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Type: Journal article
Title: Measuring early childhood development in multiple contexts: the internal factor structure and reliability of the early Human Capability Index in seven low and middle income countries
Author: Sincovich, A.
Gregory, T.
Zanon, C.
Santos, D.D.
Lynch, J.
Brinkman, S.A.
Citation: BMC Pediatrics, 2019; 19(1):471-1-471-14
Publisher: Springer Nature
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 1471-2431
Statement of
Alanna Sincovich, Tess Gregory, Cristian Zanon, Daniel D. Santos, John Lynch and Sally A. Brinkman
Abstract: Background: The fourth year of the Sustainable Development Agenda era calls for countries to continue to invest not only in interventions and policies that will promote global equity and sustainability, but also in the monitoring systems required to track progress against these targets. A more pragmatic solution to measuring children's early development in low and middle income countries in particular, is required. This study explores the psychometric properties of the early Human Capability Index (eHCI), a population measure of holistic development for children aged 3-5 years, designed with the vision of being flexible and feasible for use in low resource and capacity settings. Methods: Utilizing data from seven low and middle income countries: Brazil (n = 1810), China (n = 11,421), Kiribati (n = 8339), Lao People's Democratic Republic (n = 7493), Samoa (n = 12,191), Tonga (n = 6214), and Tuvalu (n = 549), analyses explored the internal factor structure and reliability of scores produced by the tool within each country. Results: Confirmatory factor analyses and internal consistency coefficients demonstrated that after local adaptation, translation, and different implementation methods across countries, the eHCI maintained the same factor structure of nine theoretically-based developmental domains: Physical Health, Verbal Communication, Cultural Knowledge, Social and Emotional Skills, Perseverance, Approaches to Learning, Numeracy, Reading, and Writing. Conclusions: Findings support the aims of the eHCI in being adaptable and applicable for use within a range of low and middle income countries to facilitate measurement and monitoring of children's early development, as is required for the tracking of progress towards the Sustainable Development Agenda.
Keywords: Child development; early Human Capability Index; low and middle income countries; program evaluation; population monitoring
Rights: © The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated
DOI: 10.1186/s12887-019-1852-5
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