Impact Evaluation Study of Early Childhood Development Programme (ECDP) in Baluchistan
Donor: Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Pakistan
Duration: May 2015 to July 2015
Locale: Quetta, Qilla Saifullah and Gawader
Team Members: Dr. Shehryar Khan, Rabia Manzoor, Muhammad Sohaib,Babur Jamal, Huma Dad Khan, Maryam Waqar, Syed Mohsin Ali Kazmi
Background and objective:
This study aims to assess the impact of early childhood services of Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) in Pakistan. The AKF, with the support from Australian Government, launched a three-year “Early Childhood Development Programme (ECDP)” in 2010 that later received a no-cost extension of two years. The programme was implemented in the most neglected and closed ethnic province of Balochistan with a motto “Ensuring the Best Start in Life for Children”. The hypothesis behind the introduction of ECD programme in three districts of Balochistan (Qilla Saifullah, Quetta and Gawadar) was to address barriers to early childhood opportunities such as access, gender equity, participation of local communities and insufficient early learning opportunities, which impact the physical, mental and emotional development of underprivileged children from 4-8 years of age. The programme consisted of two phases. The first one entailed an “inception” of ECDP in the select districts, as conceived by the implementing partners3 in accordance with prevailing social norms, culture, and in line with the provision of primary education services by the district education authorities. The second phase encompassed the “implementation” of ECD services in target districts in both the urban and rural government primary schools.
This impact evaluation particularly focuses on the “implementation” phase therefore, it broadly addresses the following questions:
a. Has the programme achieved its stated objectives?
b. Has the programme demonstrated sufficient evidence of impact viewed in terms of the services received by different stakeholders?
c. What are the gaps and observations in the delivery of ECD services?