Data on early childhood education (ECE) are essential for improving policy and programs for early learning. Reliable information on how children learn and how teachers deliver instruction can be invaluable to stakeholders at all levels of an ECE system, from parents to policymakers. While there are many tools for measuring the quality of early learning environments, child development and early learning, less is known about how that data can be used to improve pre-primary systems over time.
Together for Early Childhood Evidence: Consortium on Pre-Primary Data and Measurement in Africa (CPDMA) was convened to explore how the use and application of data can lead to positive change in ECE systems and to accelerate country-level action. The Consortium convenes policymakers, researchers and other early learning experts to bridge the gap between research and practice, and increase national capacity for interpreting and applying data on early learning. Member countries engage in ongoing dialogue to exchange information and experiences as they work toward building data-driven ECE systems in their countries.
- Convene a Consortium of global early childhood partners, including policymakers, researchers and practitioners actively engaged in measurement and monitoring pre-primary education in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Create a hub for exchange of information and experiences in pre-primary data across sub-Saharan Africa and other geographies.
- Support USAID in its plans to implement early childhood programming and systems improvements in countries.
- Virtual and in-person meetings for networking and knowledge exchange
- Resources, tools and technical assistance addressing the interests and needs of Consortium members
- Support for a task force of researchers and practitioners committed to testing and applying new approaches to data use and sharing their results
In 2019, the Consortium was established with four country teams representing Ethiopia, Liberia, Rwanda and South Africa. In 2020, Tanzania and Zambia joined the Consortium.
Learning from Phase 1
The Consortium on Pre-Primary Data and Measurement in Africa (CPDMA) was originally established in 2019, as a partnership between USAID, ECD Measure, and global partners interested in early childhood data and measurement issues. In its inception year, CPDMA established four country teams (Ethiopia, Liberia, Rwanda and South Africa). Each country team identified their priority needs in early childhood data and measurement and had opportunities to share their experiences with other teams through virtual and in-person meetings and webinars.
As we move into Phase 2, the Consortium has adopted “Together for Early Childhood Evidence” as part of its name, to increase awareness of the work and emphasize shared learning and cross-country collaboration. In addition, two new country teams – Tanzania and Zambia – will join the original four. In Phase 2, country teams will continue generating and applying early childhood evidence in their respective countries and sharing experiences with other participants.
ECD Measure, hosted at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is a group of researchers and policy experts who provide capacity building and technical assistance for the use of early childhood measurement and data. We strive to make better learning experiences for children worldwide by using data to make better decisions. ECD Measure serves as the Secretariat for Together for Early Childhood Evidence, facilitating coordination among participating countries and offering technical support. Visit ecdmeasure.org to learn more.
Inter-Country Quality Node on Early Childhood Development (ICQN-ECD) is the network of African Ministries of Education within the Association for Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) that is interested in advancing early childhood outcomes in Africa. The Ministry of Education of Mauritius serves as ICQN-ECD Secretariat and has partnered with the Consortium since 2018.
The Africa Early Childhood Network (AfECN) is a regional network that brings together civil society, academia and the private sector to advocate for the rights of young children. The network aims to enhance advocacy efforts, influence policy and practice, strengthen partnerships, and generate and disseminate knowledge on ECD in Africa. AfECN serves as the co-coordinator of the Africa Union’s CESA (Continental Education Strategy) Cluster on Early Childhood Education and Development. The CESA ECED Cluster brings together representatives of AU Member States, development partners and a range of non-state actors to support the achievement of the AU CESA 16-25 objectives related to the early years. The Cluster is chaired by the AUC Department of Human Resources, Science & Technology Department (HRST) and Co-chaired by the Government of Mauritius Ministry of Education and Human Resources.
Together for Early Childhood Evidence is an initiative funded by USAID to accelerate progress toward data-driven early childhood education systems in sub-Saharan Africa. The Consortium is part of USAID’s Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC), a global network of university researchers that support USAID in making evidence-based, strategic choices and programming decisions. NORC at the University of Chicago leads the RTAC network.
Unbounded Associates supports ECD Measure on communications and stakeholder engagement for the Consortium.