Globally, around 250 million children under the age of five do not meet key development milestones, which reduces their ability to reach their full potential, and compromises the success of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and a large body of scientific evidence have shown that parenting is one of the strongest influences on early child development. As a result, there has been a recent push towards the implementation of parent training programmes across the world. However, despite the increasing popularity of these programmes, gaps remain in our knowledge of what works to promote positive parenting practices, particularly in vulnerable contexts.
Past evidence has shown how parent’s practices fundamentally shape early child development by influencing the physical, socio-emotional, cognitive and language development of children. This project tests empirically this relationship by analysing, evaluating and scaling up a unique programme (First Steps), which supports children aged 0-3 in the district of Ngororero in Rwanda. The project involves a close partnership between the Institute of Development Studies, Save the Children UK and Save the Children International Rwanda, with support from the Government of Rwanda (Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion).
Principal Investigator: Professor Patricia Justino, Institute of Development Studies