Global Knowledge Network for Early Child Development
HELP as Host for the Global Knowledge Network for ECD
In 2005 HELP was designated as the World Health Organization's Knowledge Hub for ECD and in this capacity embarked on a two year intensive project as part of WHO's larger initiative known as the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH). This work resulted in the report "Early Child Development: a Powerful Equalizer" and provided large-scale international exposure and awareness of the capacities and expertise of our centre to governments, researchers and agencies with ECD mandates across the globe. Upon completion of this work in 2007, HELP was designated by the WHO as the Global Knowledge Network for ECD (GKN-ECD).
Children worldwide are the most vulnerable population. There is increasing recognition that when children have a good start in life they will be healthier adults, and as a result they can build better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.
HELP's comprehensive investigation of early child development is answering fundamental questions about the conditions that support children and families to thrive and prosper. This work then informs social policy, early childhood education and intervention issues that are directly applied to the welfare of children globally.
The Global Knowledge Network for ECD works to improve health and health equity at a population level through its focus on promoting ECD internationally with various initiatives that support international collaboration. We are well positioned from the point of knowledge and are requested on an on-going basis to play an advisory role for promoting ECD globally.
HELP International Initiatives
Early Childhood Rights Indicators Project
One of the major initiatives of the GKN-ECD is the Early Childhood Rights Indicators Project. Working with international partners, we have developed an Indicator Framework that would assist countries in meeting their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). There are plans to pilot this indicator tool in five countries, with the first pilot completed in the United Republic of Tanzania in June 2010. The second pilot project, in Chile, will be completed in December 2011. We are now in the preliminary phase of planning pilots in Argentina, Turkey and Canada. To learn more, visit the Child Rights page.
Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission
In 2010, HELP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission, the purpose of which is to collaborate on establishing a scientific early child development program base in Shanghai that will conform to those adopted by the World Health Organization and relevant United Nations organizations. HELP is also working with our Shanghai partner in designing an ECD evaluation system, as well as family and parent guidance materials.
Consortium for International Population-based Early Child Development Indicators
The GKN-ECD is a member of the Consortium for International Population-based Early Child Development Indicators, a cross-national, inter-agency, multi-disciplinary team of experts supporting countries to build local capacity to measure early child development using the Early Development Instrument (EDI). The GKN-ECD also collaborates in the collection, analysis and dissemination of data.
Reports and Resources
Total Environment Assessment Model for Early Child Development (2007)
For the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health. This report provides a framework for understanding the environments (and their characteristics) that play a significant role in providing nurturing conditions to all children in an equitable manner.
Early Child Development: A Powerful Equalizer (2007) Final Report to the WHO
This document synthesizes knowledge about opportunities to improve the state of early child development on a global scale. In keeping with international policy standards, early childhood is defined as the period from prenatal development to eight years of age. What a child experiences during the early years sets a critical foundation for the entire life course. This is because early child development (ECD), including health, physical, social/emotional and language/cognitive domains strongly influences basic learning, school success, economic participation, social citizenry and health. Other Languages: French Mandarin Spanish
Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Final Report.
Social justice is a matter of life and death. It affects the way people live, their consequent chance of illness, and their risk of premature death. We watch in wonder as life expectancy and good health continue to increase in parts of the world and in alarm as they fail to improve in others.