Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


An estimated 6 million children under the age of five in Nigeria (out of nearly 31 million) risk not reaching their full developmental potential. The dearth of context-relevant measures poses a challenge to the planning and implementation of effective interventions. This study assesses the utility of the Early Childhood Development Index (ECDI) in Nigeria. We used the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys to track progress among 3- to 4-year-old children (n = 11,073); 3-year-old, 51%; female, 49%. Using random calibration samples, the results from psychometric tests indicate that while over half of the children were on track in their development based on the ECDI, the instrument had low to average internal consistency and weak face validity, suggesting an inadequacy in capturing ECD information of value. At the outset of the launch of the new ECDI2030, the results of this study point to the need for continued discourse and advocacy for the use of culturally appropriate measures of child development, and a child-centered community engagement approach. This is essential in ensuring accountability and responsive interventions for the children served and their families.


Social Work

Publication Date


Journal Title




Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type



© 2024 by the authors


This is an open access article published by MDPI in Children in 2024, available online: