Journal Article: Using Data Tools and Systems to Drive Change in Early Childhood Education
Article describing the development of the Early Learning Measurement (ELOM) tools published in Children – an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal of pediatrics.
The motivating force behind the development of the ELOM tools and systems is the desire to close the opportunity gaps in early childhood outcomes in South Africa, where significant inequities are evident in the early learning opportunities and outcomes of children from different socio-economic backgrounds. The ELOM tools are designed to address the need for locally standardised and robust instruments which produce fair assessments of preschool-aged children from across the ethnolinguistic and socio-economic spectrum and can be affordably used at scale within the South African context.
The ELOM tools and systems are firmly located within the broader early childhood education ecosystem in South Africa. Practical examples are provided of ways in which the tools are used for programme monitoring and enhancement purposes, for research, and for tracking progress towards the attainment of national and global development goals. To promote secondary analyses, data from multiple studies are regularly collated into a meta dataset which is made open access via an online data portal. The DataDrive2030 team describes the services and support that make up the ELOM data value chain, noting some of the challenges and enablers of data-driven change within a resource constrained context.