Using the MDAT

Without measurement tools we can not provide numbers for organisations and countries as to the impact of programmes and interventions.

What to expect from training

Training is usually done over at least 3 days to a week.  The first two days of training are to learn about child development and the specific items on the MDAT tool.  The second day involves a demonstration of the MDAT items using volunteer children from the community, of different ages from 0-5 years, in addition to the videos that we have.  Days 3-5 of training are practical and require the assessors who are learning to use the MDAT to practice with children who must be organised to come as volunteers.  After each session of practice we discuss what went well and what was difficult in the assessment.  We are experienced in training trainers to work with children from very rural areas as well as children who may be sick or have a disability. 

We can also provide training for people to train others in their local area (Training the Trainers). This type of training has a slightly different format, as we would complete the training in the first few days and then watch you in action over the next few days. This is better done in two separate weeks (if possible).

Examples of the training materials

The MDAT is available in paper form (you can download it) or for use on a  computer or tablet. The cost of using MDAT varies depending on the scale and scope of your project.  If you would like to use the tool or find out more, simply request access.

Training materials that we use for training and which we can provide for training the trainers include:

  • Technical description of the MDAT
  • Introduction to the MDAT
  • Introduction to Child Development 
  • Setting up an assessment, the kit required and start/stop rules
  • MDAT items in each of the domains assessed: A. gross motor, B. fine motor, C. language and D. social) with pictures and videos of each item
  • Feeding back to the family
  • Information on scoring

Other materials provided in the training pack include:

  • An example timetable for training
  • Materials required and process for “Getting ready for training”
  • MDAT quiz and online assessments.

Meet the MDAT Team

Melissa Gladstone

Melissa Gladstone

Professor in Neurodevelopmental Paediatrics and International Child Health

Melissa’s research aims to understand what interventions can make a difference to children with neurodevelopmental disorders. She is interested in how we can measure these changes effectively using culturally appropriate and relevant measures, especially in low income settings.