at the following link:

News: ANECD News

ANECD Executive Committee held its meeting on August 19-20, 2019 in Beirut, in the presence of its members and the coordinators of the technical committees in order to discuss and follow up the network structure and governance and to develop a road map for its strategic plan for the next three years. The meeting of the General Assembly will follow early 2020.

News: Other News

An-Najah National University, the Palestinian Child Institute, and other national and international organizations are holding an international Conference on Early Childhood in the University premises in Palestine, November 4-5, 2019. The conference is entitled “Children, hope and peace, a local and global perspective”.

The themes addressed in the conference are the following:

  • ECD, theory, neuroscience, and social environment

  • ECD in Palestine: social and systemic factors affecting children in Palestine

  • Impact of war on children: different experiences from the region and beyond

  • Experiences and case studies: a special focus on what works and what does not work, looking at local and global experience

  • Quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation: measuring impact, quality and processes.

For more on the conference, please check the following link:

UNICEF calls on governments and businesses to redesign the workplaces of the future, to enable parents to give their children the best start in life, while boosting productivity and women’s empowerment. UNICEF published a policy brief in this regard.

The four sets of policies suggested are the following:

  1. Sufficient paid parental leave to care for young children

  2. Supporting breastfeeding 

  3. Affordable, accessible, and quality childcare services

  4. Child benefits

For the call to action, you can go the first link and the policy brief is at the second:

UNICEF and partners call on the global community to take action on five areas that are crucial to achieve transformational and cost-effective change for young children and nations. 

  • Political will for early childhood education

  • Early Childhood education prioritized in sector plans

  • More and better domestic and international financing for early childhood education

  • Commitment to early childhood education systems and quality

  • Targeted and aligned investments.

For more information, please go to the following link:

Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC) held a regional Early Childhood Development Conference in Vietnam, December 4-6, 2019. The conference aims to bring about strong awareness among policy makers and practitioners of the substantial threats to young children’s present and future environments, as well as opportunities to protect these environments. It strives to generate momentum in the region around cross-sectoral programs and policies that can promote nurturing and sustainable environments. As such, this year’s conference adopts the following theme: “Working across sectors to promote nurturing and sustainable environments for young children”. ARNEC will also organise pre-conference workshops to be held a day before the actual conference. Topics for include ECD Parenting and Play, ECD and Disaster Risk Reduction, the Urban Environment and ECD, Child Care, Decent Work, and Gender Equality, in addition to Child Protection: Violence against young children.

For more information on the conference, registration, and/or sending proposals:

The International Developmental Pediatrics Association (IDPA) is conducting its third International Congress in Manila, Philippines from 9 to 12 December 2019, “Transdisciplinary Intervention: Ideas in Action”. The congress will focus on bridging the gaps in management and intervention of developmental disabilities through an approach that transcends disciplinary boundaries in order to come up with innovative models especially needed in middle and low income countries.

This event is hosted by the Philippine Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (PSDBP). Professionals from all disciplines involved in supporting children and families including pediatrics, neurology, psychiatry, family medicine, rehabilitation medicine, public health, child psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, behavior therapists, special educators, teachers, and parents are invited to come and share their passion, knowledge, experience and research during this important event. For more on the congress:

Resources: Partners Resources

The Arab Council for Childhood and Development respectively published in winter and summer 2019 Issues 35 and 36 of Khutwa (Step), a magazine specialized in Early Childhood. Issue 35 focuses on “child and violence” while the theme of issue 36 is “child and language”. In addition to relevant articles, each issue includes an illustrated story for children. The stories are “an image in the garden” in issue 35 and “Khaled and the colors” in issue 35.

For more information, please contact:

UNICEF published a brochure: A resource for Monitoring and Action: Country Profiles on Early Childhood Development. The Countdown to 2030 country profiles on ECD are an important step in establishing a global monitoring and accountability system for early childhood development. They draw attention to progress as well as significant gaps, especially in extracting data pertaining to the youngest children and in measuring services and practices to improve nurturing care. They are intended to prompt further advocacy and action to advance early childhood development and to refine measurement and the collection of comparable country data in a number of areas critical to healthy development in the early years.

For more:

UNICEF and relevant partners in the Nurturing Care Framework issued a guidance note about the role of the health sector alongside other sectors and actors. This guidance note specifically targets the health sector and aims to catalyze country-level dialogue and action focusing on health service delivery and systems strengthening while also outlining complementary actions by other sectors. It is relevant for national governments, specifically ministries of health, and for national and global development partners and other stakeholders. This guidance note is the first in a series of resources for all relevant sectors that will become available to facilitate the operationalization of the Framework. Key sectors that should engage in this operationalization include health, nutrition, education and protection.

You can access the guidance note at the following link:

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