Associate Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health, Aga Khan University
More than 200 million children are not meeting their developmental potential in the first 5 years of life resulting in poor school readiness, low educational achievement and adult productivity. Children growing up in highly disadvantaged communities in low- and middle-income countries are likely to be exposed to more than one risk factor that effects their development. These risk factors are further compounded by poverty and inequity in access to health and other essential family services, and deficits might manifest in children as lower concentration levels, an inability to follow instructions or communicate self needs, disruptive behaviours, and less enthusiasm to learn. Despite some successful interventions, Early Childhood Development (ECD) as strategy has failed to be integrated at scale in national programmes. This presentation seeks to answer the following questions: "What do we know about effective interventions in low resource settings for the early childhood period for improving health, learning, psychosocial functioning and well-being? What are the challenges to taking evidence-based programmes to scale and what opportunities can be leveraged to promote ECD research, policy and practice?"