Adapting Reach Up and Learn in Crisis and Conflict Settings: An Exploratory Multiple Case Study

OBJECTIVES: In 2019, >71 million children aged <5 had spent their entire lives in conflict-affected abstract settings. Compounding adversities including violence, poverty, and displacement have immediate and long-term effects on early childhood development, health, behavior, and well-being. In response, adaptations of Reach Up have been implemented in conflict and crisis settings.

METHODS: This article uses exploratory multiple case study methodology, drawing from implementation and qualitative data from 3 interventions: a mobile phone-based intervention promoting nurturing care among Rohingya and crisis-affected host communities in Bangladesh; Reach Up amid acute violence and displacement in Northeast Syria; and Reach Up group sessions and home visits integrated with health services for an indigenous population in Venezuela.

RESULTS: In Bangladesh, tailoring interactive voice response messages improved responsiveness to the developmental needs of young children, yet complementary in-person services were identified as a key program enhancement. In Syria, rapid adaptations of Reach Up addressed the needs of families in acute crisis, including social–emotional learning games for school-aged children. In Venezuela, Reach Up, coupled with complementary lactation counseling, yielded high rates of uptake and satisfaction, and children’s language development was highlighted as a key area of growth.

CONCLUSIONS: Recommendations to promote early childhood development in crisis and conflict settings include: (1) cultural adaptation based on a holistic understanding of children and caregivers’ needs; (2) the integration of child and family safety and linkages with complementary services on the basis of community needs and priorities, and (3) the importance of designing for scale through blended models and costing analyses.

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Type de ressource

Journal Article


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Écrit par

Katelin Swing Wilton, Katie Maeve Murphy, Ahsan Mahmud, Syful Azam, Anika Habib, Iman Ibrahim, Eloisa Della Neve, Gabriela Pena, Syeda Fardina Mehrin, Shamima Shiraji, Jena Derakhshani Hamadani


Levels of Learning - Early Childhood Development
Research and Evidence

Zone géographique d'intérêt