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Implementing the Nurturing Care Framework

In May 2018, WHO and UNICEF, in collaboration with many other partners, launched the Nurturing Care Framework for early childhood development, a roadmap designed to guide governments in the provision of nurturing care for young children. The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Bernard Van Leer Foundation asked Common, in partnership with Shift Design, to help them develop a service that would ensure the Nurturing Care Framework (NCF) was properly implemented at a country level.

People discussing around a table with sticky notes


Framing Opportunity

Generating Ideas

Build & Test


April 2018 – August 2018


We interviewed ministry of health officials, district officials, health programme managers, NGO staff and experts in childhood development to understand how they roll out global and national frameworks and initiatives and the obstacles they face. We also held a workshop with participants at the WHO’s World Health Assembly, where the NCF was launched.

A collage of images from workshops under the title "In action"

We learned that implementation is a long, complex journey involving many decision-makers, and is often held back by lack of clarity, concern at the size of the task, confusion over what the benefits are, and poor coordination and leadership, among other factors.

We generated a set of ideas to overcome these barriers. For example: use explainer videos and stories to raise awareness and encourage action; divide the NCF into manageable components to help health workers and officials understand how it is relevant to their context; develop an accreditation scheme that provides clear information about new policies, and a planning tool to help users develop next steps; and create an online portal to allow them to compare the progress of their implementation plan with those in other countries.

Download the report


Edward Gardiner, Maisie Bowes, Tabrez Ahmed, Katherine Jennings, Dr Rebecca Bendayan, Manjul Rathee


Behavioural science, Graphic design, Mixed-methods research, Service design

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