Dr Rosemary Geddes from the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and policy has completed an ‘Environmental Scan’ of interventions aimed at promoting cognitive and social development in early years children. Rosemary has previously given presentations to the planning board for Support from the Start and was one of the speakers at a 1/2 day session on readiness for learning (see earlier posts).
I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with the term ‘environmental scan’. It turns out that it is management speak for getting a very smart person like Dr Geddes to rapidly but systematically review evidence for what works in a policy area at the same time as making an assessment of what is actually being delivered.
The definition given in the report is
Environmental scan – In management terms, an environmental scan is the internal communication of external information about issues that may potentially influence an organisation’s decision-making process. Our environmental scan refers to the process of rapidly scoping the literature for evidence of what works, reviewing the current policy landscape and interviewing key informants to determine which programmes are currently being delivered.
The document is a weighty read at 169 pages, but gives a very clear review of the research in this area, including brief overviews of different programmes that met the criteria to be included in the scan, and the range of Government policy and strategy that has bearing on children’s early development .