Kimberly Boller, Christine Ross, Diane Paulsell

This concept paper proposes a four-stage approach to in-country/region ECD program development, selection, and inquiry designed to build the evidence base required to guide program and policy decisions. The foundation of the approach is a strengths-based continuous program improvement framework. Feedback loops would be tied to indicators of program fidelity, family participation, and outcomes. This approach includes developing a partnership between stakeholders and researchers at each stage (a community of learners). The proposed staged approach builds on the medical model of clinical research on innovative treatments and drug therapies as well as design options for evaluating program enhancements to the federal Head Start program in the United States (Ross et al., 2005).