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Episcopal Relief & Development
Posted Oct 6, 2023

Episcopal Relief & Development has been awarded a research grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to study an adaptation to the organization’s Moments That Matter® (MTM) early childhood development program partnership in Kenya.

“We deeply appreciate the continued partnership of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and its commitment to research, learning and adaptation with Moments That Matter®,” said Dawn Murdock, Director, Strategic Learning & Program Resources, Episcopal Relief & Development. “This grant supports testing and learning from the 18-month program adaptation carried out by our partner, Anglican Development Services-Nyanza, in Kenya. If found impactful, the 18-month program would enable MTM to reach many more families and increase the impact on young children across Africa.”

Since 2012, MTM has been mobilizing communities and empowering caregivers in Africa so vulnerable children up to age 3 reach their full developmental potential. The program, which is Episcopal Relief & Development’s flagship integrated early childhood development partnership, is a community-led approach aligned with the Nurturing Care Framework.

Local partners, such as Anglican Development Services-Nyanza, equip volunteers, faith leaders and local stakeholders to encourage, support and monitor caregivers. These community members become key facilitators in caregivers empowering themselves with parenting knowledge and skills that help children reach their cognitive, language, social, emotional and physical developmental milestones.

Earlier investments from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation contributed to the program’s growth through monitoring, evaluation and research combined with learning and adaptation processes between 2012-2021. The Hilton Foundation is also currently supporting the expansion of MTM in Kenya and its start-up in a new area of Mozambique.

This new research grant, of $530,000 over three years, will use a randomized control trial design to measure the program’s impact by comparing child development and primary caregiver outcomes in MTM participants with those in communities that do not yet have MTM. The study will provide critical learnings on the effectiveness of the 18-month adaptation to MTM, which has traditionally spanned 24 months, as Episcopal Relief & Development seeks to respond to the many communities and families who would like to participate in MTM.

“Evidence has demonstrated how parenting programs are one of the most effective strategies for supporting healthy brain and emotional development of infants and young children globally,” said Dr. Joshua Jeong, a leading ECD researcher and Assistant Professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, who is the Principal Investigator of the study. “I’m excited about this MTM study and the new findings that we’ll add to the field regarding the potential of a community-led parenting program for reducing the burden of children at risk of poor development in western Kenya.”

Learn more about Episcopal Relief & Development’s integrated early childhood development programs.

For over 80 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

​​International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with approximately $8.5 billion in assets. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $2.4 billion, $339 million worldwide in 2021. Please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org for more information.