With a population of over 40 million people, Kenya is one of the most promising democracies in East Africa and shares several common charters of its neighbors. Stubbornly high levels of maternal mortality and stunting among children are continuing more or less at the same levels over the past two decades. Current child mortality rates are very high especially in rural and highly populated areas. Children under 5 die because of the lack of access to primary health care, lack of early immunization, and poor maternal nutrition during pregnancies. Further, many children in Kenya experience violence, physical and emotional abuse and neglect from parents and caregivers
In response to these pressing needs, the SDG Philanthropy Platform has launched Innovation Challenge prize to accelerate Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Kenya. In the result of an open competition process, Kuza Biashara Ltd. - a social enterprise, which uses micro-learning videos as a basis for disseminating best practices - was selected as one of the Innovators in the ECD field.
Project Description and Objective:
The project sought to design and develop community-based instructional micro-learning videos on Early Childhood Development (ECD) topics to:
- Improve the knowledge and efficiency of the Health Workers & Caregivers;
- Encourage uptake of critical services including primary health and vaccination, nutrition, cognitive stimulation and early learning and child protection;
- Enable access to information and adoption of best practices by the community members.
Major Results Achieved:
- 18 micro-learning videos for Caregivers working with infants from the birth to 12 months (03 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months) produced and made available to public, covering six critical areas of interventions (brain development, nurturing care, nutrition, play, language and literacy, and positive guidance);
- 10 caregivers, mainly young mothers, from the Githurai district of Nairobi, improved their understanding of ECD through blended learning methodology, piloted by Kuza;
- An interactive learning guide (also available from mobile app) designed and developed to assist caregivers in engaging other caregivers.
Major SDG Acceleration Lever:
Using new technologies (micro-learning videos; interactive learning guide; offline digital kit which can be used in remote areas without internet or even electricity), changing social norms and behaviors (embracing the importance of ECD)
Lessons Learned and Way Forward:
Quick adoption pace of the digital platforms by caregivers, along with their commitment and willingness to learn, prompt great scaling potential of the initiative. The next step will be further validation of the digital content by local ECD experts, such as Aga Khan University. This will make the program ready to be scaled among implementing partners not only in Kenya but in other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa as well. Also, Kuza will seek to expand the ECD learning content to other age categories (1-3 years, 3-5 years, 5-8 years), as well as translating it into local languages. Capacity building of the caregivers can be extended to all the counties of Kenya, especially the frontier counties, which have very little interventions and where the uptake of Primary Health Services is low especially due to lack of understanding of caregivers and also other formal resources.
Media Coverage and Knowledge Products:
- ECD Digital Learning Platform http://ecd.kuzaedge.com/app/#/app/course
- User Name: 0986698669
- PIN: 8989
Photo credit: Jeremy Wilburn