Welcome to our Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Resource Review, a curated collection of recent research, tools, news, and events to help you stay on top of developments and evidence in global nutrition programming. 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

April 2020

IconEarly Childhood Development

Research Articles

Association between Malaria Infection and Early Childhood Development Mediated by Anemia in Rural Kenya

Milner, Erin M., Patricia Kariger, Amy J. Pickering, et al. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 17, February 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Malaria is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children under 5 years and anemia is a well known morbidity resulting from malaria infection. This study in western Kenya found malaria infection significantly increased odds of risk for delays in gross motor, communication, and social-emotional development. Anemia was a significant mediator on the path between malaria infection and poor child development; however, the total effect of anemia was small (it explained only 9-16 percent of the risk), indicating the need for more research to understand the pathways between milder malaria infection and child development outcomes.

Diet Quality Over Time Is Associated with Better Development in Rural Nepali Children

Miller, Miller, Laurie C., Sumanta Neupane, Neena Joshi, et al. Journal of Maternal and Child Nutrition, e12964, February 2020  
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
To better understand the links between diet quality and developmental status in resource-poor settings, the authors of this study explored different aspects of dietary quality and child development among children in a western Nepali community. Analysis of dietary diversity, animal-source food, and “Ages and Stages Questionnaire” scores led researchers to recommend that programs targeting child development also consider home environmental quality along with long-term diet quality.

Inequalities in Early Childhood Care and Development in Low/Middle-Income Countries: 2010–2018

Lu, Chunling, Jorge Cuartas, Günther Fink, et al. BMJ Global Health, Vol. 5, January 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Understanding inequities in access to early childhood services and outcomes is important to guide targeted interventions and ensure all children benefit from nurturing care. This study analyzed prevalence of exposure to stunting and/or extreme poverty, access to early childhood care and education programs, home stimulation, and child development using national surveys from 94 countries that assessed inequalities across child gender, household wealth, rural/urban location, and income group. While there was no significant gender gap, poorer countries and households had worse outcomes and access to services compared to wealthier countries and households. Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest proportion of children exposed to stunting or extreme poverty and the lowest proportion of children accessing early childhood services or adequate stimulation.

Reports and Tools

Improving Early Childhood Development: WHO Guideline

World Health Organization, March 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Systematic reviews of available evidence inform this guideline, which provides recommendations for improving child development within the health sector. Key recommendations include promoting responsive care for early learning, integrating responsive care and nutrition interventions, and supporting maternal mental health. A central theme throughout: supporting parents as they provide essential care for their children to promote optimal development.

Events

Global Launch: A Future for the World's Children

World Health Organization, UNICEF, Lancet Commission, February 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Food Systems
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
The WHO, UNICEF, and the Lancet Commission released a groundbreaking report highlighting the dramatic threats to children’s health, development, and wellbeing due to existential threats, including  climate change and predatory marketing of harmful products such as alcohol, tobacco, sugar-sweetened beverages, and breastmilk substitutes. The report launch highlights the key findings and recommendations on what can be done to coordinate global action to address these threats while engaging young people in the solutions to promote sustainable development.

Measuring Country Progress – Introducing Early Childhood Development Country Profiles

Early Childhood Development Action Network, February 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
The Countdown to 2030 for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health aims to strengthen measurement of progress to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on “intervention coverage and inequality.” In this webinar, presenters discussed country profiles of nurturing care indicators that can help measure progress in nurturing care (health, nutrition, responsive care, early learning, and security and safety) and its enabling environment. The profiles feature 138 low- and middle-income countries that have available data.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

An Evaluation of Chile’s Law of Food Labeling and Advertising on Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Purchases from 2015 to 2017: A Before-and-After Study

Taillie, Lindsey Smith, Marcela Reyes, M. Arantxa Colchero, et al. PLOS Medicine, 17(2): e1003015, February 2020
  • Food Systems
Policymakers and the public continue to debate the role of policy in limiting consumption of sugary beverages to reduce obesity. A recent study in Chile demonstrates that labeling, taxes, and other policies are effective—consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages dropped by about 25 percent after the government adopted sweeping regulations in 2016, including advertising restrictions, warning labels, and a junk food ban in schools. The results suggest that a far-reaching approach, like Chile’s policy package, could be more effective at reducing sugar consumption than standalone policies.

Forest Conservation: A Potential Nutrition-Sensitive Intervention in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Rasolofoson, Ranaivo A., Taylor H. Ricketts, Anila Jacob, et al. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Vol. 4, March 2020
  • Food Systems
Forests support nutrition by supplying food products, providing a habitat for pollinators, and creating income-generating opportunities, among other benefits. This study provides additional evidence for the links between forest conservation and nutrition, determining that forest exposure is associated with significantly lower rates of stunting in low- and middle-income country contexts. The authors assert that forest conservation shows potential as an effective nutrition-sensitive intervention.

Home Fortification of Foods with Multiple Micronutrient Powders for Health and Nutrition in Children under Two Years of Age

Suchdev, Parminder S., M.E.D. Jefferds, E. Ota, et al. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2: CD008959, February 2020 
  • Food Systems
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This article updates a 2011 systematic review that assessed the impact of home fortification of foods with micronutrient powders (MNP) on nutrition, health, and developmental outcomes in children under 2 years of age. It covered 29 studies on 33,147 children in low- and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean where anemia is prevalent. The review concluded that home fortification is effective in reducing anemia and iron deficiency and that giving children younger than two MNP appears to be better than providing nothing or a placebo. The impact on early childhood development is unclear however. Researchers suggest further investigation of morbidity outcomes, including those related to malaria and diarrhea, is needed.

Spatiotemporal Trends in Adequacy of Dietary Nutrient Production and Food Sources

Geyik, Ozge, Michalis Hadjikakou, Brett A. Bryan. Journal of Global Food Security, March 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
To explore the current state of global food systems, this study examined data related to the production, distribution, processing, and marketing of nutritious foods. Results showed that 10 percent or more of the global population still live in countries at risk of hunger, and up to 60 percent live in countries with risk of hidden hunger (micronutrient deficiency), on the basis of domestic nutrient production. To meet global nutrition targets, the authors suggest adopting more robust nutrition-sensitive food policies with targeted production and trade interventions informed by highly disaggregated production data.

Reports and Tools

Modeling Farming Systems to Understand Potential Outcomes of Agricultural Interventions

CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, February 2020
  • Food Systems
This blog post describes how three recent studies used FarmDESIGN, a farm-household modeling tool, to help researchers analyze smallholder farms in Vietnam and Kenya. Although smallholder farmers are critical to food production in low- and middle-income countries, many are nutritionally vulnerable. To support better nutrition outcomes, it is important for researchers and programmers to disentangle complex agriculture-nutrition linkages at the household level. The authors suggest that using a modeling tool like FarmDESIGN can be a good way for decision makers to understand “trade-offs and potential outcomes” of agricultural interventions at the household level.

Rethinking Trade Policies to Support Sustainable Food Systems and Healthy Diets

Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, February 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Trade policy is an underutilized tool in efforts to improve diets and nutrition. That is the argument made by the authors of this policy brief, which describes how policy is often driven by goals, such as income and economic growth, with little consideration for nutrition. The authors outline opportunities and actions related to trade policy and instruments that governments and stakeholders can use to support healthy diets.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning/Knowledge Management

Research Articles

Assessing Dietary Diversity in Pregnant Women: Relative Validity of the List-Based and Open Recall Methods

Nguyen, Phuong Hong, Yves Martin-Prevel, Mourad Moursi, et al. Current Developments in Nutrition Vol. 4, January 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Few studies have compared list-based and open recall methods for collecting data on micronutrient adequacy from pregnant women. This study aims to fill that information gap and provides evidence for the recommended use of list-based questionnaires when assessing food group diversity or minimum dietary diversity for pregnant women. Conducted in both Bangladesh and India, the study also found that, in resource-poor settings, it may be more feasible to use the list-based tool than other methods for data collection.

Biases in Self-Reported Food Insecurity Measurement: A List Experiment Approach

Tadesse, Getaw, Gashaw T. Abate, Tadiwos Zewdie. Journal of Food Policy, March 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Challenges surrounding the impact evaluations of food security programs include issues with both objective and subjective measurements. Exploring the role of bias, researchers compared direct responses to food insecurity questions to indirect responses using a list experiment approach. The results from the data collected in two districts in northern Ethiopia showed that biases have led to false conclusions about the Ethiopian Household Asset Building program. The authors discuss possible options and precautionary actions that can mitigate the issues related to measuring food insecurity using self-reported questions.

Conceptualizing Sustainable Diets in Vietnam: Minimum Metrics and Potential Leverage Points

Mayton, Holly, Ty Beal, Julia Rubin, Alejandra Sanchez, et al. Journal of Food Policy, Vol. 91, February 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Addressing the need for clearly defined and agreed upon intervention points that can effectively enhance diet sustainability in low- and middle-income countries, the authors of this paper worked to develop a conceptual framework for sustainable diets in Vietnam. The framework outlines 235 unique indicators that fall within eight domains: (1) food production, (2) food processing and distribution, (3) food loss and waste, (4) food access and consumption, (5) food and water safety, (6) nutrition, (7) sociopolitical context, and (8) environmental impact. It also identifies key leverage points across sectors related to food quality, agricultural chemical usage, and food waste, among others. Note: This article is behind a paywall.

Lessons from Using Cluster-Randomized Evaluations to Build Evidence on Large-Scale Nutrition Behavior Change Interventions

Menona, Purnima, Marie T. Ruel, Phuong H. Nguyen, et al. Journal of World Development, Vol. 127, March 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Social and Behavior Change
Collaborative program evaluations using randomized controlled trials, among other methods, can provide substantive insight into nutrition behavior change interventions. This paper describes lessons learned from efforts led by the Alive & Thrive global nutrition initiative. Evaluations conducted in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Ethiopia, among other countries, are the basis for a wealth of information about large-scale behavior change interventions delivered through diverse platforms including government health systems, community-based platforms, and mass media. Note: This article is behind a paywall.

Reports and Tools

Intake Survey Guidance Document: Estimating Usual Intakes from Dietary Surveys - Methodologic Challenges, Analysis Approaches, and Recommendations for LMICs

Intake: Center for Dietary Assessment, January 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Collecting qualitative data through dietary surveys is key to estimating dietary intake among populations. However, there are many challenges that arise during data collection and analysis, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This brief outlines recommendations on how to overcome various methodologic issues and provides an overview of approaches to data analysis in the context of LMICs.

Intake Survey Guidance Document: Key Considerations for the Planning and Design of a Dietary Survey

Intake: Center for Dietary Assessment, January 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Why undertake national dietary surveys? One of the many uses for data from large-scale quantitative 24-hour recall dietary intake surveys is to inform national nutrition policy and programmatic decisions. This survey guidance document from the Intake: Center for Dietary Assessment survey guidance series, outlines considerations for the planning, design, and costing of 24-hour recall dietary surveys in low- and middle-income countries.

Intake Survey Guidance Document: An Overview of the Main Pre-Survey Activities Required for a Quantitative 24-Hour Recall Dietary Survey

Intake: Center for Dietary Assessment, January 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Failing to adequately prepare for dietary data collection can often lead to data that is of insufficient quality or that does not provide enough detail for further processing and analysis. This can be avoided by completing certain tasks prior to conducting 24-hour recall surveys. This guidance document provides an overview of the main pre-survey tasks that are necessary for the preparation of various data collection tools, job aids, and auxiliary databases required for calculating food and nutrient intakes in a low- or middle-income country context.

Levels and Trends in Child Malnutrition: Key Findings of the 2020 Edition of the Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates

UNICEF, World Health Organization, World Bank, March 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The rates of both stunting and wasting are still alarmingly high in many parts of the world, especially among young children. This report by UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank highlights key findings from the analysis of data related to global estimates of malnutrition, including the prevalence of stunting and wasting. Global, regional, and country-level datasets accompany the release of this year’s report, along with an interactive dashboard that provides a visualization of global malnutrition data from 1990-2019.

National Nutrition Month® Campaign

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March 2020
  • Knowledge Management
  • Social and Behavior Change
With the goal of encouraging healthy eating and informed food choices, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics launched an educational campaign during the month of March. The campaign’s toolkit includes factsheets, videos, a social media toolkit, and articles. These materials cover diet, meal planning, cooking, and information on the role of registered dietitian nutritionists.

The New Nutrition Facts Label: What’s in It for You?

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, March 2020
  • Knowledge Management
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has rolled out an update to the nutrition facts label on packaged food and drinks that aligns with the latest nutrition science as well as public input. To accompany the first major update to the label in 20 years, they've developed an educational campaign that includes outreach in the form of social media content, indoor/outdoor advertising, videos, and downloadable educational materials. This webpage provides links to tools that provide information about food labeling and can help teachers and health professionals talk to their students and patients about making healthy food choices.

What Do You Want To Know? FAO’s New Open Data Policy Makes Fact-Finding and Information Sharing Easier

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, March 2020
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
In January 2020, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) unveiled its open data policy for statistical databases. This article highlights what kinds of information can be found in the databases, including facts on the types of foods consumed globally. For instance, did you know that bananas are the most consumed fruit in the world? The ultimate goal of FAO’s new open data policy is to help governments make informed program, policy, and investment decisions.

Events

Data4Diets: Building Blocks for Diet-Related Food Security Analysis

International Dietary Data Expansion (INDDEX) Project, January 2020
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The new Data4Diets platform is a multi-dimensional tool that can help program implementers, policymakers, and researchers measure food safety through the use of various indicators and data sources. This webinar explained the functionality of the Data4Diets platform and it’s organizing framework. Presenters demonstrated how to use the platform’s online tools.

The Do's and Don'ts in Monitoring Salt Iodization and Iodine Status: Guidance on the Monitoring of Salt Iodization Programmes and Determination of Population Iodine Status

Iodine Global Network and UNICEF, February 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Representatives from the Iodine Global Network and UNICEF presented on the Guidance on Monitoring Salt Iodization Programmes and Iodine Status issued in 2018. During the webinar, speakers touched on subjects related to salt iodization, including implications for monitoring iodine nutrition programs, key recommendations from the UNICEF guidance, and how this guidance can inform program management. Related webinar recordings and presentation materials were also provided in Russian, French, and Spanish.

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

Effects of Preventive Nutrition Interventions among Adolescents on Health and Nutritional Status in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Salam, Rehana A., Jai K. Das, Wardah Ahmed, et al. Nutrients, Vol. 12, January 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This article summarizes findings from 10 studies to assess the impact of preventative nutrition interventions on the health and nutrition of 10-19 year-olds in low- and middle-income countries. Although the authors aimed to assess the impact of calcium/vitamin D supplementation/fortification, iron supplementation with or without folic acid, zinc supplementation, and multiple-micronutrient fortification, they did not find enough evidence to draw conclusive implications for practice. The article instead suggests that further studies should be conducted surrounding nutrition education and counseling and macronutrient supplementation.

How Can We Realise the Full Potential of Health Systems for Nutrition?

Heidkamp, Rebecca A., Emily Wilson, Purnima Menon, et al. The BMJ, 368 :l6911, February 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Although the movement to eradicate malnutrition has been gaining momentum, countries are still struggling to achieve their nutrition goals. This article emphasizes the important role health systems play in nutrition intervention and examines how they are, or are not, reaching critical groups. It assesses the opportunity gap between coverage of the nutrition intervention and coverage of the health service and which groups and subpopulations are being overlooked to provide recommendations for how health systems can achieve nutrition-related goals.

The Impact of Maternal Supplementation During Pregnancy and the First 6 Months Postpartum on the Growth Status of the Next Child Born After the Intervention Period: Follow‐Up Results from Bangladesh and Ghana

Adams, Katherine P., Seth Adu-Afarwuah, Malay K. Mridha, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, February 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Pregnancy and breastfeeding lower a mother’s nutrient stores, potentially affecting her nutritional status upon conceiving another child. This article evaluates the benefits of nutrition interventions during previous pregnancy and the postpartum period as a way to improve the growth of a subsequent child, specifically through supplementing lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS), multiple micronutrients (MMN), and iron plus folic acid (IFA). It concludes that LNS and MMN supplementation during pregnancy did not improve the growth of a subsequent child beyond the effects of IFA alone, while also noting that more research is needed regarding preconception supplementation.

A Systematic Review of Costing Studies for Implementing and Scaling-Up Breastfeeding Interventions: What Do We Know and What Are the Gaps?

Carroll, Grace, Cara Safon, Gabriela Buccini, et al. Health Policy and Planning, Vol. 35, February 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Despite the positive impact breastfeeding has on maternal and child health during infancy and beyond, exclusive breastfeeding is still underutilized. This review examines the costs of implementing and scaling-up breastfeeding interventions at multiple levels and the barriers to intervening in low-, middle- and high-income countries. The authors found that breastfeeding interventions cost more in high-income countries than in low- and middle-income countries. They also determined that cost estimates were more widely available for breastfeeding counseling and paid maternity leave than for interventions like media promotion, workplace support, and pro-breastfeeding social and health policies. The review notes the need for standardized costing tools and frameworks. Note: This article is behind a paywall.

Reports and Tools

Breastfeeding and Prevention of Overweight in Children

WHO, UNICEF, March 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Breastfeeding gives a baby a healthy start in life that extends into adulthood and can even impact nations as a whole. This advocacy brief describes the various benefits of breastfeeding, focusing on the reduction of childhood overweight risk and obesity that can extend into adulthood. On a larger scale, it advocates for breastfeeding as a means to reduce healthcare costs and support the development of nations.

Improving Young Children’s Diets During the Complementary Feeding Period

UNICEF, February 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
The complementary feeding period from 6 to 23 months of age is important for promoting physical and cognitive development, the effects of which will last into adulthood. This UNICEF guidance not only provides information on the benefits of and steps for complementary feeding, but also recognizes the difficulties many face in providing nutritious and sustainable diets for young children. It provides frameworks and interventions for improving diets based on these constraints at the individual, institutional, and policy levels.

Maternal Depression: The Potential Role of Nutrition in Prevention and Treatment

Alive & Thrive, February 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Maternal depression can have a great impact on the health and development of both a mother and her child during pregnancy and for up to a year postpartum. This brief explores the risk factors that can lead to maternal depression, focusing heavily on the potential role specific nutrients play in supporting a mother’s mental health and the fetus’ development. It also discusses nutrition interventions during pregnancy, acknowledging where there is room for improvement, especially regarding preventative measures in low- and middle-income countries.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

Body Composition During Outpatient Treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition: Results from a Randomised Trial Testing Different Doses of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods

Kangas, Suvi T., Pernille Kaestel, Cécile Salpéteur, et al. Clinical Nutrition, March 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF), dosed by body weight, are the basis of treatment for uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition. Weight gain is the main way to monitor the effectiveness of such therapies. Previous reporting claimed that a lower-than-recommended dose of RUTF led to no less weight gain than the standard dose. This study was designed to examine that reporting and investigate the composition of gained mass based on this differential. The authors found there was no significant difference in tissue accretion in the lower dose of RUTF than in the standard dose.

Potential Consequences of Expanded MUAC-Only Programs on Targeting of Acutely Malnourished Children and Ready-to-use-Therapeutic-Food Allocation: Lessons from Cross-Sectional Surveys

Guesdon, Benjamin, Alexia Couture, Danka Pantchova, et al. BMC Nutrition, Vol. 6, February 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
The “expanded MUAC-only” approach is being used in acute malnutrition programming, with a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of <125mm as the only measurement for screening and admission for treatment. This study explored the impact of the approach on eligibility for treatment and access to ready-to-use therapeutic foods. The results showed that 25 percent of all severe acute malnutrition cases would be undiagnosable with this measure; a further 20 percent would be misreported as moderate acute malnutrition.

Prevention of Child Wasting: Results of a Child Health & Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) Prioritisation Exercise

Frison, Severine, Chloe Angood, Tanya Khara, et al. PLoS One, 15(2), February 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
With nearly 50 million children under 5 years of age wasted, more research is needed on effective interventions. To help identify and prioritize the most important outstanding research questions in this area, the authors conducted a research prioritization exercise using the “Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative” method. They compiled lists of research gaps from multiple sources, categorized them into themes, and used an expert group to identify and rank the 40 most critical questions. The study concluded that research is most needed on 1) how the pathways to wasting encompass the in-utero environment, 2) wasting and early infancy, 3) the early identification of wasting, and 4) the most effective wasting interventions.

Reports and Tools

2019 Short Rains in East Africa Among the Wettest on Historical Record

Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), January 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
FEWS NET experts released a special report to document the wettest rainfall season in 40 years in East Africa, from October-December of 2019. The impacts of this monumental rain season on food security are profound and have left 18-22 million people facing crisis outcomes in the region (Integrated Phase Classification 3 or higher). Climate shocks have led to challenges to resilience. Flooding has displaced hundreds of thousands in the region. Soil saturation, among other factors, have led to the worst outbreak of locusts in 75 years in Kenya and the worst in 25 years in Ethiopia and Somalia. Contrarily, increases in ground vegetation have provided relative improvement in herd growth and milk productivity in livestock.

Case Study from Colombia: Maximizing Impact on Children through Integrated Cash-Based Programming

Save the Children, February 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
In 2018, Save the Children, with support from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Office of Food for Peace, implemented a multi-purpose cash transfer “Plus” program in Colombia. The program was designed in response to the influx of Venezuelans into Colombia due to political and economic unrest. Cash transfers were meant to cover basic needs in an effort to prevent emergence of negative coping strategies, which impact child safety and nutritional status. With some complementary activities such as infant and young child feeding programs, the multi-purpose cash transfer “Plus” program was successful in diminishing the financial causes of poor water, sanitation, and hygiene and food insecurity among the target population.

IconSocial and Behavior Change

Research Articles

Different Combinations of Behavior Change Interventions and Frequencies of Interpersonal Contacts Are Associated with Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Vietnam

Kim, Sunny S., Phuong Hong Nguyen, Lan Mai Tran, et al. Current Developments in Nutrition, Vol. 4, February 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
This study examined endline survey data from intervention evaluations in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Vietnam to assess how different combinations of social and behavior change communication interventions and varying levels of exposure to the interventions affected infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices. The authors found that 1) the level of exposure to interventions mattered, but the effects varied among mothers across the three countries, and 2) the combination of interventions required to achieve IYCF behavior change was context specific.

Sick Child Feeding Practice and Associated Factors Among Mothers of Children Less Than 24 Months Old, in Burayu Town, Ethiopia

Degefa, Nega, Hiwot Tadesse, Fekadu Aga, et al. International Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 2019, December 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
It is important to optimize infant and young child feeding (IYCF), especially in the first 2 years of life, if a child is to develop to his or her full potential. Researchers conducted this study to assess IYCF practices among mothers with children under 24 months of age in Burayu Town, Ethiopia. The authors concluded that while breastfeeding counseling had a positive impact on IYCF practices, there is room for improvement in feeding practices during and after times of common childhood illnesses.

Reports and Tools

Social Norms Exploration Tool

The Learning Collaborative to Advance Normative Change, Institute for Reproductive Health, January 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
The Social Norms Exploration Tool, also referred to as SNET, is a learning and action tool that helps programs understand a community’s social norms by conducting a social norms exploration. It guides users through five phases from “planning and preparing” to “applying your findings.” It includes useful activities and case studies pertaining to health that facilitate discussions between program teams and community members. Findings can help programs design norms-shifting activities and norms-focused evaluation tools. This version of the tool has been applied to more than 15 settings and is available for use.

Events

Social Determinants of Health: Roles of Structure and Agency

Breakthrough ACTION for Social and Behavioral Change, March 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
This presentation by Dr. Carol Underwood of Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs provides a look into the social determinants of health, ranging from economic opportunity to crime rates, and what affects change in those determinants. Dr. Underwood discusses the great impact that structural change could have on health inequality and how the largest possible impact starts with interventions that alter socioeconomic factors.