Document Type



Institute for Human Development


Background: Community engagement is crucial for the design and implementation of community-based early childhood development (ECD) programmes. This paper aims to share key components and learnings of a community engagement process for an integrated ECD intervention. The lessons shared are drawn from a case study of urban informal settlement with embedded refugees in Nairobi, Kenya.

Methods: We conducted three stakeholder meetings with representatives from the Ministry of Health at County and Sub-County, actors in the ECD sector, and United Nations agency in refugee management, a transect walk across fve villages (Ngando, Muslim, Congo, Riruta and Kivumbini); and, six debrief meetings by staf from the implementing organization. The specifc steps and key activities undertaken, the challenges faced and benefts accrued from the community engagement process are highlighted drawing from the implementation team’s perspective.

Results: Context relevant, well-planned community engagement approaches can be integrated into the fve broad components of stakeholder engagement, formative research, identifcation of local resources, integration into local lives, and shared control/leadership with the local community. These can yield meaningful stakeholder buy-in, com‑ munity support and trust, which are crucial for enabling ECD programme sustainability.

Conclusion: Our experiences underscore that intervention research on ECD programmes in urban informal settle‑ ments requires a well-planned and custom-tailored community engagement model that is sensitive to the needs of each sub-group within the community to avoid unintentionally leaving anyone out.

Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC Public Health

Creative Commons License

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

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Public Health Commons