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In 2010, following the World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education, UNESCO began constructing a framework to develop a composite early child development index through interagency collaboration. This work resulted in a Holistic Early Childhood Development Index (HECDI) Framework and Technical Guide which was published in 2014. The publication summarised the resulting work of the HECDI Technical Committee and working groups along with significant consultation and inputs from relevant international agencies.

Since the completion of the HECDI Technical Guide there was a call for further work and in particular the computation of a HECDI single value index. Specifically UNESCO sought to continue HECDI development by producing a single index and documenting a means to convert the basket of indicator values into that single index. This was to involve, among other tasks, identifying the relative priority of the current indicators (as they were described in UNESCO’s 2014 HECDI Technical Guide) and potential new ones in ECCE, and converting those indicators and their priorities into a single, decomposable, numerical value that can be applied at multiple levels. This document is a result of the further work on the HECDI and serves as both a technical guide on the process of formulating the Single Value HECDI, and as a user manual for the accompanying excel spreadsheet file – which computes the index when data on indicator values are inputted.

Brief history of the index

ibe ecce, infographic

This document is presented in three sections. The first details the process and results of evaluating, prioritising and refining suggested HECDI indicators and Data sources based on the HECDI Framework (2014). The second details the formulation of the single value HECDI, including the definition of component scores for each HECDI sub-target, the definition of an aggregation formula that converts the component scores into a single value index, and the suggested weightings for each sub-target in the calculation of the overall index. The final section is concerned with the computation of the single value index based on population-level data on early childhood wellbeing, and also details three statistical simulations for different baskets of indicator values.