The Early Childhood Intervention and Parental Involvement in Bangladesh

Lead researchers:

Asad Islam, Monash University, Australia
John List, University of Chicago
Ummul Ruthbah, University of Dhaka

Partners: Monash University, Australia

Timeline: April 2016 to February 2019

Status: Complete

Method: Quantitative

The overview of the project:

Globally malnutrition and diseases relating to poor hygiene cause a large share of death of children under 5 years and are also considered as major development impediments. The burden is larger in low and middle-income countries where they often coexist. Poor socioeconomic status contributes to developmental delay and underachievement, and lower parental investment in child development. Yet, little is known about parental knowledge on child development and its association with children’s developmental outcomes in low-income settings. We are conducting a randomized controlled trial where we are running an information campaign with mothers on caring of children aged 1-3 years in order to examine association between maternal knowledge on child development and developmental outcomes of children in short and medium run in a resource-poor setting in rural Bangladesh.

This intervention seeks to empower mothers in the targeted community with more knowledge on rearing and caring of children aged 1-3 years. Mothers learn more about child nutrition and feeding, hygiene in child caring, and home environment favorable to child development, and easy and affordable way to translate those into daily practices, which we expect will lead to positive health and development outcomes in their children. To support their learning and encourage them to translate them in action, fortnightly half-day, refresher sessions following after completion of main sessions. In one of the treatment arms, learning is further supported by fortnightly home visits by trained fieldworkers. The intervention promotes optimal and efficient utilization of existing and available resources and services. Thus, it will provide mothers a list and contact of local and district level healthcare providers for children in order to make them aware of local resources and services, and they will be encouraged to seek help and avail services when required. While the control arm will not receive any such information, it will receive, the same list like treatment arms.