|The objective of the Philippines Early Childhood Development (ECD) Project (fiscal 1998–2006) was to ensure the survival and promote the physical and mental development of Filipino children, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. The project implemented expanded immunization, integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI), prevention and control of micronutrient malnutrition, a service to inform parents on growth monitoring and ECD, and a first grade early childhood education/development program in three regions. The project did not introduce new services but sought to integrate and deliver existing ones through centerand home-based interventions.
The impact evaluation conducted longitudinal surveys annually from 2001 to 2003 on 6,693 children aged 0–4 in randomly selected households of two project experimental regions, and one control region without the interventions. The design included baseline and endline surveys: a general population-based sample survey of ECD status and services; nutrition surveys integrated into the National Nutrition Surveys; surveys of ECD-related knowledge, attitudes, and practice; and provincial-level surveys of ethnic groups. The end-project survey in 2003 repeated the 1998 baseline survey in full.
The evaluation found a significant improvement in the cognitive, social, motor, and language development and the shortterm nutritional status of children residing in ECD program areas compared with those in nonprogram areas, particularly for children under four. The share of children under four with worms and diarrhea was significantly lower in program areas than in nonprogram areas, but higher for older children. These results, as well as other studies sponsored by the project, helped guide improvement in ECD interventions, build capacity for evidencebased policymaking, and assured the continuation of the ECD program.
Source: Armecin and others 2006.