The Asia Food Challenge: Harvesting the Future

PWC, Rabobank, and Temasek, November 2019
  • Food Systems
  • Knowledge Management
Reports and Tools
The authoring organizations of this report foresee significant changes to Asia’s food and agricultural landscapes, with food spending expected to increase by around 7 percent per year over the next decade. As a collective call to action, the report outlines various opportunities for investment and innovation in key cities around Asia deemed “Agri-Food Tech Investment and Innovation Hubs.”

Assessing Capacity: Lessons from a Social and Behavior Change Competency Assessment in Uganda

USAID Advancing Nutrition, February 2022
Events
These presentations review the importance of competencies—knowledge, skills, and attitudes—in capacity strengthening for multi-sectoral nutrition, and how to translate them from concepts into tangible, relevant tools for designing high-quality capacity strengthening interventions. The webinars are available in English and French and are accompanied by presentation decks and transcripts.

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
Research Articles
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.

Assessing the Nurturing Care Content of UNICEF's Community-Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselling Package: Gaps, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned

Hromi-Fiedler, Amber J., Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, Sofia Segura-Pérez, et al. Current Developments in Nutrition, February 2022
  • Early Childhood Development
Research Articles
Country-level best practices can address nurturing care elements missing from the generic UNICEF Community-Infant and Young Child Feeding Counseling Package. Sharing these practices will help countries prioritize context-driven, evidence-informed decisions.

Assessing Nutrient Gaps and Affordability of Complementary Foods: New Methods and Their Application in Different Settings

Nutrition Reviews, April 2021
Research Articles
This series of articles focuses on nutrient gaps and the affordability of nutritious foods during the complementary feeding period in South Asia and Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as the Comprehensive Nutrient Gap Assessment method for identifying the public health significance of nutrient gaps.

Assessment: Centers of Excellence Model is Strengthening Health Systems in Southeast Asia

Alive & Thrive, February 2022
  • Capacity Strengthening
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Reports and Tools
The Centers of Excellence (CoE) for Breastfeeding model adds value to government-led efforts to scale up essential newborn care and breastfeeding-friendly health services. Engaging champions, providing high-quality technical assistance, and focusing on integrating CoE principles into national health monitoring systems enable implementation and sustainability.

Association Between Intimate Partner Violence and Nutritional Status of Married Nepalese Women

Chaudhary, Arun, Janet Nakarmi, Annekathryn Goodman. Global Health Research and Policy, May 2022
  • Social and Behavior Change and Gender
Research Articles
Emotional and physical intimate partner violence (IPV) was significantly associated with increased risk of overweight/obesity, sexual IPV was significantly associated with increased risk of underweight (measured by body mass index), and controlling behavior was significantly associated with increased risk of anemia. IPV screening should be part of regular health care assessments, and clinicians should ensure services are available and offered.

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
Research Articles
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.

Associations Among Early Stimulation, Stunting, and Child Development in Four Countries in the East Asia–Pacific

Rao, Nirmala, Ben Richards, Carrie Lau, et al. International Journal of Early Childhood, August 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Research Articles
Research in four countries found positive correlations between child development and preschool attendance, preschool duration, and home learning activities among non-stunted and stunted children. This article is behind a paywall.

Associations between Exclusive Breastfeeding Duration and Children's Developmental Outcomes: Evidence from Siaya County, Kenya

Onyango, Silas, Elizabeth Kimani-Murage, Patricia Kitsao-Wekulo, et al. PLOS One, March 2022
  • Early Childhood Development
Research Articles
Exclusive breastfeeding in the 3- to 6-month age range has significant positive associations with child development, especially for communication, gross motor skills, and problem solving.

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
Research Articles
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.

Attitudes and Perceptions about Breastfeeding Among Female and Male Informal Workers in India and South Africa

Horwood, C., A. Surie, L. Haskins, et al. BMC Public Health, June 2020
  • Food Systems
Research Articles
Most women surveyed understood the benefits of breastfeeding and initiated breastfeeding, but household responsibilities and financial obligations frequently forced an early return to work. This led to changes in infant feeding practices, including adding breast milk substitutes. Men viewed breastfeeding as beneficial for mother and child, but reported that it was culturally unacceptable for women to breastfeed in public.

Baby Friendly Spaces: An Intervention for Pregnant and Lactating Women and Their Infants in Cameroon

Dozio, Elizabeth, K. Le Roch, C. Bizouerne. Intervention, 18:78-84, January 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Research Articles
The Baby Friendly Spaces program provides workshops focusing on improving maternal mental health, infant and young child feeding practices, early child stimulation, and parenting skills in the context of complex humanitarian emergencies. Researchers found statistically significant changes in psychosocial suffering among pregnant and lactating women, perceived social support, breastfeeding practices, and mother-child relationships.

Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Training Course for Maternity Staff

World Health Organization, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), August 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Reports and Tools
Many health workers lack training to support women to establish and sustain breastfeeding. This resource provides guidance for leaders to plan a course and select trainers and participants. The trainer's guide contains slides and other materials to facilitate the course, while the participant manual provides worksheets, checklists, and job aids.

Barriers and Facilitators to Growth Monitoring and Promotion in Nepal: Household, Health Worker and Female Community Health Volunteer Perceptions

Pollifrone, Madeline M., Kenda Cunningham, Pooja Pandey Rana, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, July 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Research Articles
Growth assessment, analysis of growth status, and counseling are important factors in measuring growth monitoring and promotion (GMP). Research finds that providers and beneficiaries view GMP as secondary to curative services. Distance, long lines, and crying children hinder engagement, while provider knowledge, skills, and training are barriers. Community‐ and home‐based interventions with trained and supervised community‐based providers may be superior to facility‐based options.

Basis for Changes in the Disease Burden Estimates Related to Vitamin A and Zinc Deficiencies in the 2017 and 2019 Global Burden of Disease Studies

Hess, Sonja Y., Alexander C. McLain, Haley Lescinsky, et al. Public Health Nutrition, December 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Research Articles
Changes in the estimated disease burdens due to vitamin A and zinc deficiencies from 2017 to 2019 are primarily due to changes in analytical methods employed in the Global Burden of Disease studies; as a result, they may not represent true changes in disease burden.

Behavior Profile: Continued Breastfeeding

The Manoff Group, n.d.
  • Social and Behavior Change and Gender
Reports and Tools
This tool provides a framework for identifying individual, social, and structural factors that support or hinder continued breastfeeding through age two. Acknowledging the importance of external forces on continued breastfeeding, the tool guides the identification of supportive actions required by policymakers and others and facilitates thinking about possible program strategies.

Behavioral Barriers to Feeding Young Children During and After Illness

USAID Advancing Nutrition, Breakthrough ACTION, September 2022
  • Social and Behavior Change and Gender
Reports and Tools
Behavioral factors can impede optimal complementary feeding—during and after illness. Findings point to how programs can equip community- and facility-based health workers with tools, messages, and other resources to guide and encourage families to feed children appropriately during illness and recovery.

Behavioral Insights into Micronutrient Powder Use for Childhood Anemia in Arequipa, Peru

Brewer, Jessica D., Julianna Shinnick, Karina Román, et al. Global Health: Science and Practice, December 2020
Research Articles
Barriers to using micronutrient powder (MNP) include previous experiences with health care providers, inconvenient access to MNP, and the absence of reminders to provide MNP. Providing culturally relevant messaging and encouraging changes to feeding routines can lower barriers. Health care provider training should encourage positive interpersonal interactions when initiating MNP. The abstract is available in Spanish.

Behavioral Solutions for Child Feeding Before and After Illness

USAID Advancing Nutrition, Breakthrough ACTION, September 2022
  • Social and Behavior Change and Gender
Reports and Tools
Behavioral design guided the development of solutions that support families to continue feeding their young children during periods of illness and more food in the two weeks following an illness. Solutions also provide community- and facility-based health workers with resources and approaches to support families.

Best Practices for Conducting a Remote Data Quality Assessment

Infectious Disease Society of America, November 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Reports and Tools
Using a remote data quality assessment approach facilitates routine monitoring in emergency settings or when travel is not possible. Remote approaches also protect the health and safety of service providers, government staff, data collectors, and supervisors.

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

USAID Advancing Nutrition, September 2021
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Reports and Tools
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.

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
Research Articles
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.

Birth & Beyond iOS App

Global Health Media, June 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Reports and Tools
The Birth & Beyond app provides easy access to videos for mothers and other caregivers that focus on birth, breastfeeding, newborn care, small baby care, and complementary feeding. Videos are currently available in 21 languages and can be streamed or downloaded to an offline library.  The app is free for download, works with iPhones, and its Android version is in development.