The ECDAN Knowledge Fellows program creates opportunities for learning, professional development, and networking for young professionals to increase their interest and engagement in the field of Global Early Childhood Development.
Knowledge Fellows are early career professionals with past research experience and an interest in contributing to global knowledge on ECD topics such as early learning, parenting support, or ECD policy, systems, and financing. They work remotely from anywhere in the world and spend four to six months on a co-designed knowledge and learning project under the supervision of the ECDAN secretariat and a mentor.
ECDAN’s first cohort of Knowledge Fellows started their projects in July 2021. The second cohort of Knowledge Fellows will begin their projects in January 2022.
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Project Outputs: Global COVID-19 Knowledge Platform on Home Visiting Programmes
Denise Bonsu is an international development practitioner with an interest in early childhood development, maternal and child health, and Francophone Africa. As a Senior Program Associate for Results for Development (R4D), Ms. Bonsu worked extensively with the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative (ECWI) to increase the global knowledge base on early childhood development and provide decision-makers with the tools and resources with which to support the early childhood workforce at scale. Under ECWI, Ms. Bonsu conducted rigorous qualitative research on Ecuador’s efforts to professionalize the early childhood workforce and co-authored a country brief that summarized the findings. She also co-developed a Home Visiting Workforce Needs Assessment Tool to enable policymakers to prioritize areas of focus for supporting community health workers in their countries, and piloted the tool in Siaya County, Kenya. Ms. Bonsu holds a master’s degree in international development and international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a BA in economics and sociology from the College of William and Mary. She speaks English and French.
Keisha Constantino is a faculty member at the Department of Family Life and Child Development, College of Home Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman where teaches undergraduate courses in Child Development from Prenatal Stage to Middle Childhood, Management of Programs for Preschool Children, and Home Management. She is also a candidate for Masters in Public Administration from the National College of Public Administration and Governance from the same University (to be conferred Jan 2022). Keisha studies the governance and administration of early childhood policies and programs, and is engaged in projects with children, families, practitioners and government working in the field of ECD.
Jorge Cuartas is a Ph.D. candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a member of the SEED lab, graduate student affiliate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Science and Innovation Fellow at the Center on the Developing Child (2020-2021), Knowledge Fellow at the Early Childhood Action Network (ECDAN; 2020-2021), member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for The Lancet Commission on Gender-Based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People, consultant at UNICEF Latin America & Caribbean, and co-director of Apapacho Colombia.
Jorge’s research focuses on early childhood development and parenting in global contexts, the effects of corporal punishment and other forms of violence on children’s neural, cognitive, and socioemotional development, and the development and evaluation of violence prevention programs and policies. He holds an Ed.M in Human Development & Psychology from Harvard University, M.Sc. in Economics from Universidad de los Andes, and a B.Sc in Economics from Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano.
Project outputs: Online Open Source Library of Early Learning Community Radio Programmes.
Carlota Nelson is an accomplished Spain-based filmmaker and director of the groundbreaking feature documentary, Brain Matters, a film that explores the development of the brain in early childhood. She is a member of The Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Spain, and of the Steering Committee at Karanga – The Global Alliance for SEL and Life Skills –. Her documentary work has spanned global social and cultural topics, including art and apartheid in South Africa, censorship in Kuala Lumpur, and recidivism in America’s women’s prisons. Nelson’s first feature documentary, Anclados, premiered across Europe in 2010 to significant acclaim. The film tells the story of the crew of a Russian trawler quarantined in a Spanish port following the collapse of the Soviet Union. To learn more about Nelson, please visit: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3841967/
Tashar Simasiku holds a Master of Science Degree in Education from Texila American University Graduate School of Education, a Master of Science Degree in Project Management from the University of Bolton, and a BA in Education from the University of Zambia. She is a development practitioner with a passion for Early Childhood Development and Education. Ms. Simasiku has over 10 years of experience in the Management of Early childhood Education programs in Zambia and has actively participated in various national platforms on Early Childhood Education that are focused on increasing access to quality Early Learning and Primary Education services. As Education Advisor for VVOB Education for Development, Tashar’s role contributes to enhancing policy development and implementation through strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Education in Zambia to deliver quality services equitably.