November 2021

IconCapacity Strengthening

Reports and Tools

Approaches to Partnership Measurement: A Landscape Review

USAID MOMENTUM, September 2021
  • Capacity Strengthening
While calls for partnership measurement are increasing, no standard approaches or indicators exist. This review recommends developing context-specific measurement approaches. To overcome identified challenges, use multiple indicators and mixed-methods approaches to capture complexity, outcome diversity, and the contributions of partnerships to outcomes. Prioritize participatory approaches and engage all partners in the process.

Measuring and Assessing Capacity: A Landscape Review

USAID MOMENTUM, September 2021
  • Capacity Strengthening
This study presents a methodology to generate indicators that help measure the impact of capacity strengthening efforts on performance and resilience. Indicators identified for further development include the percentage of targeted actors who use constituent feedback to improve program reach, coverage, or effectiveness; and who modify programs to reflect prevailing social norms, values, beliefs, and practices.

The Power of Ownership: Transforming U.S. Foreign Assistance

Save the Children and Oxfam, July 2021
  • Capacity Strengthening
Development agencies can use several approaches to shift responsibility, accountability, and decision-making power to local government officials, civil society, and entrepreneurs. Findings suggest projects with the highest levels of stakeholder engagement include strong local ownership. The greatest threat to sustainability is the lack of a clear plan to secure resources beyond donor funding.

Events

Local Means Local: Community Leadership and Facilitation in CLD

The Movement for Community-Led Development, October 2021
  • Capacity Strengthening
Presenters discuss how and in what contexts key aspects of community-led development, particularly leadership and facilitation, contribute to food security, resilience, and equity. This is a webinar.  The event slide deck is available in English, French, and Spanish.

Local Solutions to Improve Health: Strengthening Capacity for Sustainable Health Policy, Advocacy, Financing, and Governance

Health Policy Plus, September 2021
  • Capacity Strengthening
Tailored capacity strengthening approaches must be multi-faceted and mutually reinforcing. Promising strategies include strengthening technology systems and their use, addressing organizational needs, providing training on new skills, and providing space for relationships to build and thrive among and across individuals, networks, and government agencies. This is a webinar.

IconEarly Childhood Development

Research Articles

Associations between Women’s Empowerment and Child Development, Growth, and Nurturing Care Practices in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Demographic and Health Survey Data

Bliznashka, Lilia, Ifeyinwa E. Udo, Christopher R. Sudfeld, et al. PLOS Medicine, September 2021
  • Early Childhood Development
There is a strong association between women’s empowerment and early child cognitive development, child growth, early learning, and nutrition outcomes. Authors call for future research to explore the relationship between empowerment and socioemotional, literacy–numeracy, or physical development.

Evaluation of a Community-Based Mobile Video Breastfeeding Intervention in Khayelitsha, South Africa: The Philani MOVIE Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

Adam, Maya, Jamie Johnston, Nophiwe Job, et al. PLOS Medicine, September 2021
  • Early Childhood Development
Videos were as effective as face-to-face counseling when community health workers (CHWs) used them to replace a portion of that counseling. mHealth video interventions could be a feasible and practical solution to support the delivery and scaling of community health promotion services when the CHW workforce is limited.

Maternal Resources for Care are Associated with Child Growth and Early Childhood Development in Bangladesh and Vietnam

Basnet, Sulochana, Edward A. Frongillo, Phuong Hong Nguyen, et al. Child: Care, Health and Development, September 2021
  • Early Childhood Development
Maternal height, good nourishment, mental well-being, decision-making, support in chores, and perceived social support were associated with child health and development outcomes. Interventions that help to improve resources among mothers have the potential to foster child growth and development.

Reports and Tools

The Climate Crisis is a Child Rights Crisis

UNICEF, August 2021
  • Early Childhood Development
The Children’s Climate Risk Index measures the likelihood that climate and environmental shocks or stresses will lead to the erosion of development progress, the deepening of deprivation, and humanitarian crises affecting children or vulnerable households and groups. The document is available in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. The executive summary is available in Hausa, Portuguese, Somali, Swahili, and Yoruba.

Events

For Children with Disabilities, “Wait and See” Just Won't Work

Duke Global Health Institute, October 2021
  • Early Childhood Development
It is critical for doctors, families, policymakers, and researchers to work together to support early diagnosis and intervention for children with developmental disabilities. Panels focused on autism, hearing loss, and cerebral palsy, but issues discussed are common to many types of disabilities, especially for patients and caregivers in low- and middle-income countries, where supports and services are often limited. This is a webinar.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

Environmental Performance of Blue Foods

Gephart, Jessica A., Patrik J. G. Henriksson, Robert W.R. Parker, et al. Nature, September 2021
  • Food Systems
Fish and other aquatic foods (“blue foods”) can contribute to more sustainable diets, but comprehensive comparisons are limited because these foods are rarely included in environmental impact studies. The analysis identifies high-performing blue foods, highlights opportunities to improve environmental performance, and provides estimates to enable data-poor environmental assessments.

Reverse Thinking: Taking a Healthy Diet Perspective Towards Food Systems Transformations

Brouwer, I. D., M. J. van Liere, A. de Brauw, et al. Food Security, October 2021
  • Food Systems
A healthy diet perspective is essential to ensure food systems focus on supplying nutritious foods and providing equitable access to healthy, sustainable, and culturally acceptable diets. The paper discusses converging and conflicting objectives that exist among food-system actors, argues that failure to strengthen synergies and resolve trade-offs may lead to missed opportunities and negative unintended consequences, and highlights promising policy options to shift consumer demand to healthier diets.

Reports and Tools

Enhancing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Low- and Middle Income Countries Through a Food Systems Approach

Wageningen Economic Research, October 2021
  • Food Systems
This brief highlights the main constraints, opportunities, and leverage points to enhance food systems related to fruit and vegetable consumption, trade, processing, and production. Recommendations include locating fruit and vegetable production systems in peri-urban areas, investing in irrigation to facilitate sub-systems in rural areas, and addressing systemic barriers to ensure women’s equitable participation and inclusion. Public and private research and development need to shift from a focus on carbohydrate-rich staple crops to fruits and vegetables and should increase the availability of “risk capital” to increase experimentation.

FAO/WHO GIFT | Global Individual Food Consumption Data Tool

FAO and WHO, October 2021
  • Food Systems
The tool provides food-based indicators focused on nutrition and food safety to support policymakers, program planners, nongovernmental organization staff, and other stakeholders in making informed decisions.

Systematic Evidence and Gap Map of Research Linking Food Security and Nutrition to Mental Health

Research Square, October 2021
  • Food Systems
How food security and nutrition connect with mental health has been researched, but conclusions are difficult to draw given the breadth of literature. This map visualizes the extent and nature of analytical studies focusing on the relationship, guides further research, and solidifies strategic planning.

Towards Food Systems Transformation—Five Paradigm Shifts for Healthy, Inclusive, and Sustainable Food Systems

Food Security, October 2021
  • Food Systems
Avoiding trade-offs and building synergies among health and nutrition, inclusive livelihoods, environmental sustainability, and food system resilience requires fundamental paradigm shifts. These include expanding policy ambitions, harmonizing and improving connectivity between production and consumption goals, strengthening food system performance, and anchoring the food systems governance in inclusive policies and participatory institutions.

U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy 2022–2026

USAID, October 2021
  • Food Systems
This updated strategy responds to the challenges of the moment. Priorities include collaborating with local partners to address challenges to inclusion by intentionally engaging all actors, working to address the effects of climate change on agriculture, and adopting practices to counter the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional priorities include integrating social, political, and local dynamics within programming to improve food security, resilience, and nutrition outcomes; and acknowledging the journey food takes from cultivation to consumption to work across the food system, not just in particular value chains or market systems.

Viewpoint: Rigorous Monitoring Is Necessary to Guide Food System Transformation In the Countdown to the 2030 Global Goals

Food Policy, October 2021
  • Food Systems
Authors propose a rigorous, science-based monitoring framework centered around diets, nutrition, and health; environment and climate; livelihoods, poverty, and equity; governance; and resilience and sustainability.

World Food Day: Get Involved!

FAO, September 2021
  • Food Systems
The call for action provides tips and actions that individuals, governments, private companies and corporations, schools, civil society, academia, and others can take to improve food production, nutrition, and the environment. The report is available in English, French, Italian, and Spanish.

Events

Agricultural Innovation for African Sustainability and Resilience

USAID and Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, October 2021
  • Food Systems
Participants met to identify priority actions for investments in agricultural research, development, extension, and the development of an enabling policy environment. This is a webinar.

Nourishing Food Systems: The Interdependency Between Agriculture and Nutrition

Farm Journal Foundation, October 2021
  • Food Systems
Agriculture and nutrition are often siloed in terms of policy, field implementation, and economic impact. Speakers explored the interdependence between agriculture and nutrition, current challenges, and models of progress. This is a webinar.

World Food Day 2021

FAO, October 2021
  • Food Systems
The platform hosts videos, highlights food heroes, and describes World Food Day events. It includes a call to action for all elements of agri-food systems to collaborate more fairly, sustainably, and inclusively.

IconKnowledge Management

Reports and Tools

Acting on the Call

USAID, November 2021
  • Knowledge Management
The annual Acting on the Call report continues to highlight progress toward a shared vision and commitment to preventing child and maternal deaths. This year’s report illuminates how sustained commitment, financial investment, and technical leadership from the United States helps ensure critical, lifesaving health services continue reaching women, newborns, children, and families amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Climate Crisis and Nutrition: Examples from Niger

USAID, November 2021
  • Knowledge Management
USAID Chief Nutritionist Shawn Baker describes the Wadata program, which provides hands-on training in natural resource management, nutrition, food preparation with local ingredients, financial literacy, and interpersonal communication. Priority issues for nutrition and climate change include accelerating action to safeguard and improve nutrition of mothers and children; supporting food systems actions that reduce environmental impact while protecting and improving access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food; and supporting climate policies that reduce inequities caused by climate change.

Food Safety for Mothers and Children

John Snow Inc. Building Healthy Cities, August 2021
  • Knowledge Management
Toxins and germs that come from food, improper food preparation, and poor storage are harmful to the health of children and pregnant women. Cooking food at a safe temperature, boiling water, washing hands with soap, and enforcing food safety rules saves lives. The video is also available in Hindi, Nepali, Vietnamese, and Bahasa.

In the Interest of Every Woman’s Health and Nutrition

USAID Advancing Nutrition, October 2021
  • Knowledge Management
Critical gaps in programming tools to improve women’s diets throughout the life cycle remain. USAID Advancing Nutrition developed a learning agenda to synthesize findings related to healthy diets and is focusing on multi-sectoral nutrition programming and gender dynamics in five key areas: food market environments, demand generation, family diets, policy implementation, and counseling and health service delivery.

Nutrient Profiling: Designing a Healthier Future for Global Benefit

Sight and Life Magazine, October 2021
  • Knowledge Management
Nutrient profiling models have the potential to address stunting and micronutrient deficiencies. Researchers and programmers should consider all forms of malnutrition, including inadequate intakes of vitamins and minerals, the lack of high quality protein intakes, and overweight and obesity. Creating regional or national criteria for acceptable amounts of critical nutrients is a key step for policy formation, behavior change strategies, and compliance. USAID Chief Nutritionist Shawn Baker is interviewed.

The Power of Small Fish to Nourish Women and Children

USAID, October 2021
  • Knowledge Management
Dr. Thilsted shares insights about nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquaculture and food systems. She discusses challenges for addressing nutritional needs of infants, young children, and pregnant and lactating women and shares how she engages with agriculture, food security, and food systems colleagues. While diversified food systems improve nutrition, livelihoods, and women’s empowerment, Thilsted warns that the international community must engage communities when designing programs.

Reviewing the UN Food Systems Summit with Agnes Kalibata

Center for Strategic and International Studies, October 2021
  • Knowledge Management
In her role as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy, Agnes Kalibata discusses outcomes of the UN Food Systems Summit, explains key issues affecting food systems, and discusses criticism of the Summit. She evaluates the United States’ $10 billion commitment to food security and describes what food security leadership should look like in the future. This is a podcast.

We Can All Become Food Heroes

FAO, October 2021
  • Knowledge Management
Students from six countries made a #FoodHeroes music video to discuss how young people can take action to make agri-food systems more sustainable. Their goal is to encourage youth to be change-makers and advocates for a hunger-free and sustainable world. 

Events

Food and Youth: What I Have Learned from Young People and Their Desire to Fix the Food Systems They Live In

International Food Policy Research Institute, October 2021
  • Knowledge Management
UNICEF’s executive director and youth representatives discuss young people’s struggles with their food choices and food environments, share how young people are contributing to the transformation of global and local food systems, and offer concrete next steps to ensure that children and young people are at the center of discussions about food systems transformation. This is a webinar.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

Research Articles

Health Facility-Based Counselling and Community Outreach are Associated with Maternal Dietary Practices in a Cross-Sectional Study from Tanzania

Dearden, Kirk A., Ramu Bishwakarma, Benjamin T. Crookston, et al. BMC Nutrition, August 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Women who received nutrition advice were more likely to eat larger quantities of food during pregnancy compared with women who did not, while women who received antenatal care and advice on nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy were more likely to eat a wider variety of foods. Access to health services was associated with frequency of eating in the previous 24 hours, while receiving advice on nutrition during pregnancy and after giving birth, and having contact with community health workers were associated with mothers’ dietary diversity during the same time period.

Modeling Food Fortification Contributions to Micronutrient Requirements in Malawi Using Household Consumption and Expenditure Surveys

Tang, Kevin, Katherine P. Adams, Elaine L. Ferguson, et al. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, September 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Large-scale food fortification may be a cost-effective intervention to increase micronutrient supplies in the food system when implemented under appropriate conditions. While the model predicted that large-scale food fortification would contribute to reducing vitamin A inadequacies, additional interventions are important to address other micronutrient deficiencies, especially for the rural poor.

Projecting the Impact of Nutrition Policy to Improve Child Stunting: A Case Study in Guatemala Using the Lives Saved Tool

Tschida, Scott, Ana Cordon, Gabriela Asturias, et al. Global Health: Science and Practice, October 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Results point to the need for strategies that address social determinants impacting stunting rather than a more narrow focus on nutrition-specific interventions. Addressing structural drivers of stunting requires multi-sectoral nutrition and social policies.

Reports and Tools

Beyond Stunting: Complementary Indicators for Monitoring and Evaluating USAID Nutrition Activities

USAID Advancing Nutrition, September 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Recent literature has critically examined the use of stunting as an indicator for evaluating the impact of nutrition interventions. The guidance document suggests approaches and indicators to measure the results of nutrition programs in a comprehensive and meaningful way.

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

Dietary Diversity and Undernutrition in Children Aged 6–23 Months in Sub-Saharan Africa

Aboagye, Richard Gyan, Abdul-Aziz Seidu, Bright Opoku Ahinkorah, et al. Nutrients, September 2021
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Given the role that dietary diversity plays in the health status of children, implementing nutrition-specific interventions and strengthening existing interventions to improve infant and young child feeding practices is particularly important in countries where the prevalence of adequate minimum dietary diversity is low and undernutrition is high.

Effective Nutrition Governance is Correlated with Better Nutrition Outcomes in Nepal

Namirembe, Grace, Robin Shrestha, Julieta Mezzano, et al. BMC Pediatrics, October 2021
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Data collected to determine the relationship between the Nutrition Governance Index (NGI) and anthropometry highlight the importance of effective management of policy-based programming and resource use to produce nutrition gains. The NGI explains variation in height-for-age and weight-for-height, underscoring the important role that good governance plays in promoting child nutrition and growth.

Impact of Scaling up Prenatal Nutrition Interventions on Human Capital Outcomes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Modeling Analysis

Perumal, Nandita, Mia M. Blakstad, Günther Fink, et al. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2021
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Scaling up prenatal nutrition interventions in low- and middle-income countries from current levels to 90 percent may lead to substantial gains in schooling and lifetime income. Decision-makers should consider potential long-term human capital returns on investments in maternal nutrition.

Predictors of Complementary Feeding Practices among Children Aged 6–23 Months in Five Countries in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Shaker-Berbari, Linda, Vilma Qahoush Tyler, Chaza Akik, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, June 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Findings showed that maternal education and age, paternal education and wealth, culture and geographic location, and utilization of health services were associated with minimum dietary diversity, minimum meal frequency, and minimum acceptable diet. Interventions to improve complementary feeding practices should be tailored to the population at the caregiver, household, service use, community, and policy levels.

Reports and Tools

Fed to Fail? The Crisis of Children’s Diets in Early Life

UNICEF, September 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Policies and programs to improve young children’s diets are not prioritized and are being further eroded by the coronavirus pandemic. UNICEF calls on governments and partners to work collectively to transform food, health, and social protection systems. The report is available in Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.

Integrating Early Detection and Treatment of Child Wasting into Routine Primary Health Care Services: A Resource Guide to Support National Planning

UNICEF and Results for Development, October 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The guide presents a process to identify integration actions to address the early detection and treatment of child wasting within primary health care services. Programmers must consider feasibility, risks, and benefits to guide integration and in what form. For each health system component, the guide presents common constraints and presents a set of integration actions to address them.

Nutrition Counseling and Care During and After Childhood Illness Literature Review: Evidence from African Countries

USAID MOMENTUM, September 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The review proposes recommendations to improve caregiver practices, strengthen the quality of feeding counseling during illness, address evidence gaps related to feeding care during illness, and identify enablers and barriers to those providing optimal feeding counseling and support after illness or during recovery. Recommendations include strengthening training, skills building, and supervision for health providers; managing workloads so health providers have time to provide quality counseling; and educating community influencers.

Events

Giving Voice to the Silent Burden: Maternal Mental Health Technical Consultation

USAID MOMENTUM, September 2021
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Common perinatal mental disorders have significant and lasting implications for women’s health and quality of life, as well as newborn health and development. Experts from several related fields discuss necessary interventions to ensure that pregnant and postpartum women receive respectful and nurturing care. This is a webinar.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

Small-Quantity Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements for the Prevention of Child Malnutrition and Promotion of Healthy Development: Overview of Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis and Programmatic Implications

Dewey, Kathryn G., Christine P. Stewart, K. Ryan Wessells, et al. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2021
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Co-packaging small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements with interventions that focus on preventing and controlling prenatal and child infections, improving health care access, and promoting early child development may have a greater impact than interventions alone.

Events

Resilient Health Systems: Adaptive Management Tools to Maintain and Strengthen Nutrition Services

CORE Group, October 2021
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Collaborating organizations have developed tools and approaches to improve emergency preparedness and support health systems to respond to increased demands resulting from seasonal and unforeseen shocks and stresses. Speakers shared three tools designed to deliver nutrition services more effectively in such contexts. This is a webinar.

IconSocial and Behavior Change and Gender

Research Articles

Maternal Diets in India: Gaps, Barriers, and Opportunities

Nguyen, Phuong Hong, Shivani Kachwaha, Lan Mai Tran, et al. Nutrients, October 2021
  • Social and Behavior Change and Gender
Food unavailability and poor economic situations, limited exposure to nutrition counseling, food restrictions and beliefs, adverse family influence and gender norms, and gaps in knowledge constrain healthy diets. While food-based programs, behavior change communication, and nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions are promising strategies, impact evaluations show that they face implementation bottlenecks and limited effectiveness when undertaken at-scale in the real world. Investing in systems approaches spanning health, nutrition, and agriculture sectors is critical to promote healthy diets for women.

Reports and Tools

Complexity-Aware Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning for Social and Behavior Change Interventions

CORE Group, June 2021
  • Social and Behavior Change and Gender
Contextual, temporal, and interpretive complexities impact most social and behavior change interventions. These complexity-aware tools include an advocacy brief; a core set of indicators related to collaborating, learning, and adapting; and a checklist to improve consistency and completeness of intervention documentation.

Nourishing Heroínas in Mozambique: Understanding, Designing with, and Tailoring Nutrition Interventions to Adolescent Girls

Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, April 2021
  • Social and Behavior Change and Gender
A human-centered design approach to creating behavior change interventions can help identify users’ motivations, abilities, and opportunities. While time consuming and resource intensive, continuous learning through ideation, prototyping, and iteration provides valuable insights into users’ realities. This paper is available in English and Portuguese.

Strengthening Nutrition Activities through Gender Integration

USAID Advancing Nutrition, August 2021
  • Social and Behavior Change and Gender
A brief informed by gender analyses considers how gender differences may affect nutrition services and programming. A key aspect of the social and behavior change work of USAID Advancing Nutrition includes unpacking and responding to the social and gender norms that influence nutrition. The brief includes a review of staff learning and examples of gender integration across the project.