Early Learning Partnership

December 11, 2015


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The Early Learning Partnership is a multidonor trust fund managed by the World Bank. We work with countries to promote increased investment in children’s early years through research, policy planning, project design, and finance. We leverage 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.

Our approach at the country level is simple. We invite World Bank staff and partners to apply for funding to support early learning and early childhood development (ECD) in their work programs. 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. Our first $5.5 million in grants has leveraged more than $60 million in new funding for early learning and ECD in 26 countries to date.

In addition to the grants we make to country-level activities, we also identify opportunities to contribute to the global evidence base of successful approaches for scaling access to quality early learning. Our ambitious work program addresses pressing issues in early learning, including engaging the nonstate sector; investing in early learning to build future skills; measuring learning quality and outcomes (MELQO); and supporting operations research and process and impact evaluations to help countries get to scale.

We work with countries to build capacity to scale up access to early learning and to ensure quality as programs scale. Partnership is core to our approach. We work closely with government, academia, civil society, and other international agencies, including UNICEF, UNESCO, and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to coordinate efforts and share promising approaches.

Click on a country to find out more about its ongoing ELP activities:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda

The Early Learning Partnership is interested in working with foundations to extend their involvement in early learning by joining the Partnership as donors. For more information about the Early Learning Partnership or to be added to the Partnership’s Mailing List, please contact the ELP Team at