In spring 2008, UNICEF and SRCD created a partnership with the goal of bringing science to bear upon policy affecting early childhood development (ECD) in low and middle income countries.  Given the large body of evidence supporting the importance of early childhood contexts, in part generated by SRCD membership, and the urgent call in the developing world to address the needs and rights of young children, a partnership between SRCD and UNICEF was an obvious step toward the translation of science to effective policies for early childhood.  As a result, this partnership is mutually beneficial to both organizations and we expect that the partnership will continue beyond this project.

The partnership’s goal guided the deliberate activities of convening a core group of advisors from UNICEF and SRCD to consult on the conceptualization of the evidence to policy framework. This consultative process included over 30 scholars, policy makers and practitioners from several regions of the world.  The conceptual framework was then crafted into a table of contents for a publication with globally recognized authors from over 15 countries invited to contribute to the publication.  Sponsored by the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy, the authors had the opportunity to work collectively and review the chapters of the volume.

The partnership has resulted in a volume “Handbook of Early Childhood Development Research and Its Impact on Global Policy” published by Oxford University Press and edited by Britto, Engle and Super.  This volume promotes evidence-based programs and policies for advancing the positive development of young children around the globe, with a specific focus on developing countries. This innovative volume is comprehensive in nature and emphasizes the importance of scientific findings in promoting child development while also examining how to address programmatic challenges of quality, sustainability, measurement, finance, and capacity. The evidence framework is presented from multiple disciplinary and analytical perspectives in chapters authored by scholars, policymakers, and practitioners from around the world, several of whom are members of SRCD.