June 2021

IconCapacity Strengthening

Research Articles

Blended Learning Using Peer Mentoring and WhatsApp for Building Capacity of Health Workers for Strengthening Immunization Services in Kenya

Hossain, Iqbal, Isaac Mugoya, Lilian Muchai, et al. Global Health: Science and Practice, March 2021
Peer mentoring for immunization capacity building of maternal and child health nurses using WhatsApp increased mentees' knowledge, skills, and practices; improved engagement with peers; and promoted discussion and learning. Peer mentoring and WhatsApp networking are useful blended learning methods for need-based and individualized capacity building of health workers. Research to assess the comparative cost-benefit between classroom-based training and peer mentoring with WhatsApp networking will be useful.

Reports and Tools

Distance and Blended Learning, Part 1: An Overview and Introduction to Assessing Resources, Needs, and Capacities

This guide provides an overview of different kinds of distance and blended learning; insights about the advantages and challenges of each; and tools for conducting inventories, assessments, and surveys prior to implementing virtual training. It provides guidance on how to assess training resources, participants’ needs, and technology access and skills, and outlines key considerations and steps to transition in-person trainings to virtual ones.

How to Work With USAID: Exploring USAID Funding Opportunities

USAID, March 2021
This series answers frequently asked questions about working with USAID and provides tips and examples on researching funding opportunities, creating a proposal, and building a budget and a monitoring and evaluation plan. This is a webinar.


Developing and Implementing Quality Assessment Tools for MNCH in Malawi

A Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, March 2021
The Malawian Ministry of Health developed quality improvement assessment tools to help health facilities report on adapted Quality of Care standards for maternal and newborn health and pediatric care. Ministry officials share lessons learned in developing and using the tools. This is a webinar.

Six Years in 60 Minutes: Learning from the HRH2030 Program

USAID, Human Resources for Health in 2030, PEPFAR, May 2021
Human Resources for Health in 2030 panelists discuss building, managing, and optimizing the health workforce for improved health outcomes. This is a webinar.

IconEarly Childhood Development

Research Articles

Parenting Interventions to Promote Early Child Development in the First Three Years of Life: A Global Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Jeong, Joshua, Emily E. Franchett, Clariana V. Ramos de Oliveira, et al. PLOS Medicine, May 2021
Parenting interventions improve young child socioemotional development and cognitive, language, and motor skills. Interventions also improve parenting knowledge and practices and parent–child interactions and reduce behavioral issues.

The Principles of Nurturing Care Promote Human Capital and Mitigate Adversities from Preconception through Adolescence

Black, Maureen M., Jere R. Behrman, Bernadette Daelmans, et al. BMJ Global Health, April 2021
Extending the Nurturing Care Framework from preconception through age 20 in laws, policies, and services improves human capital by promoting resilience and adaptive developmental trajectories and mitigating negative consequences of adversities.

Reports and Tools

Why We Need to Focus on Quality Care for Women and Newborns

WHO, May 2021
The Network for Improving Quality Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health provides a platform for collaboration and learning across programs and countries. This report outlines steps to cement and expand gains by aligning strategic investments, increasing domestic resources to strengthen health systems, strengthening and scaling workforce competencies for quality care, improving data and health information systems, and ensuring involvement of communities for accountability, among others.


Childcare Solutions: Changing Fathers’ Attitudes and Involvement in Care and Early Childhood Education

World Bank Group, April 2021
Incentivizing fathers’ involvement in child-bearing practices can help ensure that children get appropriate care and can help facilitate higher female labor force participation. Speakers discuss policy interventions to influence engagement through behavioral approaches. This is a webinar.

Nurturing Care during COVID-19: Lessons Learned in 7 Countries

WHO, FHI 360, and the LEGO Foundation, April 2021
The pandemic has disrupted efforts to promote and protect nurturing care for young children, while social and economic ramifications have left families needing even more parenting and family support. Speakers discuss emerging lessons from seven programs that prioritize nurturing care and early childhood development. This is a webinar.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

Can Agroecology Improve Food Security and Nutrition? A Review

Kerr, Rachel Bezner, Sidney Madsen, Moritz Stüber, et al. Global Food Security, June 2021
Evidence suggests that crop diversity, organic soil amendments, and agroforestry have positive impacts on food security and nutrition and that agroecological systems that include multiple components are more likely to produce positive outcomes. Farmer networks and attention to social equity dimensions are also important. This article is behind a paywall.

The Carbon Footprint of Dietary Guidelines Around the World: A Seven Country Modeling Study

Kovacs, Brittany, Lindsey Miller, Martin C. Heller, et al. Nutrition Journal, March 2021
Understanding the carbon footprints of different food-based dietary guidelines can help decision-making that incorporates environmental sustainability.

Food Systems are Responsible for a Third of Global Anthropogenic GHG Emissions

Crippa, M., E. Solazzo, D. Guizzardi, et al. Nature Food, March 2021
Building on the Emissions Database of Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR), a new global food emissions database (EDGAR-FOOD) provides data about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the global food system. In 2015, food system emissions represented 34 percent of total GHG emissions, with agriculture, land use, and land-use change activities contributing the most. This article is behind a paywall.

You Say You Want a Data Revolution? Taking on Food Systems Accountability

Marshall, Quinn, Alexandra L. Bellows, Rebecca McLaren, et al. Agriculture, May 2021
Data gaps and limitations hinder food systems learning and accountability. The Food Systems Dashboard improves access to and usage of food systems-related data to inform policies and actions to improve diets, nutrition, livelihoods, and environmental sustainability.

Reports and Tools

2021 World Food Prize Announcement

World Food Prize Foundation, May 2021
Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted received the 2021 World Food Prize for her groundbreaking work to develop holistic and nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquaculture and food systems. This is a webinar.

Achieving Equitable Diets for All: The Long and Winding Road

One Earth, April 2021
Political commitment, science and data, incentives, and collectivism will help achieve global goals to improve food systems for healthy, equitable, and sustainable diets by 2050. This commentary by Jessica Fanzo is behind a paywall.


Tackling Malnutrition: Improving Both Food and Health Systems

Devex, 1,000 Days, May 2021
Nearly one in three people around the world had at least one form of malnutrition before the COVID-19 pandemic, and trends suggest this will rise to one in two people by 2025. The pandemic could result in an additional 11.9 million severely malnourished children, and malnutrition will likely kill more people than the virus itself. Integrating health and nutrition interventions is critical to solving this crisis. This is a webinar.

IconKnowledge Management

Reports and Tools

Child Health Task Force Resource Library

Child Health Task Force, June 2021
This database hosts documents from agencies and organizations working on child health programming. Resources include journal articles, presentations, webinars, tools, and event materials.

Elevating Mothers’ and Women’s Nutrition

Results for Development, May 2021
USAID Advancing Nutrition has conducted a systematic review of evidence on behavioral interventions about how to involve family members in supporting women’s nutrition, launched the Adolescent Nutrition Resource Bank, and developed a learning agenda on women’s diets to synthesize evidence and learning across its portfolio.

Key Messages to Help Strengthen Infant and Young Child Feeding during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Save the Children, April 2021
This video provides frontline health and nutrition workers with messages to provide pregnant women, mothers, and caregivers about infant and young child feeding in the context of the pandemic. This webinar is available in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.

Online Trainings: Feed the Future Ethiopia Growth through Nutrition Activity

USAID, Tufts University Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Save the Children, n.d.
Short online courses focus on strengthening food consumption information systems; environmental enteropathy; sustainable agriculture and the role of livestock; research challenges at the intersection of agriculture, diet, and health; COVID-19 and nutrition; food safety; good governance; and nutrition policy and programs, among others. 


40th Anniversary of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes Event

UNICEF, WHO, May 2021
Speakers present historical examples of implementing the International Code and discuss breastfeeding; first food systems and corporate power; the exposure to, and impact of, baby food marketing; and protecting breastfeeding from breast-milk substitutes marketing. This webinar is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Mycotoxin Exposure and Nutritional Status in the First 1000 Days: Policy and Programmatic Implications

U.S.G. Global Nutrition Coordination Plan, May 2021
Speakers discuss the programmatic and policy implications of the relationship between nutritional status and mycotoxin exposure. This is a webinar.

New Resources for IYCF Programming—Updated Image Bank

USAID Advancing Nutrition, May 2021
High-quality images are an essential component of social and behavior change, and illustrations can be particularly helpful where literacy rates and access to media are low. Updates expand the collection of IYCF images to include content on responsive feeding, responsive care, and overweight and obesity. This is a webinar.

Program in International Nutrition (PIN) Podcast with Shawn Baker

Program in International Nutrition, Cornell University, May 2021
Shawn Baker, Chief Nutritionist at USAID, talks about his career trajectory and shares advice for students and young professionals in public health nutrition. This is a podcast.

Program in International Nutrition (PIN) Podcast with Shawn Baker and Saurabh Mehta

Program in International Nutrition, Cornell University, May 2021
Shawn Baker, Chief Nutritionist at USAID, discusses financing for improved nutrition, maternal and child health, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on global health. This is a podcast.

The Role of Micronutrients in Child Growth and Development

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition Webinar Series, May 2021
Speakers discuss the relationship between micronutrient deficiencies in mothers and children and how evidence-based interventions and nutrition policy can help alleviate micronutrient malnutrition. This is a webinar.

Thinking Regionally About Industrial Food Fortification

GAIN, April 2021
Regional industrial food fortification program standardization requires aligning standards and regulatory frameworks; strengthening public- and private-sector institutional capacity to implement programs in a sustained way; monitoring guidelines; and cooperation around quality control, compliance, and enforcement. Speakers reflect on successes, challenges, and potential areas for further collaboration. This is a webinar.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

Research Articles

Haemoglobin Thresholds to Define Anaemia in a National Sample of Healthy Children and Adolescents Aged 1–19 Years in India: A Population-Based Study

Sachdev, Harshpal Singh, Akash Porwal, Rajib Acharya, et al. The Lancet Global Health, June 2021
Research findings support review of current WHO hemoglobin cutoffs to define anemia. Significant variations in the 5th percentile of hemoglobin values across the 1–19 years age range and between sexes argue against constructing common cutoffs in stratified age groups for convenience.

Vitamin A Deficiency Has Declined in Malawi, But with Evidence of Elevated Vitamin A in Children

Williams, Anne M., Sherry A. Tanumihardjo, Elizabeth C. Rhodes, et al. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2021
While the use of vitamin A-fortified staple foods and biannual high-dose vitamin A supplementation has led to the near elimination of vitamin A deficiency in Malawi, elevated levels of vitamin A among children suggests that interventions may need modification.

Reports and Tools

Micronutrient Powders for Infants and Young Children

Global Health: Science and Practice, May 2021
Food fortification is a highly effective strategy to address micronutrient deficiencies, provided that suitable food products are available and that cost, taste, and appearance are not affected. Conversely, micronutrient powder programs require robust commodity logistics and behavior change efforts to support uptake and adherence, and it is less clear what they have contributed to improving mortality, morbidity, and developmental outcomes at scale.

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

Implementing a Novel Facility-Community Intervention for Strengthening Integration of Infant Nutrition and Family Planning in Mara and Kagera, Tanzania

Cooper, Chelsea M., Mary Drake, Justine A. Kavle, et al. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, April 2021
A multifaceted intervention to integrate maternal and infant nutrition and postpartum family planning (FP) into existing health contacts increased FP and early breastfeeding (EBF) at six weeks postpartum, demonstrated that lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) was acceptable, provided an entry point for important FP conversations, and reinforced EBF practices.

Initiation of Breastfeeding in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Time-to-Event Analysis

Mallick, Lindsay, Wenjuan Wang, Shiza Farid, et al. Global Health: Science and Practice, May 2021
Cesarean deliveries are associated with a significant delay in initiating breastfeeding (BF) while immediate skin-to-skin contact is associated with earlier initiation. Authors recommend adopting facility-based policies and programs to encourage early BF and skin-to-skin practices, providing health care worker training opportunities to build awareness of these practices, and targeting cesarean deliveries.

Old Tricks, New Opportunities: How Companies Violate the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and Undermine Maternal and Child Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ching, Constance, Paul Zambrano, Tuan T. Nguyen, et al. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, March 2021
Companies are using health claims and misinformation about breastfeeding (BF) to capitalize on pandemic fears. Proposed immediate actions include using findings to inform World Health Assembly actions, increasing enforcement of International Code violations, and addressing misinformation about BF in the context of the pandemic. Longer-term actions include holding social media platforms accountable, raising public awareness about the International Code, and mobilizing community monitoring.

Reports and Tools

Indicators for Assessing Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices: Definitions and Measurement Methods

WHO, UNICEF, April 2021
This document provides new and updated indicators to assess infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices at the household level and tools for collecting and calculating the indicators.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

Delivering Nutrition Interventions to Women and Children in Conflict Settings: A Systematic Review

Shah, Shailja, Zahra Ali Padhani, Daina Als, et al. BMJ Global Health, April 2021
This review synthesizes data on the delivery, coverage, and effectiveness of nutrition programs in areas of conflict. Available studies focus on micronutrient supplementation, nutrition assessments, and interventions for young children and pregnant and lactating women, but there is little research evaluating coverage or effectiveness of nutrition interventions.

Maintaining Essential Nutrition Services to Underfive Children in Yemen: A Programmatic Adaptation Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Coulibaly-Zerbo, Ferima, Ayoub Al-Jawaldeh, Zita C. Weise Prinzo, et al. Children (Basel), April 2021
The WHO has adapted the services it provides within the nutrition surveillance system (NSS), therapeutic feeding centers (TFC), and isolation units (IU) to respond to the pandemic. The Yemen case study discussed in this article may serve as a roadmap for other countries that intend to undertake similar adaptations.

Reports and Tools

Lessons Learned and Recommendations from the Humanitarian-Development Nexus for Nutrition: Case Studies

Global Nutrition Cluster, Scaling Up Nutrition, USAID, February 2021
Nutrition policies, plans, and programs have often not been adequately risk informed. Case studies examine how humanitarian and development partners can bridge divisions that exist and reinforce a humanitarian-development nexus to balance short-term responses with longer-term solutions. A French version is also available.

Modality Decision Tool: Nutrition Addendum

USAID, April 2021
This tool provides guidance for implementing partners to apply a nutrition lens to the selection of appropriate food assistance modalities and presents considerations in alignment with the four Modality Decision Tool concepts of appropriateness, feasibility, objective, and cost.

IconSocial and Behavior Change

Research Articles

Effect of Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Interventions with Participatory Videos and Women's Group Meetings on Maternal and Child Nutritional Outcomes in Rural Odisha, India (UPAVAN Trial): A Four-Arm, Observer-Blind, Cluster-Randomised Controlled Trial

Kadiyala, Suneetha, Helen Harris-Fry, Ronali Pradha, et al. The Lancet Planetary Health, May 2021
Women's groups that employ a combination of nutrition-sensitive agriculture videos, nutrition-specific videos, and participatory learning and action cycle meetings improve maternal and child diet quality. While these components have been implemented separately in several low-income settings, scaling them together could increase their impact.

If You Don't Find Anything, You Can't Eat-Mining Livelihoods and Income, Gender Roles, and Food Choices in Northern Guinea

Stokes-Walters, Ronald, Mohammed Lamine Fofana, Joseph Lamilé Songbono, et al. Resources Policy, March 2021
Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) continues to grow in sub-Saharan Africa, but how ASM affects food choices among those living in mining camps is not well understood. Research findings suggest that while artisanal mining may provide women with higher wages, financial benefits are often reduced or constrained by existing gender roles, which impacts household food decision-making.

Reports and Tools

The Social Norms Atlas: Understanding Global Social Norms and Related Concepts

Social Norms Learning Collaborative, May 2021
While there is interest and funding to explore how social norms concepts and theory might facilitate social norms change, the success of applying these concepts and theory has been inconsistent. The Social Norms Atlas provides guidance to increase social norms knowledge and strengthen understanding of social norms relevant to particular sectors.

Social Norms in the Gender Digital Divide: USAID Digital Strategy Update

ICTworks, April 2021
Information and communication technology (ICT) provides women with access to information and services that enable time savings, greater security, and freedom of expression and can catalyze economic growth. Outreach and digital literacy initiatives should engage men, family gatekeepers, and a variety of community members when discussing gender stereotypes and the potential risks and benefits of access to digital tools. This resource provides checklists, case studies, practical steps, and guides for each step of the ICT program cycle.


Webinar Series in Partnership with the DFC Program: Drivers of Food Choice in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Synthesis of Evidence

ANH Academy, April 2021
Presenters discuss drivers of individual and household food choice in changing food environments; next steps for application and scaling; and prominent issues and questions confronting policy, practice, and research at the nexus of food environments, nutrition, and health. This is a series of webinars.