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Early Learning Partnership

The Early Learning Partnership is a multi-donor trust fund, housed at the World Bank, designed to dramatically increase and improve evidence-based investments to support young children’s development around the world. 


The Early Learning Partnership (ELP) is a multi-donor trust fund, housed at the World Bank.  ELP leverages World Bank strengths—a global presence, access to policymakers and strong technical analysis—to improve early learning opportunities and outcomes for young children around the world.

We help World Bank teams and countries get the information they need to make the case to invest in Early Childhood Development (ECD), design effective policies and deliver impactful programs. At the country level, ELP grants provide teams with resources for early seed investments that can generate large financial commitments through World Bank finance and government resources. At the global level, ELP research and special initiatives work to fill knowledge gaps, build capacity and generate public goods. We have three main streams of work:

  1. Catalytic Country Grants: Our approach at the country level is simple. We invite World Bank staff and governments to apply for funding and through this competitive process, we respond to specific country needs and opportunities, stimulate creativity and ensure that funding goes where it can be used most effectively. Since 2012, ELP has committed over $32.6 million to close to 200 grants in 81 countries. These grants have generated more than $3.7 billion in new and improved finance to support ECD through development finance and have reached at least 28.4 million children and 25.7 million parents.
  2. High-Value Analytical Work: Our ambitious work program addresses a range of topics, including: scaling up ECD measurement; engaging the nonstate sector; investing in early learning to build future skills; quality early learning; investing in childcare to build human capital; early learning systems research; and supporting process and impact evaluations to help countries ensure quality and get to scale.
  3. Capacity Building: Recognizing capacity limitations, and the need to build better demand, skills and knowledge, we have launched several activities to build capacity, share knowledge and increase demand within the World Bank and client countries. Our flagship programs include The Early Years Fellowship and Engaging Policymakers in Early Childhood.

Click on the interactive ‘ELP Grant Investments (Bar Graph)’ to examine the scale of ELP’s catalytic country grant impact at the regional and global practice levels and click on the interactive ‘ELP Footprint (Map)’ to see a summary of the country level work financed by ELP highlighting four specific work programs: catalytic country grants, Early Years Fellows, Engaging Policymakers in Early Childhood and Early Systems Research.

Read more about The Early Learning Partnership

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