Our employment service supported a Harvard Chan School program designing and evaluating low-cost, scalable development intervention models for children born into poverty.

Promoting Early Childhood Development to Help Break the Cycle of Poverty

Led by Theresa Betancourt, associate professor of child health and human rights, the Department of Global Health and Population's Research Program on Children and Global Adversity focused on understanding trajectories of risk and resilience in children facing multiple forms of adversity. In Rwanda, the program worked with partners such as USAID, the World Bank, FXB Rwanda, and the Government of Rwanda, among others, to evaluate the implementation of a low-cost, scalable home-visiting model to promote positive parent-child relationships, reduce violence and harsh punishment, and foster child development in families living in extreme poverty.

The intervention model they developed—named Sugira Muryango— was intended to be delivered by lay community workers via active coaching in the home setting. Its curriculum focused on the core elements of child development—physical, cognitive, linguistic, and socio-emotional—and built on the World Health Organization/UNICEF Care for Child Development Package, which had been delivered successfully across low-resource settings. Sugira Muryango also addressed key psycho-social issues, including conflict resolution and violence prevention, while bolstering resilience and promoting future stability. As part of the implementation trial, the team assessed the feasibility of integrating Sugira Muryango into Vision 2020, Rwanda's flagship poverty reduction program.

Harvard Global Services in Rwanda

Harvard Chan School utilized our employment service to support the project's in-country researcher. We were able to provide employment for the federally-funded project in Rwanda via a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Rwanda.