Can Children Catch Up from the Consequences of Undernourishment? Evidence from Child Linear Growth, Developmental Epigenetics, and Brain and Neurocognitive Development

Leroy, Jef L., Edward A. Frongillo, Pragya Dewan, et al. Advances in Nutrition, July 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Research Articles
Undernutrition increases susceptibility to illness and risk of death and contributes to neurocognitive development delays, reduced school achievement, reduced earnings in adulthood, and increased probability of chronic diseases. Current evidence demonstrates that the most effective strategy to reduce stunting is through programs that prevent rather than treat linear growth retardation in the first 1,000 days. Authors argue that early undernutrition has irreversible impacts and cautions against studies suggesting otherwise.

Can Digitally Enabling Community Health and Nutrition Workers Improve Services Delivery to Pregnant Women and Mothers of Infants? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a National-Scale Nutrition Programme in India

Patil, Sumeet R., Sneha Nimmagadda, Lakshmi Gopalakrishnan, et al. BMJ Global Health, July 2022
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Research Articles
Integrating a mobile app with existing services improved timeliness of home visits and appropriate counseling, especially when existing service levels were low, but did not impact infant and young child feeding practices. Digital enhancements can complement but should not replace other efforts to strengthen health systems and address structural barriers.

Can We Predict the Burden of Acute Malnutrition in Crisis-Affected Countries? Findings from Somalia and South Sudan

Checchi, Francesco, Séverine Frison, Abdihamid Warsame, et al. BMC Nutrition, August 2022
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Research Articles
Researchers explored a statistical approach to predict the burden of acute malnutrition as a complement to surveys in Somalia and South Sudan, but the models did not perform well. The predictive approach remains theoretically attractive and deserves further evaluation with larger datasets across multiple settings.

Capacity Development with Local Partners: An Organizational Development Process to Support USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance

The Capacity Development Network, January 2021
Reports and Tools
A cycle-based framework for engaging local partners and systems contributes to sustainable organizational capacity development. The report provides guidance on integrating capacity development into project design as well as examples of good practices, challenges, and tools for every stage in the cycle.

Capturing Cost Data: A First-mile Problem

World Bank, August 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Reports and Tools
While there is plenty of guidance circulating on how to conduct a costing analysis, there is limited accessible guidance on how program designers should collect the costing data itself. To remedy this, the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund of the World Bank is coordinating with other interested groups to develop guidance and case studies on capturing costing data. In this blog post, economist Alaka Holla walks through the preliminary considerations and challenges of collecting cost data.

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
Research Articles
Understanding the carbon footprints of different food-based dietary guidelines can help decision-making that incorporates environmental sustainability.

Caregiver Parenting Practices, Dietary Diversity Knowledge, and Association with Early Childhood Development Outcomes among Children Aged 18–29 Months in Zanzibar, Tanzania: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Russell, Allyson L., Elizabeth Hentschel, Isabel Fulcher, et al. BMC Public Health, April 2022
  • Early Childhood Development
Research Articles
Researchers found a positive association between the frequency of caregiver-child interactions and knowledge of adequate dietary diversity and early childhood development outcomes. This aligns with global evidence that promoting early stimulation, play and learning opportunities, and dietary diversity can improve developmental outcomes.

Caring for the Caregivers: A Path Towards Playful Parenting

International Step by Step Association, March 2021
Events
Building frontline worker skills to deliver strengths-based counseling increases caregiver confidence and well-being and helps caregivers develop stress management, self-care, and conflict-resolution skills. This is a webinar.

The Case for Early Child Development Programmes (a Review of the Documentary "Brain Matters")

Mushtaq, Ammara, Farooq Kazi. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. September 25, 2019. "Brain Matters," Directed by Carlota Nelson, L9 Goodies, 2019. 72 min
  • Early Childhood Development
Reports and Tools
This “Reflections” article reviews the recently released documentary by Carlota Nelson, Brain Matters. The film focuses on the first three years of life when a baby’s brain is optimized for learning, highlighting evidence that child development interventions during this period yield lifetime developmental benefits. The film details four essential “brain boosting experiences” during this period, including responsive care, language stimulation, opportunities for play, and good nutrition. The review concludes that the film offers a compelling argument in support of ECD programs.

Case Studies Show How Medical Colleges in India Can Improve the Quality of MIYCN Service Delivery

Alive & Thrive, February 2021
Reports and Tools
By revising the undergraduate curriculum and updating service delivery protocols at hospitals, medical colleges are building the capacity of future generations of medical practitioners to deliver evidence-based maternal nutrition and infant and young child nutrition services.

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

Save the Children, February 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Reports and Tools
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.

Catch-up Growth is a Better Indicator of Undernutrition than Thresholds for Stunting

Scheffler Christiane, Barry Bogin, Michael Hermanussen. Public Health Nutrition, September 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Research Articles
This cross-sectional study among rural and urban populations with different socio-economic status found that the catch-up growth spurt following a nutrition intervention is a more sensitive indicator of past undernourishment than static thresholds for stunting. Absence of catch-up growth following re-feeding strongly indicates non-nutritional causes of stunting, including education levels and social, economic, political, and emotional circumstances.

Celebrating 40 years of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

Alive & Thrive, May 2021
  • Food Systems
Reports and Tools
Articles focus on the history of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes; the need to address unethical marketing and further implement and enforce the Code; and additional steps to take to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

CGIAR COVID-19 Hub

CGIAR, June 2020
  • Food Systems
Reports and Tools
This collection captures research about the threats to health systems, food security, local businesses, national economies, and reaching Sustainable Development Goals; and harnesses knowledge for emergency response, recovery, and resilience. Focus areas include addressing value chain fractures, using a One Health approach to COVID-19 responses, supporting country COVID-19 responses, and addressing food system fragility.

Challenges and Opportunities in Measuring Knowledge Management Results and Development Impact (Part 2)

Knowledge Management for Development Journal, September 2020
  • Knowledge Management
Research Articles
These papers discuss a framework for measuring the impact of organizational learning and adaptive management, the benefits of using a relative return on investment paradigm, knowledge management (KM) solutions as applied to work processes, measuring KM capacities to strengthen health systems, the institutionalization of KM strategies in agricultural research, and the use of critical discourse analysis for policy analysis and mentoring in KM.

Changing Behavior, Attitudes, and Beliefs About Food Safety: A Scoping Review of Interventions Across the World and Implications for Empowering Consumers

Bass, Sarah Bauerle, Jesse Brajuha, Patrick J. Kelly, et al. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, January 2022
  • Social and Behavior Change and Gender
Research Articles
While consumers are targeted for interventions to address knowledge gaps about food safety and behaviors that can reduce risk, there are no comprehensive analyses of these interventions. It is critical to understand how interventions could be expanded to include relationships between consumers and other actors in the food system, as well as how targeted communication strategies could affect behavior. Focusing on risk perception and strategies that leverage emotion and trusted sources may be useful.

The Changing Face of Malnutrition: The State of the World’s Children 2019

UNICEF, October 2019
  • Food Systems
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Reports and Tools
This year, UNICEF’s flagship report focuses on children, food, and nutrition, providing new data and analysis on malnutrition and making recommendations for keeping food systems anchored in children’s rights. Examining the “triple burden” of malnutrition—undernutrition, hidden hunger, and overweight—the report describes the “broken food system” at the center of the problem and the economic costs of malnutrition. It is accompanied by regional briefs and an interactive web feature.

Characteristics Associated with the Transition to Partial Breastfeeding Prior to 6 Months of Age: Data from Seven Sites in a Birth Cohort Study

Richard, Stephanie A., Benjamin J. J. McCormick, Laura E. Murray-Kolb, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, March 2021
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Research Articles
A higher weight-for-length of the child, recent coughing, and food insecurity were associated with slower transition to partial breastfeeding, while a higher maternal depressive symptom score was associated with earlier transition to partial breastfeeding. Further research is needed to understand the relationships between local perceptions of infant body size and decisions about breastfeeding.

Characteristics and Outcomes of Neonatal SARS-CoV-2 Infection in the UK: A Prospective National Cohort Study Using Active Surveillance

Gale, Chris, Maria A. Quigley, Anna Placzek, et al. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, November 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Research Articles
This study, conducted among babies with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first 28 days of life who received inpatient care, found that infection following birth to a mother with perinatal SARS-CoV-2 infection was unlikely, and vertical transmission rare. This supports current international guidance to avoid separation of mother and baby.

Child Alert: Severe Wasting

UNICEF, May 2022
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Reports and Tools
Donors should fully fund the scale-up of early prevention and treatment, provide multi-year funding, and ensure that budgets include ready-to-use therapeutic food allocations. Governments should integrate early prevention and treatment programs into national primary health and nutrition care systems and services—and protect child nutrition investments from budget cuts. The report is available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. Two webinars accompany the report.

Child Diet and Mother–Child Interactions Mediate Intervention Effects on Child Growth and Development

Bliznashka, Lilia, Dana C. McCoy, Saima Siyal, et al. Maternal and Child Nutrition, April 2022
  • Early Childhood Development
Research Articles
Child diet and mother–child interactions improved children's cognitive, language, and motor development and had indirect effects on socio-emotional development. Leveraging these interactions may improve intervention effects on child outcomes.

Child Food Poverty: A Nutrition Crisis in Early Childhood

UNICEF, October 2022
  • Knowledge Management
Reports and Tools
This brief and accompanying database provides detailed country-specific data about children experiencing food poverty and severe food poverty and discusses how metrics have changed over time.

Child Health Redesign

The BMJ, March 2021
Research Articles
Greater understanding of the interconnectedness of maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health led the World Health Organization and UNICEF to shift away from an exclusive focus on under-5 survival and toward an integrated ecological life course perspective. Authors call for greater integration of disability in children and adolescents into the global health agenda.

Child Health Task Force Resource Library

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