Featured Publications

picture_building infrastructure

The Academy’s procedure is that the full report is available as a free download to any individual who wants it at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/18970/building-infrastructure-for-international-collaborative-research-in-the-social-and-behavioral-sciences. Go to LogIn and set up a free account with the National Academy Press then say you want the report (and you can read it and/or print it).

In recent years, as science becomes increasingly international and collaborative, the importance of projects that involve research teams and research subjects from different countries has grown markedly. Such teams often cross disciplinary, cultural, geographic and linguistic borders as well as national ones. Successfully planning and carrying out such efforts can result in substantial advantages for both science and scientists. The participating researchers, however, also face significant intellectual, bureaucratic, organizational and interpersonal challenges.

Building Infrastructure for International Collaborative Research in the Social and Behavioral Sciences is the summary of a workshop convened by the National Research Council’s Committee on International Collaborations in Social and Behavioral Sciences in September 2013 to identify ways to reduce impediments and to increase access to cross-national research collaborations among a broad range of American scholars in the behavioral and social sciences (and education), especially early career scholars. Over the course of two and a half days, individuals from universities and federal agencies, professional organizations, and other parties with interests in international collaboration in the behavior and social sciences and education made presentations and participated in discussions. They came from diverse fields including cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, comparative education, educational anthropology, sociology, organizational psychology, the health sciences, international development studies, higher education administration, and international exchange.


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IOM (Institute of Medicine) (2014). Evaluation design for complex global initiatives: Workshop summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Every year, billions of dollars are spent on large-scale, multi-national global health initiatives. These initiatives encompass multiple types of interventions, programs, and systems-strengthening efforts. They are implemented in varied settings within partner countries through a large number of diverse, multisectoral governmental and non-governmental partners. Evaluations that examine the links between program activities and desired outcomes are used to assess whether these initiatives are achieving their objectives. These evaluations, like the initiatives being evaluated, require complex designs to be successful.

On January 7–8, 2014, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) held a workshop to explore examples of recent evaluation experiences that have drawn on an array of available methodologies applied in different ways to evaluate health and development initiatives. The workshop was an opportunity to reflect on the relative benefits and limitations of different evaluation design options that can be used within the context of a large-scale, complex initiative to reach credible conclusions and recommendations and to improve the implementation and performance of the evaluated initiative. This document summarizes the workshop.


Lippman, L. & Wolcox, W. B. (2014). World Family Map 2014: Mapping Family Change and Child Well-Being Outcomes. Child Trends, 2014-15. ISBN: 0-932359-56-6

The World Family Map Project monitors global changes in the areas of family structure, family socioeconomics, family processes, and family culture, focusing on 16 specific indicators selected by an expert group because of their known relationships to child outcomes in the research literature. This second annual edition of the World Family Map, sponsored by Child Trends and a range of educational and nongovernmental institutions from across the globe, provides updated indicators and a new essay focusing on union stability and early childhood health in developing countries, as well as a brief analysis of psychological distress among 9- to 16-year-olds in the European Union.


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Britto, P., Engle, P. L. & Super, C. M. (Eds.) (2013).Handbook of Early Childhood Development Research and its Impact on Global Policy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Abstract: Early childhood development research offers solutions to several of the world’s social and economic problems – solutions that can break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, improve the health, education, and wellbeing of the global population, and yield high rates of return on investment in the formative years of life. And yet over one-third of children worldwide under five years of age still fail to achieve their full developmental potential due to malnutrition, poverty, disease, neglect, and lack of learning opportunities. Handbook of Early Childhood Development Research and Its Impact on Global Policy calls for placing early childhood development at the top of the global policy agenda, enabling children to achieve their full developmental potential and to contribute to equitable economic and social progress worldwide. The volume presents evidence-based programs and policies for advancing the positive development of young children across the globe, focusing on developing countries. An international ensemble of scholars, policymakers, and practitioners present evidence from multiple disciplinary, sectorial, and analytical perspectives, emphasizing the importance of scientific findings in promoting child development and addressing programmatic challenges to quality, sustainability, measurement, finance, and capacity. Sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development (S.R.C.D.), the premier international association of developmental scientists, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (U.N.I.C.E.F.), a leading organization for promoting children’s wellbeing worldwide, this Handbook will be invaluable to policy advocates, program managers of national governments, international N.G.O.s, and development agencies, as well as to scholars and students in the areas of child development and global policy.

book cover CandY in Crisis

Lundberg, M. & Wuermli, A. (2012). Children and Youth in Crisis: Protecting and Promoting Human Development in Times of Economic Shocks. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Funding: Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, Rapid Social Response Fund, Jacobs Foundation.

Abstract: The impact of economic crises on human development is complex and heterogeneous. While some families and young people display astonishing resilience when exposed to a crisis, many others are unable to prevent exposure, protect themselves, or adapt in a positive way – with potentially serious long-term consequences for healthy and productive development. This research project reviews the available evidence on the impact of crises on the development of young people, and how best to protect and promote human development during economic downturns. Drawing from the fields of economics, sociology, psychology, and anthropology, this research provides an interdisciplinary framework for identifying and understanding age-specific vulnerabilities from conception through to young adulthood, the importance of context and how it changes across the life course, and the different transmission mechanisms through which economic shocks can affect young people. To prevent the worst consequences of exposure to shocks, and assist families and young people to recover, countries need to go beyond traditional safety nets, to develop and implement effective policies and programs. Building on the existing evidence base across the globe, this volume provides a mix of promising interventions at different stages of the life cycle that can help achieve this goal.