ECD Measure was pleased to partner with USAID and the Association for Development of Education in Africa Inter-Country Quality Node-Early Child Development (ADEA ICQN) to convene Together for Early Childhood Evidence (T4ECE) task force teams in October 2022 as a side event to the ADEA 2022 Triennale in Mauritius. This meeting convened forty T4ECE Task Force members from Liberia, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa, and Mauritius, as well as partners from USAID and Lego Foundation.
The goal of the workshop was to bring together people who gather and use early childhood data in their countries to discuss how we can collectively move towards more data-informed early childhood care and education (ECCE) systems in Africa. The meeting was held October 17-18, 2022, in Mauritius. ECD Measure serves as the convenor and technical lead of T4ECE.
Overall summary and key takeaways:
Over the course of the two-day workshop, participants had the opportunity to work within and across country teams to learn about country examples of early childhood data generation and use, identify where their countries are on the path of developing a data-driven ECCE system, and develop common country visions for moving forward. Each T4ECE country team is at a different stage and the workshop offered an excellent opportunity for teams to learn about best practices and examples of how others have approached early childhood data and measurement issues. For example, participants learned about the recently completed T4ECE early childhood research activities in Liberia, Rwanda, and South Africa, which fostered rich discussion on the challenges and opportunities to establish data feedback loops within early childhood systems.
A key benefit of the workshop was the opportunity for diverse stakeholders (government officials, researchers, USAID staff, and other partners) to come together around their shared interest in and commitment to using ECCE data. The workshop was designed to ensure that stakeholders learned from their peers in other countries, while also having the opportunity to come together with stakeholders from their own countries to generate shared priorities and brainstorm plans for moving forward. Common themes emerged as teams engaged in this work:
- Attendees from each country voiced strong commitment to ECE and improving the quality of the system in each country;
- There is existing and ongoing data work in each country that teams can build and leverage upon;
- Within the T4ECE task force teams there is significant experience and dedication in collecting and using ECE data to make system-level improvements.
Common challenges across countries also emerged including:
- There is a need for improved coordination and stakeholder engagement, particularly across ministries;
- Most countries need for capacity building in terms of data collection, management, and analysis; and
- There is inadequate funding for early childhood data and measurement initiatives.
Participants left the event committing to a broader regional movement within Africa to share experiences and collaborate to push the agenda forward towards data-informed ECCE systems.
Cross-posted on together4ece.org