CTs and Early Childhood Development

Knowledge gaps


Knowledge and programming gaps with respect to CTs and early childhood development

Our understanding of CTs and early childhood development is quickly expanding, but much still needs to be learned. Areas in which additional research will be helpful include the following:
  • Which components of CTs (cash, social marketing, conditions, information, or other components) are best at improving young children’s developmental outcomes?
  • How do early childhood-focused CTs affect children at different points in the wealth distribution?
  • How can early childhood-focused components (parenting support, support for early stimulation, etc.) be effectively integrated into existing CT components (health care, training sessions, etc.)? Which combination of components is most effective in improving early childhood development?
  • How do the timing and duration of exposure to an early childhood-focused CT affect outcomes later in the CT and life?
  • Which providers of early childhood services are best poised to integrate with CTs to improve key outcomes in a cost effective way?
  • How effective and sustainable are various early childhood financing mechanisms within CTs?
  • Can early childhood-focused CTs be effective at scale, and how so? (currently being tested in Niger)
  • What are strategies that stakeholders (both vertical and horizontal, and including donors) can use to effectively coordinate early childhood-focused CT components?
  • What standardized method of calculating benefit-to-cost ratios can be used to understand the true value of these programs?
  • How can local culture/context be incorporated into CTs with early childhood goals in a way that respects local diversity? Are there cultural components that can be included in early childhood components that will enhance young children’s development outcomes?
  • Which early childhood development outcomes should be used as a globally agreed upon set of indicators of appropriate development for comparison across programs?