Monday 20 November, 2017

IDB launches fund to boost childhood development

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has launched the ECD Innovation Fund, a partnership to foster early childhood development (ECD) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

Designed to benefit children in the most vulnerable communities, the new Fund will finance initiatives to improve the cognitive, linguistic, motor, and socio-emotional abilities in the first five years of a child’s life. Knowledge exchange will be a critical component of the fund, as partners will generate and share new evidence on effective ECD solutions.

"We seek innovative, replicable, and scalable initiatives in order to develop comprehensive solutions to the challenges we face as a society. The ECD Innovation Fund is an opportunity to foster new ideas and contribute to early childhood development in the region”, said Mariano Montero, Director of FEMSA Foundation.

“At Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation we believe that to develop our children is to develop our society. In this effort, we rely on strong partnerships that promote the exchange of ideas, the sharing of knowledge, and the design of policies and practices. This Fund will enable us to reach the objective of testing and generating impactful public policies in Brazil and Latin America and the Caribbean,” remarked Eduardo de C. Queiroz, President of FMCSV.

The partnership was announced on November 9, at the IDB-Alas Awards, a landmark event to recognise the individuals and organisations working on ECD in the region. The ECD Innovation Fund will begin by financing projects in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Peru.

Tina Hyder, Deputy Director of the Early Childhood Program at Open Society Foundations said, “the Open Society Foundations welcome the opportunity to partner with the Inter-American Development Bank, FEMSA Foundation, and the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation on this critical initiative that we believe will yield invaluable results, with the potential to transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged young children in the region. We believe that many of the innovations will be of relevance not only to the region but also to the field of early childhood, globally.”

“At the IDB we believe that early childhood development is a critical issue that requires collaborative solutions. Our region’s future relies on the experiences of our children in the first five years of life,” remarked Bernardo Guillamon, Manager of the IDB’s Office of Outreach and Partnerships. “We are confident that by working together, our partnership will unlock innovation, scale effective solutions, and generate knowledge that can enrich future efforts in this space.”

Coordinated and managed by the IDB, the ECD Innovation Fund is a partnership with FEMSA Foundation and Open Society Foundations at a regional level, and with Fundação Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal (FMCSV) in Brazil specifically.

Each partner will initially contribute US$1 million to the ECD Innovation Fund, expecting to reach over the next three years more than US$10 million in financing for ECD projects in the region.

Interested organisations can find out more at www.iadb.org/ECDfund.