International Child Development & Social Policy


Despite the unequivocal scientific evidence in support of early childhood development (ECD), over 200 million young children across the globe are not achieving their potential. The majority of the world’s children live in developing countries and they continue to bear the greatest burden of poverty, disease, and conflict situations. The need to take hold and turn these world conditions on an axis is clear; despite tremendous scientific advancements, progress has been slow in adopting these children into international policies that can potentially make a difference in their lives, globally.

The international early childhood development and policy initiatives being carried out by the Yale Child Study Center are in response to this clear and urgent need. The goals of this work have been motivated by poor developmental outcomes for young children, globally, and the incredible scientific evidence that is being generated to ameliorate these outcomes. These initiatives endeavor to bring the evidence to bear an effect upon the formulation, implementation and analysis of international development frameworks and national-level social and public policies that impact the lives of young children.


At present, the following projects have been initiated with goals to generate scientific evidence and share that knowledge, inform policy, translate science into practice, and advocate for the empowerment and well-being of children, their families and communities across the globe:

Special Lecture & Commentary

With Shafiq Masalha, PhD & Prof. Ernesto Caffo, MD

When Psychotherapy Involves a Therapist and a Patient from Different Sides of a Long-Standing Divide: The Case of Palestinians and Israelis

Psychotherapy is challenging when a therapist and a patient come from different cultures. It is, however, more challenging when their nations are in conflict and war. The case of Palestinians and Israelis is one of such cases. Unfortunately the Palestinians and the Israelis experience wars very often and consistently live in war circumstances.

This lecture will discuss the potential obstacles that a therapist faces in such settings, and the ways to get over them. It will also present the core dispute between the two peoples, and the way it is experienced in the therapy relationship. Read more.