Consortium for Research on Early Childhood Development and Education (CORE)


An Evaluation of the Early Childhood Care and Development Programme in Bhutan

Funding Source

Ministry of Education Bhutan and UNICEF Bhutan

Project Period

August 2019–January 2020

Team Members

Prof RAO, Nirmala 

Principal Investigator

Dr CHAN, Stephanie


Dr LEE, Diana

Dr COHRSSEN, Caroline


The objectives of this study were to assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency,

and sustainability of the provision of ECCD services in Bhutan. ECCD programmes are recognised in providing strong foundations for human development and lifelong learning in the 12th Five-Year-Plan and the Bhutan Education Blueprint 2014-2024. In particular, under the National Key Result Area 7 ‘Quality education and skills’, an objective is to expand ECCD programmes to reach all children. Therefore, policy documents and national statistics were analysed to determine access rates to ECCD. Furthermore, Bhutan is currently developing a National ECCD Multi-Sectoral Plan and this study endeavoured to support this process of developing the Plan by identifying key strategic and systematic shifts to strengthen multi-sectoral ECCD coordination among major stakeholders.

Project Information

Bhutan’s ECCD provision was evaluated rigorously employing a mixed-methods methodology.

  • Analyses of key policy documents pertinent to the ECCD sector in Bhutan were conducted as well as a review of additional data sources that include national monitoring systems and national databases.
  • Observations of ECCD enabled an analysis of existing and planned ECCD policies. New empirical data were collected. Surveys and interviews with stakeholders (including parents/caregivers, crèche caregivers, ECCD facilitators, health workers, secretaries of Centre Management Committees, District Education Officers, and District Health Officers) were conducted between October and December 2019.

Findings from this evaluation highlight good practices as well as gaps in planning, implementation, budgeting, and coordination, and identify impacts of the ECCD programme on child development. The evaluation also proposes practical and contextualised recommendations for the National Multi-Sectoral ECCD Strategic Plan to strengthen ECCD programmes. In addition, some of the data collected will set a baseline to assess progress towards SDG Target 4.2.

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