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Piloting the Early Childhood Rights Indicators

There were three pilots of the Early Childhood Rights Indicators (ECRI) tool: Tanzania, Chile, and British Columbia (Canada).

Tanzania pilot of the Indicators of General Comment 7

The Tanzania pilot was the first of the three pilots, during which the tool was called the “Indicators of General Comment 7” (GC7 indicators). This pilot was conducted from 2009 to 2010 using a paper copy of the GC7 indicators.

Our team, in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children, and the UNICEF Country Office, recruited and trained a task force comprised of Tanzanian government officials to pilot the GC7 indicators.

Results of the Tanzania pilot

The Tanzania pilot demonstrated that the indicators could be used:

  • to serve as a strong tool for national and inter-sectoral self-assessment to identify policies, programs, and outcomes related to early childhood;
  • to assess the degree to which conditions conducive to fulfilling child rights are in place;
  • to highlight the weaknesses in data collection, as well as the storage of the data, on child development and child rights, and how the indicators could serve to push the agenda for both of these fields; and
  • to create partnerships between the ministries responsible for different aspects of the lives and rights of the young children.

Digitizing the indicators

During the Tanzania pilot, the idea of creating an electronic version of the tool was proposed as an effective step towards improving its utility and the efficiency of the data collection process. Upon completion of this pilot, the new electronic version of the GC7 indicators was developed. The new digitized tool was named the Early Childhood Rights Indicators (ECRI) and was launched on Nov. 20, 2012, in recognition of Universal Children’s Day.


The Tanzania pilot was funded by the Lawson Foundation of Canada.

Chile pilot of ECRI

From 2010 to 2011, Chile, as a middle-resource country, hosted the second pilot of the indicators tool in its electronic format, re-named the Early Childhood Rights Indicators (ECRI). After the tool was digitized, the indicators were translated into Spanish and were validated.

Results of the Chile pilot

The pilot project of ECRI in Chile was mutually beneficial for the ongoing improvement of the tool as well as for the pilot country. The collected data clearly indicated that ECRI is an effective tool for conducting an inventory of child rights capacities. After the Chile pilot:

  • A new level of awareness on child rights issues emerged within Chile and the region;
  • A policy brief was published in the Spanish Society of Social Pediatrics newsletter describing the project and its relevance in serving the child development agenda in Chile, as well as in the region. This document is an important piece of advocacy in Latin America and was disseminated at the Congress of the Latin American Society of Pediatrics in Cartagena, Colombia in November of 2012; and
  • The UNICEF office in Chile conducted their own review of the collected data and published a report.


The Chile pilot was funded by the Social Science and Humanity Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Lawson Foundation of Canada.

British Columbia pilot of ECRI

The third and final pilot of ECRI was conducted from 2015 to 2017 in a high-resource setting: the province of British Columbia (BC), Canada. Due to project circumstances, this pilot was reduced to only one of the indicators of ECRI: Indicator 8: Protection against violence.

Upon completion of data collection, the data was verified with support from the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth of BC (RCY BC).

Results of the BC pilot

In 2017, Vaghri partnered with Island Health and RCYBC to secure a Reach Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research to carry out knowledge translation activities for the BC pilot.

The main activity was the BC Child Rights Symposium, held on Nov. 16, 2018. This event was co-organized by RCY BC, Island Health and GlobalChild. The purpose was to inform early child development and child rights stakeholders about what was learned through this pilot.

The final report of the BC pilot is now available to download:


The BC pilot was funded by a Catalyst Grant from Island Health.

The future of ECRI

We hope that this tool will soon be available for monitoring child rights for children aged 0-8 years globally. Dr. Vaghri is currently in conversation with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, under whose auspices the tool was developed and piloted, about the use of the tool by all 198 countries that are States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.