In recognition of International Women's Day on March 8, 2020, our technical teams have focused the March 2020 edition of the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Resource Review on materials to further gender equity as a key ingredient in improved nutrition. We hope you find this special edition of resources from the past year useful and inspiring. Explore by focus areas using the buttons below. Have a resource to share? Let us know ›

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Early Childhood Development Food Systems Monitoring, Evaluation, and
Learning/Knowledge Management
Nutrition and
Health Systems
Nutrition in
Humanitarian Contexts
Social and
Behavior Change

March 2020

IconEarly Childhood Development

Reports and Tools

Family Friendly Policies: Redesigning the Workplace of the Future

UNICEF, July 2019
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Social and Behavior Change
Most workplaces around the world have not yet adopted family-friendly policies. Yet such policies can play an important role in supporting the overall wellbeing of families, helping them excel professionally, financially, academically, and in achieving lifelong health. This policy brief from UNICEF’s Department of Early Childhood Development recommends four specific policies, including one that promotes breastfeeding support and highlights the importance of lifelong nutrition and gender equality. 

Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020. Families in a Changing World

UN Women, May 2019
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Food Systems
As this landmark report points out, families can be, “places of love, care, and fulfillment but, too often, they are also spaces where women’s and girls’ rights are violated, their voices are stifled, and where gender inequality prevails.” To counter this reality, the report proposes affordable family-friendly policies to advance gender equality in a way that helps countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to nutrition, health, and early childhood development.

Events

Early Childhood Development Through a Gender Lens: Designing Policies that Work for the Whole Family

Center for Global Development, December 2019
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Food Systems
The links between early childhood development and women’s economic empowerment were the subject of the fifth annual Birdsall House Conference on Women. The event gathered researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to explore evidence-based solutions that benefit mothers, older sisters, caregivers, and children in a variety of areas, including nutrition and health.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

Development of the Project-Level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (Pro-WEAI)

Malaapit, Hazel, Agnes Quisumbing, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, et al. World Development, Vol. 122. October 2019
  • Food Systems
Researchers recently adapted the widely used Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) to develop a measurement tool that can help agricultural development projects better monitor and measure their impact. The tool restructures and adds indicators to measure project impact across groups and over time. Pro-WEAI is still under development and researchers are continuing to add to and improve on the survey methodology.

Reports and Tools

2019 Annual Trends and Outlook Report: Gender Equality in Rural Africa: From Commitments to Outcomes

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), December 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Knowledge Management
The authors use evidence reviews and case studies to demonstrate that increasing female leadership, minimizing women’s institutional barriers, and promoting women’s control of productive assets would produce significant societal gains and reduce the negative impact of gender gaps on African households. The report examines gender in relation to agricultural productivity, shocks and resilience, assets, and trade.

IDH Gender Toolkit

IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, November 2019
  • Food Systems
Globally, women often face barriers to agricultural supply chains. IDH developed this toolkit to help programmers integrate gender into their supply chain approaches by changing business practices, improving sector governance, and increasing field-level sustainability. The first section of the toolkit provides examples of successful case studies; the second section outlines opportunities for gender integration at different stages in the programming process.

Events

Crafting the Next Generation of CGIAR Research: Policy Seminar

CGIAR, October 2019
  • Food Systems
This seminar shared important messages from an upcoming CGIAR report and book on gender research in agriculture and natural resource management. The publications will synthesize current research and propose a forward-looking agenda for future research in this area. Covered topics include gender in climate-smart agriculture and nutrition-sensitive agriculture programing, among others. Introductory summaries for many of the topics are also available on CGIAR’s website.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning/Knowledge Management

Research Articles

Food Taboos, Health Beliefs, and Gender: Understanding Household Food Choice and Nutrition in Rural Tajikistan

McNamara, Katherine, Elizabeth Wood. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 38:17, August 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Social and Behavior Change
Understanding food taboos and health beliefs can provide important insights into how social interactions affect nutritional status. This quantitative study investigates the influence of gender and power structures on dietary knowledge and practices at the household level. Authors call for a more inclusive approach to the study of food taboos and nutrition that takes into account power, history, environment, economics, and the politics in which food practices and nutrition occur.

Gendered Time, Seasonality, and Nutrition: Insights from Two Indian Districts

Rao, Nitya, S. Raju. Feminist Economics. July 2019.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Social and Behavior Change
Using primary data from two Indian districts, collected as part of the Farming System for Nutrition (FSN) study, researchers examined the effect of work burdens on agricultural and nutritional outcomes. Their analyses identified the two pathways by which women’s agricultural work negatively affects household nutrition: lack of adequate time for care work in peak agricultural seasons, primarily due to intensified work burden, and the seasonal energy deficits that adversely affect their own health.

Is Women's Empowerment a Pathway to Improving Child Nutrition Outcomes in a Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Program? Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Burkina Faso

Heckert, Jessica, Deanna K. Olney, Marie T. Ruel. Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 233, July 2019
  • Food Systems
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
To explore the link between women’s empowerment and improved child nutrition, this study evaluated the outcomes of a nutrition- and gender-sensitive agriculture program in Burkina Faso. The results provide the first experimental evidence that efforts to increase women’s empowerment can lead to improved child nutrition. Authors suggest that programs seeking to improve child nutritional status should incorporate interventions designed to empower women.

Reports and Tools

Empowering Women for Food Security

Feed the Future, February 2019
  • Food Systems
  • Knowledge Management
Empowering women is one of the key ways we can work to improve food security for all. In this factsheet, Feed the Future provides a brief outline of three actionable steps they are taking to close the “gender gaps” in our food systems: investing in women, engaging men, and measuring empowerment. 

Every Child Counts: Using Gender Data to Drive Results for Children

UNICEF, January 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
In response to a demand for high-quality gender data and statistics, this report details UNICEF’s gender statistics framework and best practices for advancing gender data for children. This five-part document explains how UNICEF aims to apply a gender perspective during child data production, analysis, and dissemination. In addition, it identifies future UNICEF investments in quality data to address gender inequality in a child’s first two decades of life. 

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

It Takes a Village: An Empirical Analysis of How Husbands, Mothers‐in‐Law, Health Workers, and Mothers Influence Breastfeeding Practices in Uttar Pradesh, India

Young, Melissa F., Phuong Nguyen, Shivani Kachwaha, et al. Maternal and Child Nutrition, November 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Social and Behavior Change
In two districts in northern India, researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey among recently delivered women, husbands, and mothers/mothers-in-law to examine the association between four key determinants and three breastfeeding outcomes. Finding linkages between these key determinants and breastfeeding behaviors, the authors believe that maternal, health service, family, and community-level interventions can lead to improved breastfeeding practices in this region in India. 

Women's Empowerment and Child Nutrition: The Role of Intrinsic Agency

Jones, R., R. Haardörfer, U. Ramakrishnan, et al. SSM - Population Health, November 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
For this study, researchers examined nationally representative data from five countries in East Africa, considering measures of both child nutritional status and women’s empowerment. It found significant linkages between them. The article points out that although improving women's intrinsic agency may improve child nutrition (directly and through improved maternal nutrition), such strategies should also take household resource constraints into account.

Reports and Tools

Male Engagement and Couples Communication in Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health in Nampula and Sofala Provinces of Mozambique

Maternal and Child Survival Program, October 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
In Mozambique, USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program conducted this qualitative study using baseline assessments and endline studies. The study evaluated 1) the feasibility and acceptability of male engagement interventions that encourage couples to discuss antenatal care, childbirth, and family planning, and 2) how couples make decisions around reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health services. The report offers 8 findings and 13 recommendations for action.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

Women’s Empowerment, Food Security and Nutrition of Pastoral Communities in Tanzania

Galiè, Alessandra, Nils Tenfel, and Amy Webb Girard, et al. Global Food Security, Vol. 23, December 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Food Systems
Scholars increasingly point to women’s empowerment as a means to enhance food security and nutrition; however, little is understood about the mechanisms that drive these relationships. This analysis uses a mixed methods approach to examine these interactions in Tanzanian pastoral communities. Both methodologies indicate a positive correlation between women’s empowerment and both dietary diversity and nutrition security. The authors recommend that scholars and programmers consider the non-economic domains of empowerment and combine technological and institutional interventions to promote women’s empowerment.

Reports and Tools

Gender and Cash Study

World Food Program, February 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
The World Food Program is increasingly relying on cash-based transfers to assist food insecure populations. This analysis used a desk review, fieldwork and case studies, a practitioner survey, and a learning workshop to explore how cash-based interventions affect gender equality and women’s empowerment. The authors determined that while cash transfers alone are insufficient, cash-based interventions combined with other program activities—such as social and behavior change, skills training, and access to services—reinforce and enhance gender equity and empowerment. 

Putting a Gender Lens on Global Food Insecurity

Women Deliver, August 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Women experience higher rates of food insecurity than men do. To illustrate the linkages between gender and food insecurity, Women Deliver developed a two-page infographic that uses the “nutrition fact” format seen on commercial food labels. The graphic provides a summary of global statistics on the causes of food insecurity and suggests ways that stakeholders can invest in women and girls’ nutrition and food security.

IconSocial and Behavior Change

Research Articles

Maternal Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Breastfeeding Practices in 51 Low-Income and Middle-Income Countries: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study

Caleyachetty, Rishi, Olalekan A. Uthman, Hana Nekatebeb Bekele, et al., PLOS Medicine, October 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
The effect of intimate partner violence (IPV) on breastfeeding practices has not been adequately studied. To help fill this knowledge gap, the authors examined population-based cross-sectional demographic and health surveys from 51 low- and middle-income countries around the globe, looking at data on IPV and breastfeeding practices. They found that exposure to IPV decreased the likelihood of early breastfeeding initiation and exclusive breastfeeding globally. 

Reports and Tools

Do's and Don'ts for Engaging Men and Boys

USAID Interagency Gender Working Group, January 2019
  • Social and Behavior Change
A practical job aid for decision-making about programs, policy, media coverage, research, and funding priorities, this two-page document details recent lessons learned and best practices for engaging males in health promotion and gender equity work across health areas. It encourages users to consider men’s roles as clients, partners, and agents of change.

Fathers' Nutrition Knowledge is Associated with Household's, Women's, and Child's Dietary Diversity in the Agriculture to Nutrition Study in Ethiopia

ATONU, May 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
Conducted by the Agriculture to Nutrition (ATONU) project, this cluster randomized control trial examines associations between paternal and maternal nutritional knowledge on household, child, and maternal dietary diversity. Researchers conclude that interventions that engage fathers can improve women’s empowerment and household nutrition.