07 Dec, 2023

Enhancing Africa-Led Research on Early Childhood Development, and Foundational Learning

This report highlights the research priority themes and professional development needs of the African researchers and education stakeholders that were present during the ‘Enhancing Africa-led Research on Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Foundational Learning (FL)’ workshop. The report also highlights the recommendations that were shared for ECD and FL stakeholders to better support researchers in sub-Saharan Africa.  

The ‘Enhancing Africa-led Research on Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Foundational Learning (FL)’ workshop was a two-day event organised by ESSA and Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at the University of Cambridge held in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2023.  It brought together 53 invited education stakeholders, mainly researchers but also funders, policymakers, and practitioners from Africa to deliberate on ways to enhance ECD and FL research in Africa. 

ECD recommendations

  • Create a database to profile ECD funders and make it available to African researchers.

  •  Regional researchers and their needs should be profiled, e.g., by the African Early Childhood Network to ensure that funders know exactly where to go when they are looking for researchers and priority areas to invest in.

FL recommendations

  • Develop a multi-sectoral approach to addressing phenomena in education, allowing for a more holistic problem-solving approach.

  • Further discussion for clarity of the concept of foundational literacy and numeracy/foundational learning, especially from the African context.

Cross-cutting recommendations

  • To ensure funding is brought to Africa and given to African scholars, structures that would ensure transparency and accountability need to be created. This includes funders understanding the African context without basing their accountability benchmarks on the western standards.

  • There should be more collaboration and partnership among African researchers, allowing them to boost their credibility while leveraging each other’s strengths and expertise.

Download the full report here


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