Child development in developing countries: introduction and methods

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is a nationally representative, internationally comparable household survey implemented to examine protective and risk factors of child development in developing countries around the world. This Introduction describes the conceptual framework, nature of the MICS3, and general analytic plan of articles in this Special Section. The articles that follow describe… Read more


Colombia: Early childhood development – SABER Country Report 2013

This report presents an analysis of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs and policies that affect young children in Colombia and recommendations to move forward. This report is part of a series of reports prepared by the World Bank using the SABER- ECD framework and includes analysis of early learning, health, nutrition and social and… Read more


Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Cash transfer programs have become extremely popular in the developing world. A large literature analyzes their effects on schooling, health and nutrition, but relatively little is known about possible impacts on child development. This paper analyzes the impact of a cash transfer program on early childhood cognitive development. Children in households randomly assigned to receive… Read more


10-year effect of Oportunidades, Mexico’s conditional cash transfer programme, on child growth, cognition, language, and behaviour: a longitudinal follow-up study

Background Mexico’s conditional cash transfer programme, Oportunidades, was started to improve the lives of poor families through interventions in health, nutrition, and education. We investigated the effect of Oportunidades on children almost 10 years after the programme began. Methods From April, 1998, to October, 1999, low-income communities were randomly assigned to be enrolled in Oportunidades… Read more


Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement: a longitudinal analysis

Many policymakers propose early childhood nutrition programs as a way to increase students’ academic achievement. This paper investigates the nutrition–learning nexus using a unique longitudinal data set that follows a large sample of Filipino children from birth until the end of their primary education. We find that better nourished children perform significantly better in school,… Read more


Effects of psychosocial stimulation on improving home environment and child-rearing practices: results from a community-based trial among severely malnourished children in Bangladesh

Background Parenting programmes are effective in enhancing parenting practices and child development. This study evaluated the effects of a intervention with psychosocial stimulation (PS) on the quality of the home environment and mothers’ child-rearing practices in a community-based trial with severely malnourished Bangladeshi children. Method Severely underweight children (n = 507), 6–24 months of age, were randomly assigned… Read more


Nutritional supplementation, psychosocial stimulation, and mental development of stunted children: the Jamaican Study

There is little unequivocal evidence that nutritional supplementation of undernourished children has a beneficial effect on their mental development. The effects of nutritional supplementation, with or without psychosocial stimulation, of growth-retarded (stunted) children aged 9-24 months were assessed in a study in Kingston, Jamaica. 129 children from poor neighbourhoods were randomly assigned to four groups—control,… Read more


Childhood growth, schooling, and cognitive development: further evidence from the Young Lives study

Background: A growing literature has linked early childhood growth to later-life cognition and schooling outcomes in developing countries. Although existing evidence suggests that children’s ability to recover from early growth delays in later childhood is limited, longitudinal studies on the persistence and risk of growth faltering beyond age 5 y remain scarce. Objective: Using longitudinal… Read more


Strategies for reducing inequalities and improving developmental outcomes for young children in low-income and middle-income countries

This report is the second in a Series on early child development in low-income and middle-income countries and assesses the effectiveness of early child development interventions, such as parenting support and preschool enrolment. The evidence reviewed suggests that early child development can be improved through these interventions, with effects greater for programmes of higher quality… Read more


Strategies to avoid the loss of developmental potential in more than 200 million children in the developing world

This paper is the third in the Child Development Series. The first paper showed that more than 200 million children under 5 years of age in developing countries do not reach their developmental potential. The second paper identified four well-documented risks: stunting, iodine deficiency, iron deficiency anaemia, and inadequate cognitive stimulation, plus four potential risks… Read more


Considerable progress has been made over the past decade towards Millennium Development Goal 4. The number of deaths among children younger than 5 years has declined from 12 million in 1990 to 6·9 million in 2011.1 But do the surviving children have an equal chance to realise their human potential, achieve social justice, and contribute… Read more


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