Childhood Cost Data Initiative

The Childhood Cost Data initiative aims to improve the quantity and quality of cost data for child and youth-centered programs. Central to this initiative is the Childhood Cost Calculator (C3). An online and user-friendly tool, C3 calculates total and unit costs and identifies cost drivers of past, current, or future programs. These data can be used to make the case for investment in programs and inform planning for costed implementation plans at scale.

Launch Cost Calculator
A group of children with bright clothes smiling
In 2016, the Lancet found over
out of
young children in low- and middle-income were at risk of not meeting their full potential.
Source: The Lancet

Barriers to Costing

Despite this great need, data on the cost of delivering childhood services such as education are severely lacking. This is due to various system and capacity constraints which impact both the supply of, and demand for, quality data on the cost of delivering services.

Supply Side

Insufficient underlying data

Poor availability and/or access to tools

Methodological complexities

Demand Side

Low prioritization

Aversion to transparency

Heterogenous capacity and needs

How the Childhood Cost Data Initiative Helps Overcome these Barriers

Define Costing Needs
Describe Program
Input costs
Visualize and explore program costs

Cost Data Explorer

Data from past Childhood Cost Calculator exercises are visualized in our Cost Data Explorer. The Cost Data Explorer aims to make intervention and cost data more widely and publicly available. Whether you are a researcher seeking information for an article or report, or a program director wanting to benchmark your program against others, the database can help to advance efficiency and equity.

A girl dressed in white drinking water from an outdoor faucet.

Global Education and ECD Costing Consortium (GEECC)

The Global Education and ECD Costing Consortium (GEECC), convened by the Brookings Center for Universal Education (CUE) and the ECD Action Network (ECDAN), serves as a peer learning and advisory resource to explore key technical and policy barriers to more high-quality and consistent costing data for decision-making in the education and early childhood sectors. GEECC consists of expert stakeholders from academia, donor organizations, and practitioners. The goal of the Consortium is to move forward the global costing agenda for education and early childhood development, with a diverse set of perspectives from practitioners, funders, and researchers, in order to promote more effective and efficient investment.