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Case Studies | January 16, 2019

From Traditional to Holistic

How faith-based organizations in Africa are transforming their approach to early childhood care

With enhanced technical capacity, faith-based organizations can play a crucial role in increasing both access and quality of early childhood services for children throughout the household-to-education and health continuum of care. This finding was the result of a 40-day evaluation carried out at the end of a large CRS-supported capacity building project in Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia. Funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the SCORE-ECD project (Strengthening the Capacity of Women Religious in Early Childhood Development) addressed the way young children were taught and cared for by 48 congregations of three faith-based organizations. The project had two goals: to help caregivers to adopt a more holistic approach to ECD and to boost their organizational and networking capacities. The project used a triangulating data collection method that included 20 focus group discussions of 30-90 minutes and 36 key informant interviews with 143 participants. The evaluation team also reviewed the records of the three project countries. Open-ended questions were used in all the discussions and interviews, which were conducted in English, recorded, transcribed, and reviewed by all the project’s key actors. The evaluation found that, after receiving training on holistic ECD, the caregivers of the three faith-based organizations modified the way they cared for children.