Document Type



Population Health (East Africa)


Introduction: Economic evaluations of complex interventions in early child development are required to guide policy and programme development, but a few are yet available.

Methods and analysis: Although significant gains have been made in maternal and child health in resource- constrained environments, this has mainly been concentrated on improving physical health. The Learning Clubs programme addresses both physical and mental child and maternal health. This study is an economic evaluation of a cluster randomised controlled trial of the impact of the Learning Clubs programme in Vietnam. It will be conducted from a societal perspective and aims to identify the cost-effectiveness and the economic and social returns of the intervention. A total of 1008 pregnant women recruited from 84 communes in a rural province in Vietnam will be included in the evaluation. Health and cost data will be gathered at three stages of the trial and used to calculate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios per percentage point improvement of infant’s development, infant’s health and maternal common mental disorders expressed in quality-adjusted life years gained. The return on investment will be calculated based on improvements in productivity, the results being expressed as benefit–cost ratios.

Ethics and dissemination: The trial was approved by Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (Certificate Number 2016–0683), Australia, and approval was extended to include the economic evaluation (Amendment Review Number 2018-0683-23806); and the Institutional Review Board of the Hanoi School of Public Health (Certificate Number 017-377IDD- YTCC), Vietnam. Results will be disseminated through academic journals and conference presentations.

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