The Integrated Intervention Targeted at Deprived Pre-School Children in Rural Colombia is an 18-month intervention to improve the quality of parenting support services for vulnerable families living in rural areas of Colombia. FAMI (Family, Women, and Infancy) is a public home visiting program for vulnerable women and children under age 2 through individual monthly visits and weekly group meetings. While part of the Colombian government’s national early childhood strategy “De Cero a Siempre” aims to improve the quality of FAMI services, this proves particularly challenging in rural regions of the country.
This intervention is designing, testing and evaluating a reformed curriculum to improve early childhood development (including cognitive, verbal and motor skills), parent-child interactions, and understanding and awareness of nutrition among pregnant women, mothers and children under 2 reached by FAMI in rural and peri-urban areas of Colombia. The new curriculum includes 24 home visiting sessions and 19 group meeting sessions. FAMI program facilitators additionally receive training and ongoing coaching and supervision (every 5 weeks) from trained tutors. Nutritional supplements and pedagogical materials (such as books, puzzles, and locally-made toys) are also provided through the program. The program intends to reach 2,000 parents and pregnant women and some 2,000 children for the duration of the intervention before scaling further.
This intervention has faced a number of challenges, including: 1) serving rural disperse areas is costly due to long and difficult distances; (2) curriculum and tutoring need to consider significant heterogeneity of the program across different regions; (3) working with an already existing program can be challenging due to a natural reluctancy to change and ingrained practices; (4) pedagogical materials can easily be damaged or lost, the program needs to consider alternatives or increased costs to replenish frequently; (5) skilled human capital for training and supervision of program facilitators is not easy to find in some of the rural regions of the country; (6) staff turnover and dropout pose a challenge; (7) partnering with the government and other organizations poses risks in terms of common interests and objectives.The intervention makes use of evidence-based practices to reform the curriculum of an existing public home visiting service to improve the quality of parenting support for vulnerable families and children.
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CEI approaches in actionSchool supportTeacher trainingTeaching materials (teaching guides, lesson plans, etc.)Student assessment and progressStudent supportEarly Childhood Development
Model details2014Not-for-profitHealth/NutritionOtherParenting; Child developmentActiveShort-term projectGovernment expenditureFree service or productFundación ÉxitoInstitute for Fiscal Studies (UK)Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF)1,90052%48%
BeneficiariesOrphans and vulnerable childrenOtherMothers and young children in rural areas
The intervention targets mothers and children in rural areas through the existing home visiting service for socioeconomically vulnerable families and children, FAMI.
Scale171171 facilitators have been trained171171 parenting groups (approximately 12 members each)171171 boxes of pedagogical materials including 82 building blocks, 16 baby picture books, 60 picture books, 30 pictures to talk about, 21 puzzles, 3 sorting and matching objects, 1 toolkit for home made toys (scissors, glue, paint, colors, cloth, socks, neeMarch, 2016
Throughout 2016, this intervention will be evaluated and, eventually, be scaled beyond current regions to encompass the entire national FAMI program.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
Before finalizing the content of the intervention, curricula were tested over a four-month period in a small number of towns receiving FAMI services. Baseline data, including indicators on maternal and child health and parenting practices, were collected at the onset of the intervention, and data on child development indicators (cognitive and psychosocial development and nutrition) will be collected after 18 months.
The intervention is additionally monitoring implementation through surveys of FAMI facilitators and observations.
The overall impact of the intervention will be evaluated through a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of more than 90 different towns.OtherMaternal and child health; parenting practices; child development (cognitive, psychosocial, nutrition) indicatorsYesYes
Families in the 20% poorest of the population