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Measuring Early Child Development across Low and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review

Munoz Chereau, B; Ang, L; Outhwite, L; Dockrell, J; Heffernan, C; (2021) Measuring Early Child Development across Low and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review. Journal of Early Childhood Research 10.1177/1476718X211020031. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The Sustainable Development Goals mandate that by 2030, all children should have access to quality early child development opportunities, healthcare and pre-primary education (United Nations, 2015). Yet validated measures of ECD in low and middle income countries (LMICs) are rare. To address this gap, a Systematic Review (SR) of measures available to profile the development of children between the ages of 0-5 years in LMICs was undertaken. Drawing on education, psychology and health databases, we identified reliable, valid or measures adapted for use in LMICs for either assessments of children’s development or their learning environments. The inclusion criteria were (1) peer reviewed papers published between January 2009 and May 2019; (2) assessment tools used to measure cognitive/language development or the early years or home environment in at least one LMIC; (3) report of the psychometric properties (validity and reliability) of the tool, and/or description of the cultural adaptability/translation process undertaken before applying it to a LMIC. Two hundred and forty-nine available records published in the last decade in peer-review journals and nine relevant systematic literature reviews were identified. Fifty-seven records were qualitatively synthesized based on their psychometric properties and cultural adaptation. Forty-three tools were reviewed utilising twelve criteria. Five elements of analysis present in Table 2 and 3 (study, population tested, validity, reliability and cultural adaptability/translation) focused on the tools’ psychometric properties and previous application in LMICs. A further seven dimensions outlined in Tables 4 and 5 identified specific characteristics of the tools from target age, administration method, domains, battery, accessibility, language and country/institution. We suggest these twelve key considerations for the selection of measurement tools that are applicable to effectively assess ECD in LMICs.

Type: Article
Title: Measuring Early Child Development across Low and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1476718X211020031
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X211020031
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Early Childhood Development, LMIC, child stunting, home environment, ECE setting, Systematic Review, cognitive development
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership > Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10121138
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