Implementation Evaluation of the Mother-Child Education Program Among Refugee and Other Vulnerable Communities in Lebanon

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Liliana Angelica Ponguta , Ghassan Issa , Lara Aoudeh, Cosette Maalouf, Sawsan Nourallah, Kaveh Khoshnood , Anna Leslie Zonderman , Liliya Katsovich, Christina Moore, Rima Salah, Majd Al-Soleiti, Pia Rebello Britto, James Frederick Leckman
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Despite the knowledge that quality early childhood development programs, including those that target ‎parental knowledge and behaviors, are essential for ameliorating the negative effects of early-life ‎adversity, robust analyses of their implementation and impact in highly vulnerable settings are scarce. ‎To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a pilot wait-list randomized controlled trial (RCT) to ‎assess the impact and the process of implementing and evaluating the Mother-Child Education ‎Program (MOCEP) among refugee families and one low-income community in Beirut, Lebanon. This ‎paper focuses on the analysis of MOCEP’s implementation (i.e., key enablers of and barriers to the ‎application and evaluation of the program). Our analysis suggests that, despite multiple challenges, ‎implementation and robust evaluations of early childhood parenting programs in fragile contexts are ‎feasible and urgently needed. This study illustrates how implementation evaluations are a key ‎component of RCTs and crucial ‎
MOCEP , parental knowledge