LINKS | Yale University

Team of young adults engage in a hand huddle.
Team of young adults engage in a hand huddle. © Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime Images


A a member of the NIHR Global Health Research Group, the Yale University team will focus on government policies, strategies and investments as well as the use of bio-markers in relation to the short-term outcomes.

Co-Investigators: James F. Leckman, M.D., Ph.D.; Angelica Ponguta, Ph.D., M..PH.


The international early childhood development and policy initiatives being carried out by the Yale Child Study Center bring a large body of scientific evidence into the formulation, implementation and analysis of international development frameworks and national-level social and public policies that impact the lives of young children.
At the Yale Child Study Center, our faculty and students have been engaged in four areas of research and advocacy including:

Policy development and analysis 

Early childhood development (ECD) policy-making and policy analysis projects in over 10 countries in Africa (Kenya, Angola, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda), Southeast Asia (Laos, Timor Leste), Eastern Europe (Kosovo), Latin America (Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua, Brazil) and the Middle East (Palestine). These projects include the development of comprehensive and integrated ECD policies and national implementation plans, national feasibility studies for ECD program implementation at scale, and an international comparative study on the mechanisms of governance and finance of ECD in four world regions.


Strengthening of early childhood development and education (ECDE) systems and quality of services at scale 

Faculty members have been co-leading the development of measures to characterize the quality of ECD service provision in Colombia and Nicaragua. This has been spearheaded through the adaptation of a measure for the quality of ECD services and programs in Colombia (in collaboration with Ministry of Education, Universidad de los Andes, ICFES, UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, Brookings Institute). The measure has been recently tested in a national pilot and future areas include the development of analogous measures for alternative modalities of ECDE provision in the country.


Program development and evaluation 

Our group at the Yale Child Study Center has partnered with teams around the globe to develop and evaluate programs that target caregivers and the community to promote school readiness and holistic development. These include: (1) the development and evaluation of a novel school readiness program to build community youth leaders’ vocational skills as early childhood educators in rural Pakistan; (2) a randomized controlled trial evaluating a school readiness intervention targeting mothers and children living in Palestinian refugee camps and marginalized communities in Beirut; and (3) the development of an evaluation framework for two interventions in Colombia that address psychosocial and social emotional development and parental engagement in publicly-funded ECD centers. Our group is also one of the main partners of a multi-national partnership that aims to develop and evaluate programs on social cohesion, transformation and peacebuilding in several post-conflict settings through a collaborative grant between UNICEF, Queens University and New York University. 


Knowledge brokering 

Members of our group are routinely involved in high-level knowledge brokering, including national and UN-level symposia to promote the investment of ECD globally (recently in countries like Montenegro, Colombia, Macedonia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan).

Our group is also one of the key partners of the Early Childhood Peace  Consortium, an international partnership focused on the promotion of investment on ECD as a mechanism for peacebuilding. The group aims to sustainably engage the global community on ECD dialogue and strengthen its policy and practice network to mobilize a paradigm shift in social investment for family and ECD programming.


James F. Leckman, M.D., Ph.D., serves as ECPC Executive Committee Member. He is Neison Harris Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Pediatrics at Yale University. 

Angelica Ponguta, Ph.D., M.P.H., serves as Expert Consultant to the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC). She is Research Scientist in the Yale Child Study Center.


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