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Tokyo, Japan
Group photo of the UAN team at the ICN conference
Photo Credit: USAID Advancing Nutrition

USAID Advancing Nutrition participated in the International Congress of Nutrition (ICN) hosted by the International Union of Nutritional Sciences from December 6–11 in Tokyo, Japan. ICN convenes nutrition experts from all over the world every four years, providing participants with an opportunity to gain insights into demand-driven and variable work streams across multi-sectoral nutrition programming.

Fourteen project staff led a number of sessions at ICN—the largest representation by USAID Advancing Nutrition at a conference since the project started. Project staff from around the world participated in two symposiums and delivered a series of oral and poster presentations to disseminate findings from the last five years of research and implementation.

Conference materials are available below.


Counseling is Complex: Approaches and Tools to Improve Infant and Young Child Feeding Counseling Quality

Learn about key considerations, barriers, and opportunities for implementing counseling that improves infant and young child feeding in this interactive session. Led by Senior Technical Advisor Altrena Mukuria-Ashe, Technical Advisor Lesley Oot, and Early Childhood Development Senior Advisor and Team Lead Cat Kirk, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Healthy Diets Symposium

Presenters and panelists describe progress in providing data to understand what comprises healthy diets globally and the factors that influence them. Led by Senior Technical Advisor Jennifer Crum, Food Systems Technical Advisor Chris Vogliano, and Senior Technical Advisor Monica Woldt, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Oral Presentations

A Novel Analytical Framework for Identifying and Exploring Public Health Pathways Linking COVID-19 with Nutrition Outcomes Developed by the Agile Core Team for Nutrition Monitoring (ACT-NM)

To monitor the challenges the global nutrition community faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, an agile working group developed a framework outlining the public health pathways through which the pandemic could impact maternal and child nutrition outcomes. Presented by Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation Project Coordinator Sharmila Mysore, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Barriers and Facilitators in the Use of Iron and Folic Acid and Vitamin A Supplementation and Improving Dietary Practices: A Qualitative Study in Zinder and Maradi, Niger

To reduce micronutrient deficiencies and improve health in Niger, this formative research aimed to understand how to improve access to and use of iron-folic acid and vitamin A supplementation and dietary practices. Presented by Senior Nutrition Advisor Jen Burns, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Learning from Implementers of Small-Quantity Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplement Programs for Children and Pregnant and Lactating Women in Honduras, Niger, and Somalia to Strengthen Programming and Scale-Up

We aimed to understand how to scale small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements effectively to reduce mortality and undernutrition. Presented by Nutrition and Health Systems Technical Advisor Akriti Singh, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Learning to Respond to Social Norms to Improve Maternal and Child Nutrition

By understanding social norms and engaging those who influence them, practitioners can better monitor and measure shifts that influence dietary practices. Presented by Social and Behavior Change Technical Specialist Neha Jhaveri, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Revealing the Prevalence of “Hidden Hunger”

This study analyzed multiple micronutrient biomarkers to update the global prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies in women of reproductive age and school-age children. Presented by Knowledge Leadership Research Advisor Ty Beal, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Poster Presentations

Assessing Food Environments in Low- and Middle-Income Countries—Unlocking the Potential to Improve Diets, Nutrition, and Health Outcomes

To guide programs improving diets, we identified possible food environment interventions for healthy diets across diverse contexts. Presented by Food Systems Acting Director, Jennifer Crum, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Assessing the Performance of Nationally Adapted Diet Quality Questionnaire (DQQ) Sentinel Food Lists at the Subnational Level in Six Counties 

If national-level country-specific sentinel food lists can accurately measure food group consumption when applied at the subnational level, practitioners  can better understand dietary patterns of populations. Presented by Food Systems Technical Advisor Chris Vogliano, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Comparing Methods and HemoCue Devices to Determine Hemoglobin in Population Surveys

To facilitate estimating anemia prevalence and identifying suitable interventions, we aimed to identify optimal procedures and methods for hemoglobin assessment in population-based surveys. Presented by Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Research Advisor Laura Hackl, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Creating an Enabling Environment for Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative: Two Country Case Study of Malawi and the Kyrgyz Republic

To motivate increasing rates of initiation, exclusive breastfeeding, and duration, we share country experiences building an enabling environment to help institutionalize the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Presented by Nutrition and Health Systems Senior Technical Advisor, Altrena Mukuria-Ashe, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Diet Quality Indicators for Children 6 to 23 Months: Comparing Two Assessment Methods in Cambodia

We compared methods to assess the diet quality of children under two in Cambodia to understand which method most accurately assesses consumption. Presented by Senior Nutrition Advisor Ingrid Weiss, USAID.

Food Taboos and Preferences among Women of Reproductive Age in Mainland Tanzania: A Qualitative Study

This research identified food preferences for women of reproductive age, adolescent girls, and children in mainland Tanzania to contribute to the understanding of nutritious dietary practices and the design of interventions that reduce maternal malnutrition. Presented by Aika Sarah Lekey, Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre.

Integrating Responsive Care and Early Learning into Nutrition Delivery to Improve Early Childhood Outcomes In Mozambique

We explored the feasibility and impact of integrating responsive care, early learning, and monitoring children’s development into nutrition and health services in Mozambique. Presented by Early Childhood Development Advisor Katija Momade, USAID Advancing Nutrition Mozambique

Knowledge and Skills to Counsel on Infant and Young Child Feeding During and After Illness Among Community Health Volunteers in Turkana County, Kenya

We examined whether and how community health volunteers counsel caregivers on infant and young child feeding during and after illness to prevent malnutrition. Presented by USAID Advancing Nutrition Consultant Beatrice Kiage.

Nutritional Care for Children with Feeding Difficulties and Disabilities: A Scoping Review

To improve nutritional care for children with feeding difficulties and disabilities, we conducted a scoping review of opportunities to improve support and interventions for families. Presented by Early Childhood Development Team Lead Catherine Kirk, USAID Advancing Nutrition. 

Testing the Responsive Care and Early Learning Counseling Package to Improve Early Childhood Outcomes through Nutrition Services in Ghana and the Kyrgyz Republic

To integrate components of nurturing care into nutrition and health services, we developed a package of responsive care and early learning materials and tested whether their implementation results in improved caregiving practices. Presented by Nutrition and Health Systems Technical Advisor Lesley Oot, USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Using Child Growth Monitoring and Promotion Data for Decision-Making in Ghana and Nepal

To improve child growth and prevent growth faltering before malnutrition occurs, we examined how government staff track and use growth monitoring and promotion data for decision-making. Presented by Nutrition and Food Security Development Assistance Specialist, Lutuf Abdul-Rahman, USAID Ghana.