Early childhood development programs help children acquire the skills needed to succeed in primary school and grow into productive, healthy and successful adults, but evidence is needed on the sustainability of large scale programs and their impact. At the same time, it’s important to make sure that pregnant women and young children get the right nutrition to strengthen their bodies and brains in the first years of life. The evidence gathered from the evaluation of preschool, parenting, and early nutrition programs in Mozambique will provide policymakers with important evidence of what works to improve lives.
The Government of Mozambique has worked to develop the country in the two decades since the civil war ended in 1992. Droughts and flooding have complicated things. Improvement is slow and chronic malnutrition and low primary school completion rates remain serious challenges. Almost half the children under the age of five don’t get enough food, and malnutrition accounts for at least a third of the deaths of children in that age group. Many children, especially those from poor families, are not adequately prepared for primary school at age six and struggle to meet basic standards. Only about 4 percent the country’s 4.5 million children younger than five years old are enrolled in early childhood development programs.
Research area: Early Childhood Nutrition, Development, and Health
Evaluation Sample: Pilot: 76 communities, Preschool scale up & nutrition: 60 communities
Timeline: 2013 - 2019
Intervention: Community Preschools, nutritional programs, parenting information
Researchers: Sophie Naudeau, World Bank; Marie-Helene Cloutier, World Bank; Sebastian Martinez, Inter-American Development Bank