It began when UNICEF and the World Bank Group launched the Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) at the flagship World Bank Spring Meetings event, “Smart Beginnings for Economies on the Rise,” in April 2016, marking a milestone moment for young children. 

 In June 2016, more than 80 key partners representing UN agencies (ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF, and WHO), the World Bank, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), foundations, private sector, ECD regional networks, academics, think tanks and related global initiatives met to discuss and advance  plans to establish ECDAN. They agreed that ECDAN will catalyze action at scale to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for young children.

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Knowledge Exchange

Six Task Forces (100+ organizations) developed recommendations on global public good.

To support knowledge Exchange developed and disseminated case studies, editorials, and technical papers.

Co-developed the Nurturing Care Framework with WHO, UNICEF, WBG, & PMNCH.

Organized and hosted webinars; conference presentations; and networking events.

Coordinate, connect, and align

Collaboration & Coherence

Key sectoral partnerships (7) convened for the first time around ECD; consultations on how ECDAN can support ECD agenda within sectors.

Countries started to create, test, and refine planning for action at scale, providing the building blocks for ECDAN’s approach to engaging with other interested countries.

Coordination with regional networks on ECD.

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Advocacy & Communication

Co-organized high-level advocacy event on ECD at the 2017 UNGA with UNICEF, WBG, and other partnerships.

Co-organized launch of the Nurturing Care Framework at the 2018 WHA with WHO, UNICEF, WBG, and other partners.

ECDAN platform used for communication with ECD partners through newsletters, key events, webinars, and other opportunities.

Facilitated global consultations on ECD issues (e.g. investment benchmarking, Nurturing Care Framework, ECDAN mission).

Strategic Plan

The Early Childhood Development Action Network’s (ECDAN) vision of a world where every child is safe, healthy, well-nourished, happy and learning underpins the Strategy for 2020–2023. The plan presents ECDAN’s mission and goals; and lays out its objectives, actions, and expected outcomes for young children, their families and communities. It was prepared in consultation with ECDAN partners and incorporates the recommendations of six multi-stakeholder task forces. (See Annex A for a list of task forces and members.)

ECDAN is a young network, now moving out of its 2016–2019 incubation period as the world faces many challenges from a pandemic that threatens to reverse many of the gains made in the fight against poverty and hunger, to an unprecedented number of children and families displaced by conflict and climate change. To improve the lives of young children in this new normal, building the global movement envisioned in this plan is urgent. There is an urgency as well to intensify ECDAN partners’ coordinated efforts to address the short and long-term impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and accelerate progress towards achieving early childhood development (ECD)-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To achieve maximum impact, the ECDAN Secretariat will support coordination, growth and strengthening of the global network.

This strategy is a living document that will be revisited annually. Updates will be important as we welcome new partners into the movement, broaden and deepen stakeholder and partner engagement and participation, respond to challenges and threats, and adjust action to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will monitor progress and generate data via several continuous improvement processes and will act on what we learn.

Together, we are a strong voice for young children around the world. Together, we can rebuild a better future for all young children!

Who We Are