In 2015, early childhood development became part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These global goals include a commitment to ensure that, by the year 2030, all children will have equitable access to quality early childhood development and early learning opportunities.
SDG indicator 4.2.1 was chosen to specifically monitor the impact of government action towards this target, and UNICEF was tasked to lead the development of a measure to track progress.
That same year, UNICEF initiated a process of methodological development that involved extensive consultations with experts, partner agencies and national statistical authorities. Over the following five years, a sequence of carefully planned technical activities were executed, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative methods to identify the best items to measure indicator 4.2.1. This process led to the development of the ECDI2030.
The ECDI2030 captures the achievement of key developmental milestones by children between the ages of 24 and 59 months. Mothers or primary caregivers are asked 20 questions about the way their children behave in certain everyday situations, and the skills and knowledge they have acquired.
The ECDI2030 addresses the need for nationally representative and internationally comparable data on early childhood development, collected in a standardized way. The module can be integrated into existing national data collection efforts. It is accompanied by standard guidance and a framework for technical assistance to support implementation. And because the data can be disaggregated by key demographics and subnational areas, the use of this measure can also help advance the SDG commitment to leave no one behind.
The ECDI2030 questionnaire has been translated into multiple languages and, in addition to English, is available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, and Spanish (see Resources below).
Currently available supporting dissemination materials include an advocacy video. A package of implementation tools to support country uptake of the ECDI2030 is also under development. These materials include a quick implementation guide, manual for interviewers, frequently asked questions, guidelines for integration into household surveys, customization and translation guidelines, training materials, series of slide deck templates for different target audiences, syntaxes, tabulation plans, and templates for reporting.