Asia Philanthropy Circle Releases Ground Breaking Study on Early Childhood Development


The Asia Philanthropy Circle released internationally the results of the study titled Regional Early Childhood Development (ECD) Landscape Study on 6 July 2023. Conducted by the Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI) and supported by 12 philanthropic organisations in the region, the study is the first of its kind and is the most comprehensive mapping to date of parenting and early childhood programmes across Asia, with particular focus on China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

The study finds that across all four countries, there has been a clear increase in government commitment to provide holistic support to children, families, and communities. This is evidenced by existing policies and legislation, as well as significant investments made into healthcare and early education. 

Nevertheless, significant challenges remain, including the lack of sustainable financing, capacity, and knowledge in the sector, as well as other socio-economic and cultural barriers.  Other notable constraints are:

  • Paradoxical “double burden" of malnutrition and obesity with increase incidences of malnutrition and stunting in China, Indonesia and the Philippines
  • Inequity in access to health services for some populations, due to financial restrictions, or availability of services such as for rural areas, and the shortage of trained professionals.
  • Lack of attention on the home learning environment, and to the role of fathers which are critical in ECD.
  • Lack of capacity in the ECD sector and ECD workforce.
  • Lack of reliable, national-level data and research to support evidence-based decision-making

The study assessed a total of 276 programmes, and 145 national and sub-national policies related to ECD across all four countries. 
Bakti Barito Foundation, the philanthropy arm of Barito Pacific and a member of the Asia Philanthropy Circle, along with other notable philanthropy organisations in the region provided their support to the commencement of the study.

Fifi Pangestu, the Executive Director of Bakti Barito Foundation supported the commencement of the study, saying that “A good start in life sets the foundation for a prosperous Indonesia, hence we undertook this Early Childhood Development study, in the hope that it can shed light on potential areas for action.”
The study is the product of a joint regional collaboration led by APC in partnership with CEI and the Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning and Development (CHILD), and supported by APC members and philanthropic organisations across the region, including the Ayala Foundation (Philippines), Bakti Barito Foundation (Indonesia), Djarum Foundation (Indonesia), Knowledge Channel Foundation (Philippines), IshK Tolaram Foundation (Indonesia), Li Foundation (Singapore), Nomura (Singapore), Quantedge Advancement Initiative (Singapore), Ramon Aboitiz Foundation (Philippines), Tanoto Foundation, and Zuellig Family Foundation (Philippines).***

Note: this article contains excerpts of The Asia Philanthropy Circle’s Press Release titled Groundbreaking study reveals key gaps and potential areas for collaboration in Early Childhood Development (ECD) across Asia, released on 6 July 2023 (Click link)

Access the Report Regional Early Childhood Landscape Report:

•    Executive Summary
•    Full Report


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