We’re building a new UNICEF.org.
As we swap out old for new, pages will be in transition. Thanks for your patience – please keep coming back to see the improvements.

Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2011 Tanzania: Evaluation of the UNICEF Early Childhood Development Programme with Focus on the Government of Netherlands Funding (2008-2010): United Republic of Tanzania Country Case Study Report

Executive summary


“With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. Please ensure that you check the quality of this evaluation report, whether it is “Outstanding”, “Good”, “Almost Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” before using it. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report.”


This report presents the results of a case study of ECD activities in Tanzania. The evaluation team conducted the study as part of an evaluation of the UNICEF–Government of Netherlands (GoN) Cooperation Programme on ECD, 2008–2010. The Cooperation Programme on ECD emphasizes three strategic objectives: (1) capacity building, (2) knowledge generation and dissemination, and (3) mainstreaming ECD into policies and programmes for young children. In addition, the Cooperation Programme on ECD focuses on cross-cutting issues, such as use of a human rights-based approach to planning and providing ECD services as well as gender equity and reaching the marginalized. The case study analyzes ECD in Tanzania by focusing on the core set of UNICEF, government, and partner activities prioritized for investment of the GoN funds and completed as of September 2010, the end of the study period. Where possible, the report presents findings on other activities related to the core set, but the case study was designed to use the GoN investment as a lens for analyzing ECD in Tanzania.

To explore the design, processes, and results of ECD activities and initiatives, the evaluation team conducted a retrospective study employing qualitative analysis methods. The study focuses on initiatives that UNICEF has supported in cooperation with the government and other partners, as expressed in the logical framework for ECD. It explores these topics and questions, which are based on the terms of reference for the evaluation of the UNICEF-GoN Cooperation Programme on ECD:

  • Alignment of ECD activities with national priorities. Why were specific strategies adopted? How well aligned are they with national priorities as expressed in development plans and strategic documents?
  • Planning, management, and coordination. How successful has planning and coordination for ECD been within and among UNICEF, the government, and development partners?
  • Quality and efficiency of ECD services. What is the current quality of ECD services provided, and how, if at all, has it been enhanced through ECD? What is known about the costs and efficiency of ECD services?
  • Effectiveness in expanding coverage of ECD services. Have strategies to increase coverage contributed to changes in service availability or participation rates? If so, how?
  • Effectiveness in building capacity for ECD. How successfully have activities increased the capacity of service providers, caregivers, and decision makers to support ECD? What capacity gaps exist?
  • Effectiveness in generating knowledge for ECD. How successfully have activities promoted measurement of children’s development and family and community care and increased the knowledge base regarding the effectiveness of ECD interventions?
  • Effectiveness in mainstreaming ECD into national policies and plans. How, if at all, have the levels of national and subnational engagement and ownership of ECD changed?
  • Sustainability and scalability of ECD services. What factors have supported or inhibited sustainability and scale-up of ECD services?
  • Use of a human rights-based approach to gender equity and reaching the most disadvantaged. How successfully have activities involved key stakeholders in design and implementation? How have national and local contexts been taken into account in design and implementation? To what extent has ECD promoted gender equity and access among marginalized groups?
  • Lessons learned. What general lessons can be drawn from the strengths and weakness of the design and implementation of ECD in Tanzania, as well as its results?

The study was guided by a case study matrix (presented in Appendix B), which details specific research questions and links the questions to relevant outputs or outcomes and indicators. Some elements of the case study matrix are directly aligned with those specified in the UNICEF–Government of Tanzania programme of cooperation, whereas others are designed to addresses issues and results that are of importance to the broader evaluation of the Cooperation Programme on ECD.

Data Collection

For the Tanzania case study, the evaluation team conducted nine days of in-country data collection, including field visits to locations where ECD is implemented. A two-person case study team including a senior researcher and a local consultant conducted numerous interviews and focus groups in Tanzania during August 2010. The primary data sources included the following:
• Key informant interviews. The case study team conducted in-depth interviews with UNICEF CO staff, ministry officials from the MoEVT; MoHSW; and the MoCDGC; and staff from key UNICEF partner organizations. These interviews took place at the UNICEF CO. In addition, at the district level, the case study team interviewed district officials, community health volunteers, preprimary teachers, and day care providers. These interviews focused on assessing (1) key decisions made by stakeholders in regard to ECD, (2) implementation of ECD policies and programmes, and (3) the resulting successes and challenges in meeting overall objectives and progress toward targeted outcomes.
• Focus group discussions with parents. Discussions were held during visits to Temeke and Makete districts. Discussion topics included parents’ understanding of ECD, their experiences with their children enrolling in preprimary schools and day care centers, and changes in their children’s behavior as a result of exposure to ECD services. The case study team also spoke with a few parents whose children were not enrolled in preprimary schools to learn about barriers to access.
• Observations of preprimary schools and day care centers. During school and day care center observations the evaluation team observed classroom activities, noted the types of educational and play materials available, assessed the overall classroom environment, and observed interactions between the children and facilitators. The case study team conducted observations in two preprimary schools (one in Makete and one in Temeke) and three day care centers (two in Makete and one in Temeke). The preprimary schools and day care centers visited were selected by UNICEF CO staff and district officials to provide a view of the different contexts in which ECD services are delivered in Tanzania.
Appendix C presents more details about primary data collection for the Tanzania case study, including a list of individuals interviewed and locations visited. In addition to these primary data sources, the case study team reviewed secondary sources, including reports and strategic plans, data from surveys and management information systems, and the results of external studies.

Analysis Methods

The evaluation team employed two main qualitative evaluation methods in analyzing case study data: (1) thematic framing and (2) triangulation. Thematic framing involves the systematic review, sorting, and interpretation of data according to a specified structure. The analysis was structured around the logical framework for ECD in Tanzania and the questions, outcomes, and indicators specified in the case study matrix. The case study team used triangulation to confirm patterns or identify important discrepancies across data sources and respondents participating in interviews and focus groups.

Findings and Conclusions:

The report presents case study findings in nine areas. We summarize these findings below.
Alignment with National Goals and Priorities

ECD activities under the United Republic of Tanzania and UNICEF programme of cooperation are generally aligned with priorities of the Government of Tanzania as expressed in its draft IECD policy document. As envisioned in the draft IECD policy document, Tanzania, in partnership with UNICEF, has developed services for children from conception to age 8, programme standards and monitoring systems, and intersectoral training programmes at national and subnational levels. Moreover, draft goals included the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP, or MKUKUTA II by its Swahili name) call for 100 percent net enrollment in preprimary schools by 2015.

ECD activities in the seven LDs demonstrate the Tanzanian government’s intention to promote holistic, intersectoral approaches; ECD activities outside the seven LDs are funded and implemented primarily by foundations and civil society organizations. Tanzania’s draft IECD policy mission statement emphasizes the need for “integrated and multisectoral approaches to early childhood development services countrywide.” A well-structured system to promote national-level intersectoral collaboration, especially among MoCDGC; MoEVT; MoHSW; Prime Minister’s Office of Regional Administration and Local Governments (PMORALG); and TECDEN is in place. District-level intersectoral committees to manage and oversee ECD activities have been established in seven LDs and can serve as an important model for broader implementation of the draft IECD policy when it is finalized. In addition to the UNICEF-supported intersectoral approaches to ECD in the seven LDs, other ECD activities are funded and implemented through other foundation and civil society partners such as the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, KIWAKKUKI, KINNAPA, Plan International, Oxfam, World Vision, Save the Children, Aga Khan Foundation, Kiwakuku, Tanzania Home Economic Association, SAWA, TCDDC, and the Folk Development Committee.
Effectiveness: Increasing Access and Coverage

In partnership with UNICEF, Tanzania has expanded availability of holistic ECD services in the seven LDs, including services for families with children younger than 3 through c-IMCI as the entry point. ECD, and in particular a focus on early stimulation, has been integrated into c-IMCI by CORPs who received additional ECD training. The seven LDs provide c-IMCI home visits with ECD messages for families with children from conception to age 3, community-based day care for children ages 3 and 4, and preprimary education for children ages 5 and 6. The extent of ECD activities in the seven LDs, however, cannot be verified because district-level data are not available on the number of CORPs available to provide parent training or availability of spaces in day care centers and preprimary schools for all families who want them.
Due to integration of ECD into national policies, there have also been some increases in coverage of preprimary education beyond the seven LDs. Net enrollment ratios (NERs) in preprimary school increased from 24.6 percent in 2004 to 36.2 percent in 2008, but declined to 24.4 in 2009. This increase in net enrollment from 2004 to 2008 could be attributable to expansion of preprimary education as a result of the PEDP II policy.
Effectiveness: Building Capacity for ECD

Decision makers at national and district levels reported increased ability to implement and support ECD. With support from UNICEF, ECD focal persons in national ministries attended the Early Childhood Development Virtual University (ECDVU) and professional conferences. Participants reported feeling more confident and capable of leading ECD policy and programme discussions as a result of these experiences. District-level intersectoral teams in the seven LDs also reported an increased ability to support and oversee ECD activities as a result of ECD Resource Pack training.
Preprimary teachers observed during field visits demonstrated sound ECD practices. During field visits to two preprimary schools, teachers appeared well prepared, skilled in classroom management, and adept at engaging students. Caregivers also made excellent use of locally available learning and teaching materials and had involved parents in making these materials.
Infrastructure observed in some of the day care centers was generally poor, did not follow the national operational guidelines, and did not meet minimum standards for integrated ECD. The evaluation team visited three day care centers. In the two centers that were not attached to a preprimary school, infrastructure was poor and national quality standards—for caregiver–child ratios, ventilation, and safety—were not met. For example, one of the day care centers the case study team visited in Makete was crowded and located very close to a busy road, making it a safety hazard for children. In Temeke district, the team visited a very crowded day care center with 50 children, one trained teacher, and one caregiver. The day care center consisted of one poorly ventilated room. This is consistent with UNICEF’s finding that in 2008 more than 80 percent of day care centers were in poor condition. (UNICEF 2010b).
Home-based care providers and parents reported increased knowledge and improved practices as a result of ECD activities in the seven LDs. During field visit interviews, parents and CORPs displayed a high level of awareness of ECD, especially regarding early stimulation. Both parents and non-parental caregivers reported changes in practices after receiving ECD training; children were observed playing with learning materials they had made with their parents.
Effectiveness: Generating Knowledge for ECD

Several studies related to ECD have been completed with support from UNICEF that are currently informing ECD in Tanzania. The situational analysis and stakeholder consultations carried out in 24 districts greatly informed the development of the draft IECD policy. Moreover, documentation of how ECD was integrated into c-IMCI in Kibaha district was used to replicate this integration in the other six LDs.
Some guidance for budgeting costs for ECD has been developed and there are plans for dissemination and use. With support from UNICEF, an ECD cost and financing study has been drafted and was expected to be released in late 2010. It contains information about fixed and recurrent costs under various scenarios for achieving increased coverage of home visiting services for children from conception to age 3, community-based day care centers for children ages 3 and 4, and preprimary education for children ages 5 and 6. According to the UNICEF CO, this study has been used to develop a concept note for the World Bank funding to support scaling up of the three costed scenarios. It will also be used as an “investment case” for advocacy during a national forum on investment in ECD.
There are insufficient national- and subnational-level data to inform ECD policies and programmes. Despite the important contributions of new studies, adequate ECD data are not available at national and subnational levels to guide policy and programme decisions about ECD. For example, Basic Education Statistics Tanzania (BEST) data provide NERs for preprimary education, but do not break the figures out for specific populations such as orphans, children with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations. There are no national data on the number of day care centers that exist, rates of day care center enrollment, or the number of CORPs that are providing ECD and early stimulation information to parents through c-IMCI.
There is little evidence on the effectiveness of ECD services in Tanzania to guide resource allocation decisions. Although Tanzania, in partnership with UNICEF, has completed several important studies of best practices and descriptive studies to document the need for ECD services, studies have not been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of ECD being implemented in the seven LDs. Some of the ECD activities in the seven LDs has been launched very recently; thus, it might be early to conduct an effectiveness evaluation. More research on the feasibility of implementation might be useful to ensure services can be well implemented before conducting an effectiveness study. According to UNICEF, an evaluation of ECD activities in the seven LDs is planned and a baseline study has been completed.
Effectiveness: Mainstreaming ECD in National Policies and Services

Detailed plans for mainstreaming ECD beyond the seven LDs have not yet been developed. At the time the site visit was conducted, the IECD policy was in draft form and was expected to be adopted late in 2010. As a result, funding mechanisms had not yet been established at national levels to undertake broader implementation of ECD activities beyond the seven LDs. Tanzania and its partners also face challenges in assessing national resource allocations for ECD, donor interest in funding ECD, and the capacity of key institutions to provide national leadership in ECD.
Capitation grants for preprimary students are not consistently provided, indicating that local district planners are facing challenges planning and budgeting for ECD. Although MoEVT at the national level has begun allocating funds for preprimary students under PEDP II, during a field visit to a preprimary school a head teacher reported that the school did not receive capitation grants for preprimary students. The school has received these funds only for primary students. Primary school head teachers reported that many preprimary students are not properly registered with the school and schools do not include preprimary students in their reports to the government. Because grants are paid on the basis of the number of students reported, grants have not been received for all preprimary students who attend. A further problem is that preprimary classes are managed by committees that are separate from the rest of the primary grade management and head teachers prioritize the other grades.
Efficiency and Quality of ECD Services

Through UNICEF support, operational guidelines and minimum standards for ECD service delivery have been developed. Operational guidelines and minimum standards for ECD service providers exist and are in use in the seven LDs even though they have not yet received final approval by the national government.
Minimal information is available about the efficiency and quality of services. Although guidelines and standards exist and are in use, adherence to them is not yet required by government policy. Systems are not yet in place for consistent monitoring and tracking of efficiency and quality indicators in the seven LDs.
Processes for ECD Planning, Management, and Coordination

Results-based planning for ECD is limited in Tanzania; data are not consistently collected and used for planning and managing ECD services. Systematic monitoring and data collection to track progress and promote continuous improvement of ECD is limited. Accessible data on service coverage are not available. Regular monitoring of home-based programmes, day care centers, and preprimary schools at the district level is minimal, and monitoring results are not systematically tracked and used for planning. Plans for monitoring CPAP outputs and outcomes in the seven LDs include a baseline and follow-up survey and monitoring visits by UNICEF CO staff. These monitoring visits, conducted four times per year, have a broader focus rather than on ECD activities specifically. In-depth monitoring, such as monitoring visits to specific centers and schools, is not conducted.
The current Republic of Tanzania–UNICEF CPAP does not include specific, measurable targets for the ECD activities in the seven LDs. UNICEF’s expected outputs for ECD include developing community models for ECD and increasing access to community-based ECD services for children younger than 3 in the seven LDs to 30 percent by 2010. More specific enrollment targets for each of the three main ECD programmes (home visits to promote early stimulation, day care centers, and preprimary schools) are needed.
Incorporation of a Human Rights-Based Approach and Strategies to Improve Gender Equity and Participation of the Disadvantaged and Marginalized

Development of ECD policy and services have emphasized participation of parents, ECD service providers, and other local stakeholders. District-level intersectoral ECD committees in the seven LDs emphasize local-level coordination and bring local stakeholders together to oversee ECD activities. Parents and community members are involved in school committees for preprimary schools and day care centers. Approaches that employ local volunteers, such as the CORPs who deliver c-IMCI home visits, increase the likelihood that local contexts will be taken into account in service provision.
Women are well represented in policymaking positions related to ECD due to Tanzanian government policy. Consistent with UNICEF’s focus on incorporating strategies to improve gender equity, during field visit interviews at national and district levels, the case study team noted that women were well represented in leadership roles. This could be because of the Women and Gender Development Policy (2000) under MoCDGC. The policy has the overall objective to promote gender equality and equal participation of men and women in economic, cultural, and political affairs. It also focuses on equal opportunities for men and women in terms of access to education, child care, employment, and decision making.
Boys and girls appear to be served in equal numbers, based on reviews of national data and case study class observations. The BEST data indicate that approximately equal proportions of girls and boys are enrolled in preprimary schools. Based on case study classroom observations during visits to day care centers and preprimary schools, it appeared that there were roughly equal numbers of girls and boys in attendance.
There is little evidence that MVCs or other disadvantaged groups are being reached with ECD services in the LDs or elsewhere. The draft IECD policy includes a brief section on serving vulnerable children; it specifies that the government, in collaboration with other stakeholders, should encourage communities to take responsibility for vulnerable children, should establish programs for reaching vulnerable children with services, and should ensure that laws aimed at protecting children are enforced. In Tanzania, especially vulnerable children are orphans, children living in households headed by other children or elderly adults, children with disabilities, and street children. However, no specific strategies have been elaborated by Tanzania for reaching vulnerable children with ECD services, including home-based care, day care, or preprimary education. According to UNICEF staff, orphans are supported at home and in day care centers, but including children with disabilities is a challenge due to lack of trained staff and appropriate facilities.
The national programme of support for MVCs might not be reaching the youngest children in need. The National Costed Plan of Action for MVC identifies certain groups of children as especially vulnerable; it aims to provide essential support services to these children through a community-based programme in which community MVC committees identify vulnerable children and allocate programme resources to provide supports such as school fees, uniforms, supplies, and possibly food support, health and legal referrals, and assistance with housing and other supports. However, those interviewed during the case study visit reported that very few children younger than 5 are identified and supported under the MVC programme. According to UNICEF, “In the actual identification process, more boys than girls are identified as MVC and very few children below school age are identified as MVC” (UNICEF 2010b). This represents a critical gap in the MVC programme, which is currently the only concerted effort (and funding stream) to reach the most disadvantaged children with services designed to protect their rights and improve outcomes related to their health, education, and security.
Sustainability and Scale-Up of ECD Services and Initiatives

Sustainability of the ECD focus in c-IMCI home visits requires that there be a sufficient number of CORPs per village that have received training on early stimulation and they must be retained in their positions. The number of CORPs per village is fairly low (for example, two CORPs per village), making it challenging for CORPs to provide services to all eligible children and families. Although data on attrition rates of CORPs are not available, some evidence suggests that attrition could be an issue. UNICEF and country counterparts expressed concern about the potential effect of turnover of CORPs and its effect on the quality and consistency of the ECD messages provided as part of c-IMCI.
The current day care center funding approach hinders sustainability and enrollment of vulnerable children who need the services most. Day care centers are supported by the community through community funds, in-kind parent contributions, and contributions from community elders or private businesses and charitable organizations. Teachers do not receive a government salary; they are supported by parent contributions. In wealthier communities, parent fees are viewed as sufficient but in poorer areas this is not the case. Under this funding approach, however, there is little incentive for well-qualified day care providers to work in poorer communities where parents cannot afford to contribute to teachers’ salaries.
Tanzania currently has only partial plans for scaling up services beyond the seven LDs. At sectoral levels there are some plans in development for national scale-up. For example, the draft goals of MKUKUTA II called for 100 percent net enrollment in preprimary school by 2015. It is not clear, however, if funds are available yet to implement the plans. The case study team did not find evidence of scale-up plans in ECD-related documents prepared by UNICEF or the government of Tanzania. Site visit respondents also did not have knowledge of specific scale-up plans. According to UNICEF staff, Tanzania was waiting for the draft IECD policy to be finalized to develop scale-up plans for ECD. After approval of the policy, the government will develop a national plan of action that outlines how the new policy will be operationalized and phased plans to take selected ECD interventions to scale. It also should be noted that at sectoral levels there are some national plans, such as for universal access to preprimary classrooms, but funds are not yet available to implement the plans.
Several important steps have been taken to lay the groundwork for scaling up ECD beyond these districts, but gaps in information about effectiveness hinder evidence-based decision making. Through its partnership with UNICEF, Tanzania has trained leaders and key government officials on ECD, developed programme guidelines and standards, implemented ECD services in the seven LDs, and produced a cost and financing study to guide future scale-up efforts. Little, however, is known about the effectiveness of the activities implemented in the seven LDs, which leaves policymakers and programme managers with little information about where to invest scarce resources.
This section presents conclusions about progress that has been made and ongoing challenges faced by Tanzania and its partners as they continue to develop ECD policy, support implementation, and plan for scale-up.
Alignment with National Goals and Priorities

  • Tanzania has made substantial progress toward completion of an intersectoral IECD policy.
    Increasing Access and Coverage
  • Plans for increasing coverage have not been fully developed.
  • Several important steps have been taken to lay the groundwork for scaling up ECD beyond the seven LDs, but gaps in information about effectiveness hinder evidence-based decision making.
    Capacity Building for ECD
  • Capacity for developing ECD policy and implementing services has increased at all levels.
    Knowledge Generation for ECD
  • Some progress has been made toward building an evidence base to inform ECD policy and services in Tanzania, but gaps in knowledge generation and management at all levels impede results-based planning.
    Mainstreaming of ECD into National Policies and Plans
  • Integration of ECD into c-IMCI provides a good example of a successful intersectoral approach.
  • Current funding approaches are insufficient for mainstreaming ECD services.
    Efficiency and Quality of ECD
  • National ECD guidelines and standards for service delivery can facilitate consistent implementation and continuous quality improvement as ECD is scaled up, but better monitoring is needed.
    Processes for Planning, Management, and Coordination
  • Tanzania has developed a model for intersectoral collaboration at the national and subnational levels.
    Incorporation of a Human Rights-Based Approach and Strategies to Improve Equity
  • Current ECD policy and programme approaches lack mechanisms for identifying and providing ECD services to the most vulnerable groups of children.
    Factors Affecting Sustainability and Scale-Up
  • Tanzania has begun laying the groundwork for developing scale-up plans, but planning for scale-up is not yet underway.
    Role of the UNICEF-GoN Funding
  • The UNICEF-GoN Cooperation Programme provided important support for capacity building and policy development at the national level as well as intensive capacity building and support for implementing strategic ECD activities at the district level.


The evaluation team offers the following recommendations to enhance ECD policy development and implementation in Tanzania. This section presents separate recommendations for (1) the government of Tanzania, focused on intersectoral collaboration and implementation; and (2) UNICEF, focused on advocacy and provision of technical support.

Alignment with National Goals and Priorities

Government of Tanzania: Complete final adoption of the draft IECD policy and develop a national plan of action to facilitate implementation of the policy after its adoption. Final adoption of the draft IECD policy was expected by the end of 2010. When the policy is adopted, critical steps must be taken to plan for implementation of the policy, including decisions about financing, implementation of services, and scale-up outside of the seven LDs. Attention must also be given to ensuring that scale-up includes a focus on providing quality services and serving vulnerable children.
UNICEF: Provide technical support for developing a national plan of action. UNICEF can support the Government of Tanzania by providing technical support for making critical decisions about developing an implementation plan.

UNICEF: Coordinate with foundations and CSOs implementing ECD outside the seven LDs to support implementation of the IECD policy after its adoption. UNICEF can support the government of Tanzania in its implementation planning by coordinating with foundations and CSOs outside the seven LDs to align their work with the IECD policy, provide information about feasibility of implementation based on their experiences, and support implementation in the districts in which they work.

Increasing Access and Coverage

Government of Tanzania: Develop plans for providing ECD training to CORPs outside the seven LDs. As noted in Section IV, Tanzania has successfully expanded availability of holistic ECD services in the seven LDs by providing an additional five days of ECD training, with a particular focus on early stimulation, to CORPs who provide c-IMCI home visits. Tanzania should consider expanding this training to CORPs who provide c-IMCI visits in other districts.
Government of Tanzania: Develop plans for scaling up preprimary services to meet NER goals. The scale-up and sustainability section discusses this cross-cutting issue.

UNICEF: Develop or commission a position paper on strategies for expanding access and coverage, including c-IMCI convergence with ECD and strengthening of access to community day care centers. Such a paper could be invaluable for the Government of Tanzania as it develops a national plan of action for implementing the IECD policy and considers various options for financing and scaling up outside of the seven LDs.

Capacity Building for ECD

Government of Tanzania: Consider replicating district-level ECD training implemented in the seven LDs in other districts in preparation for broader implementation of the IECD policy. In partnership with UNICEF, Tanzania provided training on ECD based on customized materials from the ECD Resource Pack to district-level officials in the seven LDs and created district-level ECD resource teams to oversee ECD coordination and services at the local level. In preparation for adoption of the IECD policy, this approach could be replicated in additional districts that are strong candidates for implementing ECD when broad implementation of the IECD policy begins.

UNICEF: Consider sending another cohort of national policymakers to ECDVU. With support from UNICEF, ECD focal persons in national ministries attended ECDVU, which increased their knowledge of ECD and fostered intersectoral collaboration across participating ministries. Due to the success of this effort, UNICEF should consider supporting another cohort of ministry-level staff to attend ECDVU to expand the depth of ECD knowledge at the national level and deepen intersectoral working relationships on ECD.

Knowledge for ECD

Government of Tanzania: Capitalize on existing national-level surveys to generate data on ECD. Currently, Tanzania does not field UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS). One way to gather information about ECD would be to add the MICS-4 ECD module to an existing national-level survey. This could yield high quality data to better inform planning for ECD beyond the seven LDs. For example, two existing surveys to which the MICS ECD module could be added are the Demographic and Health Survey and the National Panel Survey. The government of Tanzania would need to work closely with experts on those surveys to determine which is the appropriate vehicle for these questions and could best accommodate an additional module.

UNICEF: Collaborate with other donors to support rigorous impact evaluations of selected ECD interventions. Currently, Tanzania has no information about the effectiveness of ECD interventions being implemented in the seven LDs. When implementation procedures are fully developed, including staff training and consistent monitoring using the ECD guidelines and standards, one or more rigorous impact evaluations should be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the services to inform scale-up beyond the seven LDs.

Mainstreaming ECD into National Policies and Plans

Government of Tanzania: Support advocacy efforts at national, regional, district, and local levels to prioritize preprimary schools for receipt of capitation grants. National guidelines for capitation grants provide guidance on how the grants will be provided. At the district level, there is a process for assessing needs based on a set of criteria, with priority areas elaborated in a set of guidelines. Based on this assessment, districts prepare capitation grant budgets that are reviewed at the regional level. At the local level, school committees also provide input. Advocacy at each of these levels to increase allocation of capitation grant funds to preprimary schools is needed.

UNICEF: Advocate for budgeting and fiscal space for ECD. UNICEF should work with country counterparts and other partners to ensure that ECD is and remains a priority as national and local budgets are developed. Without sufficient funding, the IECD policy cannot fulfill its potential as a means for preparing children for primary school.

Efficiency and Quality of ECD

Government of Tanzania: Consider strategies to reduce and maintain lowerlevels of attrition among CORPs. Tanzania and its partners have invested in an additional five days of training for CORPs to implement ECD, especially early stimulation, into their c-IMCI home visits. When CORPs, who are volunteers, leave their positions, this new knowledge is lost and additional investments must be made in training new staff. To address this problem, Tanzania should consider paying CORPs a regular salary, providing a smaller incentive payment, or asking for a small fee from parents who can afford it (UNICEF 2010a). In addition, periodic refresher training might also motivate CORPs to continue in their roles and increase the quality of services they provide.
Processes for Planning, Management, and Coordination

Government of Tanzania: Consider developing indicators for implementation of ECD programs, train district-level teams to collect data on the indicators, and use the data to monitor ECD activities and work on continuous programme improvement. When Tanzania’s ECD guidelines and standards are finalized, indicators should be developed to monitor compliance. For example, do ECD staff and volunteers have the required qualifications and have they received the required training? Tanzania and its partners also need a system for collecting data on indicators and procedures for regular monitoring and reporting on service delivery. In addition, district-level teams could benefit from training on how to collect and use these indicators to examine implementation progress and work with service providers on continuous improvement. During field visits, the intersectoral team in one district expressed interest in collecting and using data to make midcourse corrections.
Government of Tanzania: Consider developing early learning and development standards, along with indicators for what children should know and be able to do at different ages, to facilitate tracking progress toward meeting the standards. These standards could also include standards for parent knowledge of ECD and indicators of parent knowledge that could be used to assess the effectiveness of ECD messages delivered to parents through c-IMCI. Developing these standards is a crucial step toward monitoring progress of children enrolled in different ECD services—home visits, day care centers, and preprimary schools—and determining whether each is producing expected outcomes for children. Tanzania and its partners should be able to assess, for example, the extent to which children who attended preprimary school have developed the skills and knowledge necessary to learn in a primary school setting.

UNICEF: Provide technical support to help Tanzania develop indicators and integrate them into existing data and monitoring systems. Rather than create new systems that might not be sustainable, UNICEF can provide technical support by assessing options for integrating indicators of implementation and parent and child outcomes into existing data and monitoring systems. UNICEF could also provide technical support and training for district-level officials on how to use these indicators to monitor performance and direct support and resources to address areas of need identified through monitoring.

Incorporation of a Human Rights-Based Approach and Strategies to Improve Equity

Government of Tanzania: Use PEPFAR II and Revision of the National Plan of Action for MVC as opportunities to integrate ECD and increase coverage. As described in Section III, Tanzania’s current ECD service approach requires the presence of a parent or guardian who can receive c-IMCI home visits or enroll the child in a day care center or preprimary school. The draft IECD policy, however, notes the importance of developing services for vulnerable children—such as orphans, street children, and children with disabilities—some of whom might not have familial advocates to obtain services on their behalf. In other cases, relatives caring for orphans might be overwhelmed by their responsibilities and/or unaware of the availability of ECD services. Through intersectoral collaboration, there is an opportunity to engage other partners, such as the Tanzanian Commission on AIDS, in developing specific strategies for targeting these vulnerable groups of children and engaging them in services. For example, providing incentives for communities that reach enrollment targets for vulnerable children could encourage the development of local outreach campaigns. Teachers and CORPs will also likely need specialized training for working with these children.
Government of Tanzania: To sustain enrollment in day care centers and make them accessible to vulnerable children, government financing or scholarships for children whose families cannot afford a fee and teacher incentives should be considered. As noted in Section V, day care center teachers receive financial support from parent contributions, rather than a government salary. A parent fee structure might be sufficient to fund teachers in wealthier communities as well as reduced fees or scholarships for poor and vulnerable children. In poorer communities, a government subsidy to pay the teachers’ salaries and provide scholarships for vulnerable children might be necessary. Teachers incentives, such as opportunities for additional or refresher training or additional stipends, could also encourage teachers to work in day care centers with large proportions of vulnerable children.

Scale-Up and Sustainability

Government of Tanzania: When the IECD policy document is passed, develop concrete plans for scaling up services. These should include (1) plans for identifying districts that are the best candidates for implementing ECD, (2) processes for creating and training district-level intersectoral ECD teams to oversee and monitor implementation, (3) plans for financing ECD services and specific budget allocations, (4) plans for training staff and volunteers in ECD, (5) developing systems for monitoring and oversight, and (6) strategies for ensuring that vulnerable children have access to the services.

UNICEF: Increase coordination with other donors globally to explore integration of ECD services into existing strategies and activities and increase ECD service coverage. Many donors provide sectoral funding to address needs in Tanzania related to HIV/AIDS, health, education, child survival, and child protection. By raising awareness of ECD issues with donors such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Department for International Development (DFID) (United Kingdom), the Government of Tanzania and its partners, including GoN, could extend ECD’s reach and integration into other services currently funded by these and other donors. Also, as suggested by the Cost and Financing study, the Tanzanian government could seek to form a donor group for ECD by asking for specific contributions from donors for the IECD policy. Donors could coordinate, pool resources, and contribute to specific goals or activities in the IECD policy.

Lessons Learned (Optional):

At the time of the August 2010 site visit, Tanzania was at a relatively early stage in the development and implementation of ECD policy and programme implementation. Development of the IECD policy document was underway but had not yet been completed. Implementation of ECD activities was focused primarily in the seven LDs. Nevertheless, Tanzania’s experience thus far at both the national and subnational levels provides several important lessons learned that might be useful for other countries, particularly on the topic of intersectoral collaboration.

Early investment in intersectoral training at the national level can foster the development of ECD expertise and strong relationships across sectors. At the national level, Tanzania has a well-structured ECD policy development process in which focal persons from multiple ministries and partner organizations participate in a steering committee chaired by MoCDGC. With support from UNICEF, these individuals participated together in ECDVU for one year. During site visit interviews, participants reported that this experience helped the group to create shared expertise in ECD, a common understanding of the importance of ECD, and strong working relationships across sectors.
Intersectoral policy development and planning fosters integrated, holistic services rather than implementation only in one isolated sector and takes a holistic approach to meeting young children’s needs. Tanzania’s intersectoral approach to ECD policy development has fostered an integrated, holistic approach across health, education, and social welfare, rather than a more limited focus in a single area. Moreover, in the seven LDs, multiple service delivery strategies have been implemented across sectors simultaneously and are overseen by an integrated district-level committee.

An intersectoral approach to policy development and programme implementation promotes the development of interventions for parents and children across the ECD age span (conception to age 8). Another benefit of Tanzania’s intersectoral ECD approach has been the implementation of services across the age span. Rather than focusing on one age group—preschoolers, for example—Tanzania has developed home-based services for parents and children up to age 3, day care services for children ages 3–5, and preprimary classrooms for children ages 5 and older.
Because donor groups are organized by sector, an intersectoral approach to ECD creates challenges for efficient interactions with funders. Tanzania receives support from a set of donor groups that is organized by sector. Because Tanzania has taken an intersectoral approach to ECD, it is difficult to engage donor groups, each of which focuses on a specific sector, in funding intersectoral ECD. There is no single lead ministry to connect with a particular donor group and advocate for ECD funding. Addressing this mismatch between the intersectoral country approach and the sectoral donor approach will be critical for engaging donors in funding the services needed to mainstream ECD beyond the seven LDs. The UNICEF–GoN programme was a first step in this type of funding that could serve as a model for donor funding strategies focused on intersectoral collaboration and mainstreaming.

Full report in PDF

PDF files require Acrobat Reader.



Report information

New enhanced search