The British Academy today announces funding for 14 research projects looking to inform policymakers and practitioners in their efforts to transform the life chances of children in their early years in countries of the Global South.
Early childhood is a critical stage of development that forms the foundation of a child’s future learning and well-being, yet more than 250 million children under the age of five in developing countries do not reach their developmental potential.
Through the Early Childhood Education programme, which is supported by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under the Global Challenges Research Fund, the British Academy aims to foster innovative interdisciplinary research with development impact. The projects funded under this programme will provide critical knowledge on what works at scale in different contexts while engaging with local capacity to deliver effective research and change.
The projects involve collaborations between researchers based at 13 different UK universities and 26 scholars from institutions across the Global South. The research undertaken as part of this programme will benefit at least 14 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Professor Simon Goldhill, Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of the British Academy, said:
“There is a pressing need to build our understanding of how education interventions affect early childhood development, what works in different contexts and how successful initiatives can be effectively scaled up to improve socio-economic outcomes in countries of the Global South. The 14 interdisciplinary projects supported by the British Academy have been selected for their potential to do just that.
“The problem-focused, innovative research funded through the Early Childhood Education programme brings us closer to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable education for all. I look forward to following the progress of these projects over the next 21 months.”