Assessing Early Childhood Development
Policymakers and practitioners use assessments of early childhood development (ECD) to guide decisions regarding allocation of resources, interventions for children, and national policies. It is therefore important to measure ECD in rigorous and methodologically sound ways. This chapter addresses issues related to ethics, research design, psychometrics, comparison across countries or cultures, measurement equivalence, and other technical points germane to ECD assessment. It provides illustrations to demonstrate these issues in the case of specific ECD indicators. The chapter concludes by recommending that ECD assessments should be obtained with care, to ensure the protection of children's rights; appropriately linked to the purpose of the assessment; valid and reliable; adapted from existing measures, with careful attention paid to making the measures culturally appropriate or developed anew using principles of sound test construction; and easy to obtain and use in low-resource settings. Rigorous ECD assessments are valuable to promote children's well-being worldwide.