Where in the World is the MDI?

The foundation for the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) was laid in 2006 when a University of British Columbia (UBC) research team led by Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, in collaboration with the United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM), completed a study on children’s psychological and social well-being inside and outside of school with over 1,400 children in 8 public school districts across Vancouver’s Lower Mainland. Building from the work from that study, a committee was created comprised of researchers and graduate students from UBC, educators from the Vancouver School Board and UWLM staff to work together to create a new survey to assess children’s social and emotional competence, physical health and well-being, and assets both inside and outside of school that could be used at a population level with children in grades 4 and 7. Considerable input for the development of the MDI also was provided by children, parents/families, educators, and staff from community groups working with children in their middle years.

MDI Participation Across BC

The MDI was first piloted in the Vancouver School Board in 2009/2010 with grade 4 students. Over the past decade, over three quarters of BC school districts, and a number of independent and First Nations schools across BC have administered the MDI. MDI surveys are now available for students in Grades 4 through 8. Since 2009, over 173,000 students have participated in the MDI in BC .

Expansion across Canada

Since 2015, HELP has collaborated with school systems and governments in four provinces (Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba) and two territories (the Yukon, Northwest Territories) outside of BC, with the aim of collecting high quality data to support schools and communities in promoting the well-being and resilience of their children. If you are interested in bringing the MDI to your province, territory, or school system, please contact us.

MDI Around the World

Beginning in 2012, HELP has collaborated with international governments and research institutions interested in gathering MDI data. The MDI has been used to evaluate specific programs or interventions and monitor population-level well-being, and has been translated into several languages as well as adapted to suit local cultural contexts.

Countries that have used the MDI

Australia
Croatia
France
Germany
Israel

Peru
Romania
Switzerland
United Kingdom
United States

Australia
Croatia
France
Germany
Israel
Peru
Romania
Switzerland
United Kingdom
United States

Interested in using the MDI?

The MDI is licensed through the University of British Columbia. There is a licensing/administration fee based on the scale and nature of the project that includes the license for the MDI along with support and consultation for MDI implementation. Support and consultation beyond what is included in this may require additional fees on a cost recovery basis .

To request permission to use the MDI, first review the full MDI questionnaire and MDI Companion Guide, and share information on your project through the MDI request form. If you are interested in using the MDI in a language other than English or French, there is a translation protocol to follow. The MDI has been translated into Croatian, Hebrew, German, Italian, Romanian, and Spanish. Translations may be available upon request through mdi@help.ubc.ca.

This is the initial relaunch of Discover MDI and we are optimizing the site. If you have any comments or suggestions we would love to hear them!