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In this website we present a brief description of the intervention and evaluation design of the project 'Early Childhood Development for the Poor: Impacting at Scale', a project primarily funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF).

The project is a collaboration between Yale University (USA), The Institute for Fiscal Studies (UK), University College London (UK), University of Pennsylvania (USA), the Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development (India), Pratham Education Foundation- ASER Centre (India) and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab SA (India).

The study protocol was approved by the following IRBs: Institute for Financial Management and Research, India (IRB00007107, FWA00014616, IORG0005894); Yale University Human Subjects Committee (1112009492); University College London Ethics Committee (2168/002); Indian Council of Medical Research (5/7/822/2012/RCH); University of Pennsylvania Office of Regulatory Affairs (815027 IRB#8); Pratham Education Foundation FWA for the Protection of Human Subjects (FWA00019832).

The trial was registered at the AEA RCT Registry (AEARCTR-0000958) and the ISRCTN registry (ISRCTN18111205)

Our research program has two main overarching objectives:

  1. To improve the health and development of very young Indian children living in poor rural environments, hence contributing to breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
  2. To formulate a blueprint for early childhood development (ECD) strategies that will be applicable in poor communities, based on the use and empowerment of local resources, and capable of changing the developmental trajectories of children in a substantive way.


The project aims to establish scientifically the impact of Early Childhood Development policies that can form the basis for the design of low cost and sustainable ECD strategies to supplement current policy such as the ICDS.

To this end, the proposed research has two specific aims:

Specific Aim 1: To implement alternative service provision modes of an ECD intervention that combines a stimulation package and nutritional education, targeted at children younger than three years (i.e. before they attend the Anganwadi Centers) in communities of rural Odisha and that is delivered by local women. Alternative service provisions of the stimulation package include the delivery of the curriculum either in weekly individual home visits or during weekly group sessions.

Specific Aim 2: To evaluate by randomized control trial (RCT) the impacts of these interventions on child development and health, to investigate their scalability and the relative effectiveness of each mode of delivery, in comparison to an intervention solely based on nutritional education, and to identify the mechanisms whereby the interventions affect ECD outcomes.


Location of Odishaodishamap


Yale University

Costas Meghir (PI)


Institute for Fiscal Studies, London, UK

Alison Andrews

Orazio Attanasio

Britta Augsburg

Bet Caeyers 

Pamela Jervis

Angus Phimister

Marta Rubio-Codina

Soonrita Sahasrabuddhe

Cung Truong Hoang


Institute of Child Health

Sally Grantham-McGreggor 


University of Pennsylvania, USA

Jere Behrman 


Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED), Ambedkar University, Delhi, India

Monimalika Day 


Pratham Education Foundation- ASER Centre, India

Jija Dutt

Smriti Pahwa 

Karishma Vats


Data collection conducted in collaboration with:


Morsel Research and Development Pvt Ltd

Rehab Insight