Validity and Reliability of the Early Development Instrument in Indonesia


There is increasing interest from international organizations and the research community to use internationally comparable instruments that in turn foster global understanding while providing evidence for local and international policy development. In the field of early childhood, international comparisons have traditionally been limited to indicators such as infant or child mortality and anthropometric data such as stunting and wasting. However, there has been gradual interest in developing international measures that can be used to compare and monitor the holistic development of children. Using both the short and standard versions of the Early Development Instrument (EDI), this paper reports on the process of adaptation of the EDI in Indonesia. Further, it explores the content and construct validity, internal consistency, inter-rater reliability and predictive validity of the EDI using a number of measures including the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, the Dimensional Change Card Sort, and school-based tests of language, mathematics and cognitive performance, collected from a number of informants (caregivers, teachers, and children). We report on data for two cohorts of children: the “younger cohort” were approximately 1 year old (N = 3116) and the “older cohort” were approximately 4 years old (N = 3251) at Time 1. Both cohorts were followed up approximately 4 years later, at Time 2. This study finds that the EDI shows moderate validity and reliability in poor communities in Indonesia and highlights some of the difficulties associated with adapting western instruments for non-western cultures and contexts.

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    The EDI is usually completed by a child’s class teacher. However, in Indonesia a child generally does not begin school until they are 7 years of age meaning this cohort had not yet begun school. Thus, the EDI was completed for this cohort by their caregiver as part of the overall suite of questionnaires.


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Our collaboration has been partially supported by an Australian Government AusAID Development Research Awards Scheme Grant (ADRA0800261). Data collection was partially funded by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands through the Dutch Education Support Program (DESP) Trust Fund (TF057272) which provides support to the Government of Indonesia through the World Bank for the purpose of developing policies, studies, and programs that help the Government achieve its education strategic plan. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands or the Government of Indonesia.

We would particularly like to acknowledge the AusAID Education Thematic Group and Network Members for their support and interest in the translation of these results into evidence-based policy and practice. In carrying out this project we have worked closely with our colleagues at the World Bank, including Amanda Beatty, Hafid I. Alatas, Joppe de Ree, Titie Hadiyati, Djoko Hartono, Dedy Junaedi, Mayla Safuro, Mulyana and Rosfita Roesli.

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Correspondence to Sally A. Brinkman.

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Brinkman, S.A., Kinnell, A., Maika, A. et al. Validity and Reliability of the Early Development Instrument in Indonesia. Child Ind Res 10, 331–352 (2017).

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  • Child Development
  • Early Development Instrument (EDI)
  • Validity
  • Reliability
  • Indonesia