Abu Dhabi's ECD Sector Research Vision:

To create and enable a thriving research ecosystem producing actionable knowledge to inform policies and practices and have a positive impact on the lives of children and families in Abu Dhabi.

In line with Abu Dhabi's Early Childhood Development (ECD) sector strategy, we aspire to create a research culture in Abu Dhabi backed by a thriving research ecosystem.​

We seek to build bridges between academia, leadership, industry, and the Abu Dhabi community to support ECD research in the Emirate and make it rigorous, relevant, innovative, and impactful.


Our enablers


What works (or does not work) for our children to thrive in the 21st century.

As the world around them changes, so too do the needs of Abu Dhabi’s children.​

Supporting quality research helps us discover what children need to grow into thriving adults. ECA partners with researchers, leadership, and industry to make this happen.


Partnerships are key to successfully implementing Abu Dhabi's ECD sector research strategy. The research which ECA funds prioritises partnerships - between disciplines, between local and international universities, and with policymakers, practitioners, and the Abu Dhabi community.

Collaboration – not just in research projects but in capacity building activities, in dissemination of findings and more – are key drivers to ensure that ECD research produced makes a lasting impact on policy and programs and creates enablers in our ecosystem.


In order for research to reflect the unique needs of the Abu Dhabi community - we need you to participate! Our Research and Resources page highlights opportunities to participate in ongoing research as well as an overview of currently funded grants.

Find out more about how to participate in ECA-funded research and our ongoing grants, and get more information on our research results here

Research and Resources

Abu Dhabi's ECD Sector Research Strategy

Through this sector strategy, the Abu Dhabi government strives to create and enable a thriving research ecosystem producing actionable knowledge to inform policies and practices and have a positive impact on the lives of children and families in Abu Dhabi.

To achieve this, in collaboration with our partner government entities, we have developed a strategy based upon three integral pillars.
For each of these pillars, a set of strategic interventions were prioritized to build a strong foundation for Abu Dhabi's ECD research ecosystem:



Creating a supportive policy environment informed by strategy and ambition that enables, monitors, and implements ECD research in Abu Dhabi

Strategic Interventions

Ongoing Interventions:

1. Funding scheme for ECD research
2. Implementation of IRB process, quality assurance of research and evaluation of internal research activities at ECA
3. 'Research translation' course programmed for researchers

Future Strategic Interventions

4. Build a network of ECD researchers
5. Student internships in ECD research


Focusing on innovation and knowledge to inform policy and practice, building and supporting high quality ECD systems and services.

Strategic Interventions

Ongoing Interventions:

1. WED Biennial ECD Research Conference
2. Research-to-practice (and to private) partnerships
3. Awareness campaign on benefits of ECD research

Future Strategic Interventions

4. Long-term funding commitment to create high quality data sets
5. One-stop-shop of resources for researchers
6. Evidence database for ECD research users
7. Audit of new ECD policies against available evidence


Embracing the UAE's national research priorities - innovation and technology - and aligning with the priorities and design principles of the 2035 ECD Strategy.

Strategic Interventions

Ongoing Interventions:

1. Inclusive agenda setting process that enables alignment with
local needs and priorities
2. Reporting on progress against research priorities

Future Strategic Interventions

3. Training on engaging research users in the research process


'Creating a Research Culture' Awareness Campaign Initiatives

In line with the strategic intervention under 'Actionable Knowledge' in our strategy, ECA hosts and supports a number of events in Abu Dhabi dedicated to sharing research insights and best practices, and exploring the impact of ECD research on policy with the goal of creating enablers in the ECD research ecosystem in Abu Dhabi.

These events bring together representatives from academia, leadership and government, industry, and community, with the aim of fostering a shared and thriving local culture of research.

You can find out about upcoming events here:


Join our Mailing List

to receive notifications of future opportunities.


ECA Research Mailing List

Join our mailing list to learn about research opportunities and collaborations