Global Scales for Early Development (GSED)

February 27, 2023 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new package of measures, the Global Scales for Early Development (GSED), to monitor the development of young children at population level up to three years of age.

The new GSED methodology allows for a comprehensive assessment of the development of young children up to 36 months of age, capturing cognitive, socio-emotional, language and motor skills. The GSED provides a developmental score (D-score), a new common unit to measure development, to give an overall picture of children’s development which can be tracked over time.

The GSED package will help countries, programmes and researchers gather and use data on early childhood development to better invest in services and support needed for young children and their families.

To date, the GSED measures have been validated in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and United Republic of Tanzania (1248 children per country) and data collection is ongoing in Brazil, China, Côte d’Ivoire and the Netherlands.

The current package comprises the measures (Short form and Long form), related user manuals and item guides, translation and adaptation guide, scoring guide and technical report summarising the methodology and the results of its validation. A GSED App is also available. The GSED will continue to evolve and an expanded version of the package, including global norms and standards for child development, will be released following additional data collection.