Early Childhood Development Programs, Peacebuilding, and the Sustainable Development Goals: Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Research and Multisectoral Partnerships

  • Liliana Angelica PongutaEmail author
  • Chelsea Donaldson
  • Friedrich Affolter
  • Paul Connolly
  • Laura Dunne
  • Sarah Miller
  • Pia Britto
  • Rima Salah
  • James Leckman
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 74)


This chapter makes a case for investing in early childhood development (ECD) programs and services as a key mechanism to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and contributing to peacebuilding efforts in the global context. The links among early childhood development, sustainable development and peacebuilding are discussed from macroeconomic, biodevelopmental and social perspectives. We use the Global Peace Index (formulated by the Institute of Economics and Peace to measure progress towards peace across countries) to illustrate links between ECD program outcomes and peacebuilding-relevant indicators. Drawing from this analysis, we frame a theory of change that includes overarching inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes of the ‘peacebuilding through ECD’ agenda. The chapter outlines research gaps and priorities to bolster the evidence-base of peacebuilding through ECD in multiple contexts. We put forth a call to action for interdisciplinary research and multi-sectoral partnerships to effectively leverage peacebuilding through ECD as a strategy for sustainable development.


Early childhood development Bioecological risks Peacebuilding Sustainable development Global peace index Social cohesion Multisectoral partnerships Interdisciplinary research Early Childhood Peacebuilding Consortium Social and human capital 



The authors acknowledge the funding support of the Jacobs Foundation, Alex and Ani, and the H&M Foundation for the completion of this chapter and the editorial contributions of Majd Al-Soleiti.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liliana Angelica Ponguta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chelsea Donaldson
    • 2
  • Friedrich Affolter
    • 3
  • Paul Connolly
    • 4
  • Laura Dunne
    • 4
  • Sarah Miller
    • 4
  • Pia Britto
    • 3
  • Rima Salah
    • 1
  • James Leckman
    • 1
  1. 1.The Yale Child Study CenterYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Empatico, The KIND FoundationNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.United Nations International Children’s Emergency FundNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Centre for Evidence and Social InnovationQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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