Review of $30.8M Early Learning Partnership


Department for International Development and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation

Ecorys UK along with Dr Lynn Ang (University College London, Institute of Education) have been commissioned to conduct a five-year review of the Early Learning Partnership (ELP), commissioned by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and DFID. The review is taking place between 2018 – 2022.  The World Bank, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and DFID are a Multi-Donor Trust with the aim of improving early learning opportunities and outcomes for young children. The fund is made up of a $25.8m investment by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and a $5m investment by DFID, this money is then allocated across 29 countries within Africa and South Asia, tasked with supporting activities in early years, early learning and early childhood development.

This money is then allocated across the following activities:

- Grant creation for country-level activities, both large and small-scale, split between activities supported directly by the World Bank, and individual schemes and initiatives.

- The World Bank also contributes operational and analytical support to the allocation of funds. These consist of evaluations and other initiatives to build a global evidence base of the Early Learning Partnership Programme.

- The African Early Years Fellowship (AEYF) programme’s purpose is to build the numbers of a highly trained group of young African professionals who can then be disseminated to support governments and the World Bank teams tasked with increasing investments in early childhood development (there were 20 fellows in 2017).

- Systems Research, a research programme that invests in five countries (Ethiopia, Liberia; the province of Punjab in Pakistan, Tanzania and Jamaica) to build a rigorous body of evidence on what works in early childhood development.

The desired outcome of this partnership is that children are able to develop the necessary skills to be able to thrive in school and beyond.

The review will focus on the ELP in fifteen countries. For each country, the review will examine current activities and will take into account the wider implications of the programme, within the specified country. For the majority of these countries, interviews will take place remotely at each of three review phases. The systematic review of research and evaluation reports produced by ELP grants will allow the review team to consolidate learnings and identify knowledge gaps in key ECD areas.

For three out of the fifteen countries (India, Ethiopia and Kenya), country visits will be conducted in order to allow the review team to gather more in-depth information on funded activities. The three selected countries will be visited at least twice (2018 and 2020) during the course of the review. Each visit will be five to seven days, and will involve interviewing the World Bank ELP country implementation team and the AEYF, and others relevant to the programme.

As an organisation with a far-reaching influence across global affairs, the Early Learning Partnership hopes that it can affect change across the world for children in early learning environments. To do this, they are utilising Ecorys UK and partners, to analyse the effectiveness of and learnings from the initiatives that they have funded so far.

Most importantly though, they will be sharing and actively promoting the successful and worthwhile programmes across countries and governments. This will promote initiatives that have already begun to achieve the primary objective of giving children the necessary skills, so that they can thrive in early life and beyond. The partnership aims to help bring about long-term change worldwide by influencing policy at government level, supporting success for future generations.

For more information please contact