History and Background

On April 17th 2013 SRCD co-hosted* a preconference to their biennial meetings in Seattle titled “Interventions for Children and Youth in Low- and Middle-Income countries: New Opportunities and Challenges for Developmental Science”.

Organized by a team of senior and early career scholars* the preconference set out to bring together a diverse group of scholars and practitioners to discuss the state of human developmental intervention science in low- and middle-income countries. The overarching goals of the Preconference were: 


– to increase SRCD members’ awareness of the needs, opportunities and challenges to advancing developmental research and developmental interventions in low- and middle-income countries;

– to advance science and practice in this area by showcasing existing exemplary efforts, focusing on the process of developing, implementing, and evaluating such interventions; and 

– to motivate and support a diverse group of scientists and practitioners at all stages of career development to engage in collaborative efforts that are the future of global developmental science and practice.


The response to this preconference was impressive. Registration was capped at 100, and the preconference sold out in record time leaving a long wait-list. Interested individuals who had not been able to register in time showed up the morning of, in the hope of securing a seat from a potential no-show. Fortunately (unfortunately for those still hoping to get a seat) there were few. The following day as part of the biennial program the preconference team presented a summary of the previous day in an invited symposium, which was also well attended.


There was a broad interest in continuing this dialogue. A grant for research to support SRCD’s strategic plan allowed the preconference team*** to further develop this idea of a Network to facilitate the interdisciplinary, cross-institutional, and cross-professional collaboration needed to significantly advance human developmental intervention science in low- and middle-income countries.


*The Preconference was co-sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development and Jacobs Foundation.

**Larry Aber, Anne C. Petersen, Carly Tubbs, Alice Wuermli

***including Josafa Cunha, Jennifer Lansford, Kofi Marfo