Understanding Governance of Early Childhood Development and Education Systems and Services in Low-Income Countries. Innocenti Working Paper No.2013-07

Over the past decade, early childhood development and education (ECDE) has received increasing attention. This has led to an influx of scientific, macroeconomic, and rights-based evidence, supporting the importance of equitably implementing quality ECDE programmes and services. Despite the increase in evidence, young children in the developing world still bear the greatest burden of poverty, disease, violence, and risk factors. Recent research suggests that equitable access to quality early childhood services (ECS) can reduce the impact of risk factors and improve outcomes.

This initial exploratory study examines the governance and finance of ECS in three countries using an in-depth qualitative approach. The methodologies and tools provide an innovative strategy built upon the literature of governance and finance to understand how to improve access, quality and equity of ECS. Cross-country analyses reveal key emerging trends in ECD systems governance at different levels and around crucial dimensions, including actors, coordination, policy architectures, and local-level perspectives. The findings of this study have implications for strengthening systems of global ECD systems research.

Published 2013-10-01