The GC-DWC Secures Over $2.8 Million in Grants to Continue Global Intervention Science Initiatives

February 1, 2024—The University of Notre Dame’s Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child (GC-DWC) was recently awarded four new grants from Porticus and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, benefiting its research and intervention science programs. Totaling over $2.8 million, this funding will be utilized toward implementations for two of the center’s flagship programs in Haiti and India, where the GC-DWC has reached 496,000 children, 17,493 teachers, and 2,373 parents through intervention science initiatives.

The grants will benefit multiple areas of programming, including the extension of Strong Beginnings, a program by GC-DWC Haiti that works to ensure that children grow up in safe, stimulating home environments and receive a strong foundation in language development, early literacy, and math before they enter formal school. This is accomplished through the integration of early child development (ECD) intervention packages developed by the GC-DWC, integrated into Haitian communities through its most central networks—the family, school, and church—to create a sustainable pathway to lasting change. Additionally, the GC-DWC’s Project Sampoorna in India will have support to further their Safe and Inclusive Schools Initiative (SISI) and Whole Child Development (WCD) training, as well as support to proceed with an efficacy study of their school-based intervention. 

Since its inception in 2019, the GC-DWC has mobilized $70 million to create pathways out of poverty for children in adversity through intervention science initiatives and has expanded its reach to 25 different countries with 38 faculty and staff. Leveraging evidence-based innovations to develop effective WCD approaches, the GC-DWC works to not only advance children’s academic achievement, but also create safe, supportive, and equitable family, school, and community environments. 

“We pursue systems strengthening because education systems are different within different contexts. For example, India has a progressive government, so we work within the system as a key thought partner to develop government capacities. In Haiti, on the other hand, the government is weak but the Church is strong,”  Neil Boothby, founding director of the GC-DWC, shared. “We build sustainability at the forefront of our intervention science programs, and how our efforts can be sustained when grants end, like establishing higher education courses in India and free market approaches through our Social Enterprise Initiative in Haiti.”  

To ensure success, the GC-DWC performs thorough research to inform new efforts, and uses Rapid Assessment, Evaluation, and Learning Methodology (REALM) to iterate, identify what works, and then scale. They also use efficacy studies to gauge progress from beneficiaries' perspectives and utilize randomized control trials to examine the cause-effect relationships between their interventions and outcomes.

“The Global Center’s intervention science efforts are closely aligned with Notre Dame’s new ten-year strategy and For Good campaign,” said Christine Trinter, acting director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives. “The world needs universities to help solve big challenges, and education is a key pathway out of adversity when augmented with additional whole child development supports.”

To learn more about the Global Center for the Development of Whole Child, please visit