USAID Advancing Nutrition has compiled resources on capacity strengthening; early childhood development; food systems; knowledge management; monitoring, evaluation, and learning; nutrition and health services; nutrition in humanitarian contexts; and social and behavior change. Many resources also provide insights about programming in the context of COVID-19. Have a resource to share? Let us know ›

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

December 2020

IconCapacity Strengthening

Research Articles

Research, Development and Capacity Building for Food and Nutrition Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Jideani, Afam I. O. International Journal of Food Studies, October 2020
  • Capacity Strengthening
Improving food and nutrition security requires broad access to secondary, tertiary, and vocational education and skill development training, and women’s leadership and engagement in training. It also requires commitment to research and development, biotechnology, indigenous knowledge, and information and communication technologies. Greater financial and technical support will strengthen national and regional institutions, increase agricultural output, and improve the efficiency of delivering goods and services.

A Review of Leadership and Capacity Gaps in Nutrition-Sensitive Agricultural Policies and Strategies for Selected Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia

Aryeetey, Richmond, Namukolo Covic. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, September 2020
  • Capacity Strengthening
In assessing the degree to which agricultural policies, programs, and investments are nutrition-sensitive, authors argue that there is limited capacity to translate policy and program instruments into effective action. This article is behind a paywall.

Reports and Tools

An Approach to Building Equitable Global Health Research Collaborations

Murray, Megan, Joel Mubiligi. Annals of Global Health, October 2020
  • Capacity Strengthening
The authors present a model for developing productive, equitable research partnerships between researchers and practitioners from high- and low-income countries. Model elements include mission and goal alignment, meaningful training and mentoring, capacity building, and co-authorship principles.

Transforming Capacity-Strengthening in an Era of Sustainable Development

Heerdegen, Anne Christine Stender. International Journal of Public Health, October 2020
  • Capacity Strengthening
District health managers (DHMs) are charged with turning policies and resources into accessible and high-quality health services, but resource uncertainty and limited decision-making authority limit their ability to do so. Successful capacity strengthening requires understanding individual, organizational, and contextual factors that influence the work of DHMs. Collaborating with DHMs and other local stakeholders using a systemic and participatory approach will generate culturally appropriate and contextualized approaches to reduce bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

Events

Decolonizing Global Health: Perspectives from Nurses and Midwives

Seed Global Health Frontline Health Workers Coalition, IntraHealth International, and the Nurses Lead | Midwives Lead, September 2020
  • Capacity Strengthening
Panelists discuss the history of communities most affected by interventions being left out of priority setting, funding structures, program design, and implementation. They outline steps to dismantle these inequities and ensure that future policy and programmatic work is community-led, responsive, and people-centered. This is a webinar.

USAID Local Capacity Development Policy

United States Agency for International Development Learning Lab, October 2020
  • Capacity Strengthening
Core local development policy principles include responding to local priorities, leveraging local strengths and assets, being mindful of and mitigating unintended consequences of engagement, and nurturing local ownership through partnerships based on mutuality. 

USAID Local Capacity Development Policy Webinar

United States Agency for International Development Learning Lab, October 2020
  • Capacity Strengthening
This presentation discusses the rationale for and development of the agency-wide local capacity development policy cited above. Core policy principles include developing diverse capacities by responding to local priorities, leveraging local strengths and assets, being mindful of and mitigating unintended consequences of engagement, and nurturing local ownership through partnerships based on mutuality.

IconEarly Childhood Development

Research Articles

Differential Influences of Early Growth and Social Factors on Young Children’s Cognitive Performance in Four Low-and-Middle-Income Birth Cohorts (Brazil, Guatemala, Philippines, and South Africa)

Richter, L.M., F. M. Orkin, L.S. Adair. et al. SSM-Population Health, December 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Research demonstrates that parental education and household resources have a greater impact on childhood cognition than birth weight and early linear growth. Improving children’s cognitive functioning requires multi-sectoral interventions to strengthen parental education and economic wellbeing.

Group Sessions or Home Visits for Early Childhood Development in India: A Cluster RCT

Grantham-McGregor, Sally, Akanksha Adya, Orazio Attanasio, et al. Pediatrics, December 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
This randomized control trial found that weekly home visits and mother-child group sessions, both of which included nutritional education, had an equal effect on cognition and language. Because of their lower per-child cost, group sessions are more scalable than home visits. This article is behind a paywall.

Reorienting Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya: A Review

Shumba, Constance, Rose Maina, Gladys Mbuthia, et al. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, September 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
To mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on children and their caregivers, authors advocate for full financing and operationalization of service provision that transcends COVID-19 barriers and addresses health, social and child protection, economic protection, and child development. Recommended strategies include providing cash transfers and essential supplies to vulnerable households, strengthening community-based platforms for nurturing care, and conducting research on the social, mental, and physical health consequences of the pandemic.

Reports and Tools

Advocacy Toolkit – Nurturing Care

World Health Organization, UNICEF, and World Bank, October 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
The toolkit provides materials for those seeking to advocate for increased attention to and investment in early childhood development include country profiles, case studies, examples of advocacy best practices, key messages, quotes that capture the critical elements of nurturing care, a detailed explanation of nurturing care, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Monitoring Children's Development in Primary Care Services

World Health Organization, October 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
This report presents guidance on multi-domain developmental assessments, observation and screening for cerebral palsy, vision and hearing difficulties, and the integration of family and community factors in developmental counseling and monitoring. It also calls for services that support early childhood development to be organized according to the continuum of care, and for caregiver mental health.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

Food Systems Everywhere: Improving Relevance in Practice

Brouwer, Inge D., John McDermott, Ruerd Ruben. Global Food Security, September 2020
Food systems frameworks require greater consistency. Beyond food production, agri-food supply chains, and the market and institutional food environment, a greater understanding of the social, economic, biological, and psychological determinants of food choices is important. Other important factors for decision makers to understand are the relationships among nutrition, health, and the burden of diseases; the political economy; power dynamics; and gender differences.

The Trade-Offs of Healthy Food from Sustainable Agriculture in the Global South

Balié, Jean. Global Food Security, September 2020
  • Food Systems
The framework addresses policy trade-offs between food security, prosperity, environmentally significant policy and market reforms, and tailored public interventions. Policymakers must make decisions about which targets should be met first and which have to be postponed. This article is behind a paywall.

Reports and Tools

Future Food Systems: For People, Our Planet, and Prosperity

The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, September 2020
  • Food Systems
Food systems require fundamental transformation to promote sustainable healthy diets for all, and must focus on food availability, accessibility, affordability, and desirability. While much focus is on low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), high-income countries also have a vital role, particularly when their decisions affect LMICs. Policies must make sustainable, nutrient-rich, and staple goods available to all, ensure value chains improve accessibility and lower costs, and empower consumers to make informed choices to increase demand for healthy, sustainable diets.

A Research Vision for Food Systems in the 2020s: Defying the Status Quo

Fanzo, Jessica, Namukolo Covic, Achim Dobermann, et al. Global Food Security, September 2020
  • Food Systems
Food systems research and science to ensure that food is accessible, sustainable, safe, healthy, and equitable is critical and must be quickly translated into policy and action. COVID-19 further highlights the importance of governance, efficiency, resilience, functionality of food systems, and the strong interconnections between food and health. Research should focus on price volatility, ethics, governance, biofuels, biodiversity and ecosystem services, drivers of dietary choice, high-tech agriculture, zoonotic diseases, and social protection.

IconKnowledge Management

Research Articles

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

Knowledge Management for Development Journal, September 2020
  • Knowledge Management
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.

Reports and Tools

CLA in the Time of COVID-19: Adapting, Pivoting and Partnering to Maintain Nutrition Progress

United States Agency for International Development Learning Lab, October 2020
  • Knowledge Management
The USAID framework for Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting supports partners to adapt during unanticipated challenges using real-time evidence. This blog post describes how USAID Advancing Nutrition used the CLA framework to create an internal COVID-19 task force and working groups that monitored and disseminated emerging information, synthesized best practices for virtual engagement, developed guidance for remote data collection, and helped project teams develop new skillsets to support quick pivots in operational and technical work in response to the pandemic.

Dangerous Assumptions #1: More Income = More Food and Nutrition Security?

WOTRO Science for Global Development, September 2020
  • Knowledge Management
There is a lack of consensus about whether income alone leads to greater food and nutrition security. Some argue that higher incomes lead nations to focus on other priorities at the expense of food production and nutrition, while others believe that higher incomes lead to greater access to inputs and land, which in turn leads to higher-quality food production. Experts agree that when women have access to their own income, food and nutrition security increase for the entire family. This is a 27-minute podcast.

Stronger With Breast Milk Only

UNICEF, World Health Organization, Alive & Thrive, Le Fonds Français Muskoka, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, n.d.
  • Knowledge Management
This initiative promotes giving babies breastmilk only from their birth through the first six months of life. Materials include presentations, calls to action, questions and answers, and fact sheets. All materials are available in English and French.

Events

Revisiting the Evidence on Kwashiorkor Malnutrition

Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, October 2020
  • Knowledge Management
Researchers and practitioners review recent evidence related to kwashiorkor, including  treatment, diet, and associated biochemical mechanisms, overt signs, and the metabolic and biochemical characterization of kwashiorkor. This is a series of three webinars.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

Research Articles

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
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.

Double Burden of Malnutrition: A Systematic Review of Operational Definitions

Davis, Jennie N., Brietta M. Oaks, Reina Engle-Stone. Current Developments in Nutrition, September 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
While most double burden of malnutrition definitions include overweight and obesity variables, they diverge in their use of thinness, wasting, underweight, stunting, anemia, and micronutrient deficiency measurements. Clear, specific definitions will improve data comparability across populations, future surveillance efforts, intervention implementation and evaluation, and program and policy development.

Micronutrient Fortification of Commercially Available Biscuits Is Predicted to Have Minimal Impact on Prevalence of Inadequate Micronutrient Intakes: Modeling of National Dietary Data from Cameroon

Haile, Demewoz, Hanqi Luo, Stephen A. Vosti, et al. Current Developments in Nutrition, August 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Biscuit fortification is uncommon and unlikely to reduce dietary inadequacy of studied micronutrients in the absence of large-scale food fortification programs. As voluntary fortification becomes increasingly common, modeling studies could guide efforts to ensure that fortified products align with public health goals.

Variability in Haemoglobin Concentration by Measurement Tool and Blood Source: An Analysis from Seven Countries

Rappaport Aviva I., Crystal D. Karakochuk, Sonja Y. Hess, et al. Journal of Clinical Pathology, October 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Analyses found large variability in haemoglobin concentration measured on capillary or venous blood and using HemoCue Hb 201+ or Hb 301 or automated haematology analyser. It is unclear whether the variation is due to differences in equipment, differences in capillary and venous blood, or factors affecting blood collection techniques. Please note that this resource is behind a paywall.

Within-Person Variation in Nutrient Intakes across Populations and Settings: Implications for the Use of External Estimates in Modeling Usual Nutrient Intake Distributions

French, Caitlin D., Joanne E Arsenault, Charles D Arnold, et al. Advances in Nutrition, October 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Using external estimates of within- and between-person variation in nutrient intakes in lieu of collecting multiple days of dietary intake data causes a high degree of uncertainty in resulting models of usual nutrient intake distributions. Single-day dietary studies should complete sensitivity analyses to determine the robustness of prevalence estimates to changes in the variance ratio.

Reports and Tools

DHS Survey Design: Modules (FAQ)

The DHS Program, n.d
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Several topic-specific questionnaire modules can be added to the standard DHS questionnaire modules. These include those focusing on accident and injury, adult and maternal mortality, disability, domestic violence, female genital cutting, fistula, the food insecurity experience scale, newborn care, non-communicable diseases, out-of-pocket health expenditures, and maternal health care. This document summarizes the benefits and limitations of doing so.

Questionnaire Modules: Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES from FAO)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, The DHS Program, October 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The FIES questionnaire comprises eight questions that measure moderate and severe household food insecurity. The module asks respondents to self-report their access to food of sufficient quantity and quality for the last 12 months. Questions focus on a lack of money and resources to obtain food. Please select the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES from FAO) module, from the Download publications dropdown menu.

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

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
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.

Combined IYCF with Small-Quantity Lipid-based Nutrient Supplementation Is Associated with a Reduction in Anemia

Addo, O. Yaw, Lindsey M. Locks, Maria Elena Jefferds, et al. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Researchers analyzed data from 2,995 children after an intervention area received enhanced infant and young child feeding counseling and daily small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplementation for infants 6–12 months and a control area received the standard counseling package without the nutrient supplementation. The study found that the enhanced counseling and nutrient supplementation intervention using the existing health care delivery platform was associated with a reduction in prevalence of anemia and improvement in mean hemoglobin. There was no impact on stunting, wasting, and underweight indicators in the intervention or control groups, but children in the intervention group receiving three or more months of the nutrient supplementation showed improvements in length-for-age and weight-for-age scores as well as hemoglobin.

Insights on Exclusive Breastfeeding Norms in Kinshasa: Findings from a Qualitative Study

Wood, Francine E., Anastasia J. Gage, and Dieudonné Bidashimwa. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, October 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Focus group discussions with young first-time mothers (FTMs), male partners, mothers, and mothers-in-law to identify norms that influence exclusive breastfeeding found important barriers. For instance, FTMs believed exclusive breastfeeding was uncommon and would result in social sanctions from the community. Trust in and desire to please mothers, friends, and others in their social networks also influenced decision-making. The authors conclude that to promote exclusive breastfeeding it is critical to assess cultural beliefs, target sensitization efforts to key influencers, and increase FTMs’ self-efficacy.

Reports and Tools

Field Exchange 63

ENN, October 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
The articles in this South Asia edition focus on integrating nutrition interventions into primary health care to prevent and treat wasting, integrating management of children with acute malnutrition in pediatric inpatient facilities, supporting healthy growth in infants in low-resource settings, integrating screening for acute malnutrition into the vitamin A supplementation campaign in the Rohingya camps during COVID-19, exploring the role of multiple micronutrient supplementation in pregnancy, and more.

WHO Antenatal Care Recommendations for a Positive Pregnancy Experience: Nutritional Interventions Update: Multiple Micronutrient Supplements during Pregnancy

World Health Organization, 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This guideline includes updated recommendations include multiple micronutrient supplements and vitamin D supplements during pregnancy.

Events

Nutritional Interventions: Multiple Micronutrient and Vitamin D Supplements during Pregnancy

IBP Network, World Health Organization, and UNICEF, October 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This guideline includes updated recommendations include multiple micronutrient and vitamin D supplement during pregnancy. Viewers must request an invitation to watch this webinar but there is no fee to do so.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

Fortified Blended Flour Supplements Displace Plain Cereals in Feeding of Young Children

Cliffer, Ilana R., William A. Masters, Beatrice L. Rogers. Maternal & Child Nutrition, September 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Lipid-based nutritional supplements and fortified blended flours are widely used to increase nutrient density of children's diets and improve health. Due to their small stomach size and rapid growth velocity, infants need higher nutrient density foods than do other family members. While foods premixed with fortificants can meet infant needs, their effectiveness is compromised by displacement of other food. Fortified cereals improve diet quality more than other supplementation strategies by displacing plain cereal without altering breastfeeding or other intakes.

Improving Nutritional Status among Urban Poor Children in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Evidence-Informed Delphi-Based Consultation

Mutisya, Maurice, Oonagh Markey, Emily K. Rousham, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, November 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Little is known about how urbanization influences infant and young child (IYC) feeding practices, and evidence-based interventions to improve IYC health/nutrition among the urban poor are lacking. To maximize effectiveness, future complementary feeding interventions should include an assessment of diet quality and consider nutrition-sensitive factors during development and evaluation.

Reports and Tools

Experiences of the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) Programme in Nepal: From Pilot to Scale Up

Haag, Karan Courtney, Anirudra Sharma, Kedar Raj Parajuli, et al. Field Exchange 63, October 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
This program addresses severe wasting in the context of humanitarian crises. Sustainability relies on a government-owned and -managed approach, a strong policy framework, national and devolved governance architecture, commitment and dedicated financing, and services integrated within a well-developed community health system and delivered by skilled government health workers. Ongoing challenges include supply chain management of ready-to-use therapeutic food, case identification, continuing low treatment coverage, and management of moderate wasting.

Global Nutrition Cluster | Roles and Responsibilities of Nutrition Cluster Partners within the Cluster Approach at Country Level

Global Nutrition Cluster, September 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
This graphic provides guidance on partners' roles in needs assessment and analysis, strategic response planning, resource mobilization, implementation and monitoring, operational peer review, and evaluation. It also provides detailed steps for coordination, information management, and preparedness. Available in English and Arabic.

IconSocial and Behavior Change

Research Articles

Bringing Greater Precision to Interactions between Community Health Workers and Households to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health Outcomes in India

Smittenaar, Peter, B.M. Ramesh, Mokshada Jain, et al. Global Health: Science and Practice, October 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
Community health worker (CHW) presence, number, and timing of visits, counseling, and behavior change messaging strategies, and focus on specific household members are associated with recommended maternal and newborn care practices, including early initiation of and exclusive breastfeeding. Counseling, training, strong supervision, and tools that can help CHWs prioritize and track beneficiaries and suggest behavior change strategies are critical.

Counseling Is a Relationship Not Just a Skill: Re-Conceptualizing Health Behavior Change Communication by India’s Accredited Social Health Activists

Ved, Rajani, Kerry Scott, Global Health: Science and Practice, October 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
The ability of accredited social health activists to improve health outcomes depends on their relationships with families and the support from the health system. Training to improve interpersonal communication and develop strong relationships with community members will improve their efficacy as health behavior change communicators.

Reports and Tools

Program Guidance Engaging Family Members in Improving Maternal and Child Nutrition

USAID Advancing Nutrition, September 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
Due to their influence on decision-making, there is a strong case for engaging fathers, grandparents, and other key family members in maternal and child nutrition programs. Their involvement increases awareness of recommended practices and can increase supportive attitudes and behaviors including exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices.

June 2020

IconEarly Childhood Development

Research Articles

All Children Surviving and Thriving: Re-envisioning UNICEF’s Conceptual Framework of Malnutrition

Black, Maureen M., Chessa K. Lutter, Angela C. B. Trude. The Lancet Global Health, Vol. 8, Issue 6, June 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
The authors of this commentary propose a revision to UNICEF’s malnutrition conceptual framework, adding responsive care, learning opportunities, and safety and security components to health and nutrition. They suggest that by combining these elements, the revised framework will better promote children’s growth, nutritional status, and neurodevelopment, helping children to thrive, not just survive.

Household Food Insecurity and Early Childhood Development: Longitudinal Evidence from Ghana

Aurino, Elisabetta, Sharon Wolf, Edward Tsinigo. PLoS ONE, 15(4): e0230965, April 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
An analysis of longitudinal information on preschool-age children and their households in Ghana informs this study. Authors focus on the relationship between three levels of food-insecure households and early childhood development domains across three years. They conclude that children from households with transitory food insecurity—food insecurity that only occurs in one wave—experienced decreased numeracy, short-term memory, self-regulation, and literacy. Literacy skills continued to decrease for children from persistently food-insecure households or households that experience food insecurity in two or all waves. The authors believe that these findings can help stakeholders develop multi-sectoral early-childhood strategies.

Human Resources and Curricula Content for Early Child Development Implementation: Multicountry Mixed Methods Evaluation

Kohli-Lynch, Maya, Victoria Ponce Hardy, Raquel Bernal Salazar, et al. BMJ Open, Vol. 10, Issue 4, April 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Researchers evaluated 32 responsive caregiving and early learning projects in 17 low- and middle-income countries on 4 continents to identify human resources and curricula critical for program implementation. Human resources themes that emerged range from worker characteristics and incentives to training and supervision. Curricula themes that emerged include flexible adaptation of content and delivery, fidelity, and intervention duration. The authors suggest that stakeholders pay special attention to these themes when designing and implementing programs.

Maternal Mental Health Modifies the Association of Food Insecurity and Early Child Development

Pedroso, Jéssica, Gabriela Buccini, Sonia Isoyama Venancio, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, e12997, April 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Food Systems
How significantly do maternal depression and anxiety affect early childhood development in food-insecure households? The authors of this study found that infants who have depressed mothers living in mildly and moderately food-insecure households were more likely to experience early childhood development delays compared to their counterparts in food-secure households. Having a mother with both depression and anxiety increased that likelihood further. The authors recommend that health workers and programs wishing to promote early childhood development screen for and address caregiver depression, anxiety, and household food insecurity.

Events

The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition: A Different World

Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, March 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Caregivers and health care workers caring for children through the current pandemic can listen to this series of podcasts on child development for advice and support. The podcasts cover a range of topics on how best to protect child development in the context of COVID-19, including the importance of caregiver mental health, how children can safely receive care from their pediatrician, and how to mitigate the effects on children as the virus disproportionately affects communities of color.

The Nurturing Care Framework – The Education and Health Nexus

The Society for International Development, May 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Panelists from the International Rescue Committee, USAID, and PATH participated in a webinar to explain how their organizations incorporate the Nurturing Care Framework into humanitarian settings, nutrition programs, and the health sector. They discuss their organizations’ interaction with the framework in several countries, the challenges they face, the gaps they are addressing, the gaps that remain, and how COVID-19 has affected or altered their work.

WASH, Nutrition and Child Growth: Webinar Series for Implementing Partners

PRO-WASH, WASHPaLS and the Clean, Fed, and Nurtured Coalition, April-May 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Food Systems
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This series of three webinars focuses on the growing body of evidence that persistent exposure to fecal matter causes delays in infant and young child growth and that interventions must go beyond water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to prevent infection. Speakers provide information on pathways of infection and recommend interventions and safe feeding practices, including covering food with fly screens, washing hands before preparing food, handling livestock safely, and feeding children with a utensil rather than by hand.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

The Food Systems Dashboard Is a New Tool to Inform Better Food Policy

Fanzo, Jessica, Lawrence Haddad, Rebecca McLaren et al. Nature Food, Vol.1, 243–246, May 2020
  • Food Systems
Policymakers often have difficulty accessing and visualizing food systems data, which limits their ability to identify gaps, compare change over time, and develop policies to improve nutrition. Recognizing this need, researchers are developing a Food Systems Dashboard, an open-source digital tool that compiles data from over 30 sources and organizes them into country profiles. It includes features to help users compare countries’ food systems data and prioritize policy actions to improve food systems and nutrition.

Reports and Tools

2020 Hunger Report: Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow

Bread for the World, May 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Given a confluence of events—from COVID-19 to the Nutrition Growth Summit—2020 is an ideal time for the international community to make progress toward better nutrition. To mobilize support, the report outlines actions that policymakers and partners can take to reduce the burdens of malnutrition. This includes 10 cross-cutting actions and sector-specific recommendations related to four topic areas: food value chains; health and education; food security and agriculture policies; and inclusive, equitable, and sustainable food systems.

COVID-19 and the Crisis in Food Systems: Symptoms, Causes, and Potential Solutions

International Panel on Sustainable Food Systems, April 2020
  • Food Systems
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided unexpected insights into the vulnerabilities and strengths of food systems globally. In this communiqué, authors highlight three key vulnerabilities that COVID-19 exposed at the global level and propose four recommendations for a way forward: taking immediate action to protect the most vulnerable, building resilient agro-ecological food systems, rebalancing economic power for the public good, and reforming international food systems governance.

FAO e-Learning Academy: Sustainable Food Value Chains for Nutrition

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, April 2020
  • Food Systems
This recently released online course on improving nutrition through agriculture and food systems targets implementers and policymakers. It covers the basics of a value chain approach, fundamental entry points and pathways for improving nutrition, and processes for designing activities and interventions. The content is open-access and takes 2–4 hours to complete.

Inclusive Food System Transformations for Healthy Diets: National Experiences with a Global Challenge

CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, April 2020
  • Food Systems
Each country’s food system is unique. Although context-specific approaches are critical to transforming food systems for better nutrition, policymakers and implementers can learn from each other's successes and challenges. This brief presents case studies on four countries—Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Vietnam—whose food systems range from traditional to modern. They highlight each country’s challenges, approaches, and priorities to share experiences and reveal lessons for other countries.

IconKnowledge Management

Research Articles

Food Aid for Nutrition: A Landscape Review of Current Research and Implications for Future Studies

Wrabel, Maria, Kristine Caiafa, Beatrice Lorge Rogers, et al. Food Aid Quality Review, Field Exchange, Issue 62, p. 38, April 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
To highlight key themes and identify under-researched areas in studies that look at specialized nutritious foods, the authors analyzed 142 manuscripts published from January 2011 to July 2018 and 33 clinical trials active as of July 2018. All focused on rural Africa and most dealt with the effectiveness of specialized products in addressing a narrow range of nutrition outcomes. The authors conclude that more research is needed on specialized nutritious food programming, particularly in emergency and humanitarian contexts and urban settings, in prevention of nutritional deficits, and in cost-effectiveness of alternative approaches, among others.

Promoting Child Growth and Development in the Sustainable Development Goals Era: Is It Time for New Thinking?

Bégin, France, Leslie Elder, Marcia Griffiths, et al. The Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 150, Issue 2, p. 192–194, February 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The authors argue that growth monitoring and promotion programs are needed for routine preventive child health care, but require a paradigm shift to contextualize programs and optimize their implementation for scalability. Based on two literature reviews and global empirical and experiential evidence, authors address five critical areas for redeveloping programs to emphasize the promotion of child growth and development.

A Review of Research Methods Used to Study Specialised Nutritious Foods

Caiafa, Kristine, Maria Wrabel, Devika Suri, et al. Field Exchange, Vol. 62, p. 41, April 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The authors collected and analyzed research methodologies from 114 studies of programs that used specialized foods to influence anthropometric outcomes. The analysis identified elements of the methodologies that can be strengthened to develop a more rigorous evidence base. The authors found research bias, heterogeneous study design, and insufficiently reported study details as barriers to robust evidence. The review also provides a list of actions to build a higher-quality evidence base for translating research on specialized nutritious food into policy and practice.

Reports and Tools

COVID-19, Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition – What Does the Science Tell Us? A Repository

Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, June 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Knowledge Management
This regularly updated collection of peer-reviewed journal articles on COVID-19 and maternal and child health and nutrition summarizes current evidence. The collection includes syntheses of key points from recently published articles, as well as observations made by the curators.

COVID-19: Shocks on Nutrition and Potential Mitigation – USAID Guiding Principles and Recommendations

USAID, May 2020
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Summarizing the likely impacts of COVID-19 on nutrition across sectors, this document proposes guiding principles for the response to and recovery from the current crisis. Program designers and implementers can use the document as a framework for advising nutrition. Priority actions cover response and recovery for food and health systems programming, as well as humanitarian assistance and safety nets.

IFPRI Resources and Analyses of COVID-19 Impact

International Food Policy Research Institute, March 2020
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The International Food Policy Research Institute is publishing a series of blog posts and continually updating its website with links to provide news and information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security, poverty, and development. The resources include virtual events hosted by IFPRI and pandemic-related podcast episodes.

United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition: Resource List on Food Systems and Nutrition Responses

United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN), March 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing disruptions to food systems and food environments, a decline in optimal dietary practices could lead to serious impacts on nutritional status. To address this challenge, this curated list provides up-to-date information focused on nutrition and food systems related to COVID-19. Topics include UN agencies’ general response, food systems, pregnancy, breastfeeding, infant and young child feeding, school-age children, adults, non-communicable diseases, and emergency nutrition response. The list also provides useful links to communities of practice, blogs, and initiatives involved in the COVID-19 response.  

Events

Food Security COVID-19 Learning Series

USAID Implementer-led Design, Evidence, Analysis and Learning (IDEAL) Activity, April–June 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Bringing together development and emergency activity implementers through a peer-to-peer learning series, IDEAL seeks to foster an engaging environment for sharing challenges and strategies for adapting programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. The series centers on the following five learning streams: monitoring and evaluation; strategic management; online collaboration; cash, voucher, and food distribution; and addressing at-risk populations.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

Research Articles

Examining Coverage, Content, and Impact of Maternal Nutrition Interventions: The Case for Quality-Adjusted Coverage Measurement

Joseph, Naima T, Ellen Piwoz, Dennis Lee, et al. Journal of Global Health, Vol. 10(1):010501, June 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
To better understand health system performance and the benefits of accessing antenatal care, the authors adjusted maternity care coverage measures for quality of nutrition interventions in Malawi to determine the impact of infant birth weight and breastfeeding. The adjustments showed that despite high utilization of maternal health services, low provision of nutrition interventions is undermining infant health. The authors conclude that strengthening the quality of existing services would lead to improvements in newborn health.

Mapping Local Patterns of Childhood Overweight and Wasting in Low- and Middle-income Countries between 2000 and 2017

Kinyoki, D.K., J.M. Ross, A. Lazzar-Atwood, et al. Nature Medicine, Vol. 26, 750–759, April 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Using geospatial estimates of overweight and wasting prevalence among children under 5 in 105 low- and middle-income countries from 2000 and 2017, the authors aggregated these numbers to policy-relevant administrative units. The researchers found that wasting decreased overall across countries, while overweight estimates increased, leading to the double burden of malnutrition in various countries and regions. Areas with the greatest double burden were in Indonesia, Thailand, southeastern China, Botswana, Cameroon, and central Nigeria.

A New Statistical Method for Estimating Usual Intakes of Nearly-Daily Consumed Foods and Nutrients through Use of Only One 24-hour Dietary Recall

Luo, Hanqi, Kevin W. Dodd, Charles D. Arnold, et al. The Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 149, Issue 9, p. 1667–1673, September 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Although published in September, this resource remains one the few that provides information about measuring diets and diet quality. The authors developed a new statistical method to improve population distribution estimates of usual intake of nearly daily consumed foods and nutrients using single-day dietary data per person. Using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data for men from 2011–2014 on intake distributions of four nutrients, the researchers found that the method is statistically viable when the variance ratio is unbiased.

Reports and Tools

Collecting Quality Anthropometric Data in the DHS Program

The Demographic and Health Surveys Program, May 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) Program has collected anthropometric (height and weight) data from children, women, and men for more than 30 years to help countries monitor and evaluate their progress in improving nutritional status. This blog provides an overview of the tools and processes DHS has developed to improve the collection of anthropometric data. It links to several studies and well-tested resources related to designing surveys using best practices for collecting anthropometric data, training fieldworkers to take accurate measurements, monitoring and improving anthropometric data in real-time, and communicating the quality of anthropometric data.   

Global Report on Food Crises 2020

Global Network against Food Crises, April 2020
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
How might COVID-19 contribute to global food crises? This year's report aims to answer this question while providing an overview of the global scale of acute hunger. It analyzes factors that contribute to, perpetuate, or deteriorate food crises around the world.

Protocol for Comparative Evaluation of Blood Sampling Methods and Analytical Devices in the Measurement of Hemoglobin in Population Surveys—A Laboratory Study

USAID Advancing Nutrition, March 2020
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Because anemia is diagnosed by measuring hemoglobin concentration in blood, there is an urgent need to make a systematic comparison of hemoglobin concentrations using different types of blood samples from the same individuals and analyzed using different instruments. USAID Advancing Nutrition is seeking public comments on a protocol that will guide future grant awards to organizations or individuals who would like to conduct or fund primary studies to assess the variability in measurement of hemoglobin concentration. This public comment period allows interested groups or firms to contribute to the revision of the protocol and prepare to apply for the upcoming grants.

Using Health Management Information Systems Data to Contextualize Survey-Based Estimates of Fertility, Mortality, and Wasting

Demographic and Health Surveys Program, April 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
To better understand the validity of DHS Program estimates and trends of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition outcomes, the authors examined the use of routine health facility data to contextualize estimates of fertility, maternal mortality, under-5 mortality, and wasting. They concluded that outcomes must be triangulated with multiple indicators to accurately contextualize them within health systems and non-health systems factors.

Events

2020 Severe Malnutrition Non-Technical Learning Series

1,000 Days, April 2020
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
In this monthly online learning series from 1,000 Days, subject-matter experts present the latest evidence on severe acute malnutrition. The series is designed to help non-technical audiences inform severe malnutrition policies and advocacy campaigns. Session topics include wasting, breastfeeding, and vitamin A supplementation, among others.

Measuring Food Insecurity in the Era of COVID-19: Practical Insights from Data Collection Activities in Four Global Contexts

Data for Nutrition and Agriculture-Nutrition Communities of Practice, May 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Panelists in this webinar shared how they selected and/or modified experience-based food security metrics for inclusion in household assessments carried out through mobile phones or online platforms. The assessments took place in India, Nepal, the U.S., and on a global level and covered mobile surveying, program monitoring by community health workers, and Mobile Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping Program metrics.

USAID Stakeholder Community Meeting on COVID-19’s Impacts on Global Nutrition

USAID, April 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Knowledge Management
In April, USAID nutrition leadership came together to discuss ongoing global challenges facing the nutrition sector. Presenters provided insight into how USAID might adapt and prioritize activities in response to COVID-19. They also shared potential actions for mitigating the impacts of the pandemic on food security, health systems, assistance, and other related programming.   

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

Determinants of Under-Nutrition among Children under Five Years of Age in Ethiopia

Kassie, Gashu Workneh, Demeke Lakew Workie, BMC Public Health, Vol. 20, Issue 1, p. 399, March 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Responding to the high rate of child undernutrition in Ethiopia, this study analyzed data from Ethiopia’s 2016 Demographic and Health Survey to identify factors associated with undernutrition, including maternal education, source of drinking water, anemic status of the child, and others. The authors conclude that interventions seeking to reduce child undernutrition should focus on improving household wealth and food security, educating mothers and their spouses, improving maternal nutritional status, and increasing mothers' health care access.

Early Estimates of the Indirect Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Maternal and Child Mortality in Low-Income and Middle-Income Countries: A Modelling Study

Roberton, Timothy, Emily D. Carter, Victoria B. Chou, et al. The Lancet Global Health, May 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Food Systems
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
The authors of this study estimate maternal and child deaths that may result as an indirect consequence of COVID-19 and the disruption the pandemic may cause to health systems and the food supply. Although they make assumptions that lead to a wide range of anticipated outcomes, the common conclusion indicates a devastating increase in maternal and child deaths if disruptions to health care and food access persist. Their estimates are as high as 1,157,000 additional child deaths and 567,000 additional maternal deaths over the next six months.

The Effects of Community Home Visit and Peer Group Nutrition Intervention Delivery Platforms on Nutrition Outcomes in Low and Middle-income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Janmohamed, Amynah, Nazia Sohani, Zohra S. Lassi, et al. Nutrients, Vol. 12, Issue 2, p. 440, February 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
How effective are community health worker home visits and mother/peer groups in improving nutrition outcomes in low- and middle-income countries? The authors of this study found that home visits by community health workers increased early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding, while mother/peer groups improved children’s minimum dietary diversity and increased minimum meal frequency. The paper concludes that these findings point to the importance of community platforms for service delivery to improve infant and young child feeding practices and nutritional status.

Factors Associated with Child Stunting, Wasting, and Underweight in 35 Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Li, Zhihui, Rockli Kim, Sebastian Vollmer, et al. JAMA Network Open, Vol. 3, No. 4, e203386, April 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Data from the 2007–2008 Demographic and Health Surveys were used to assess how 26 factors are associated with child stunting, underweight, and wasting. The authors conclude that short maternal height, lack of maternal education, poorest household wealth, low maternal body mass index, and short paternal height were the strongest factors associated with stunting, underweight, and wasting. Thus, they suggest addressing poverty reduction, women’s education, and household nutrition programs in strategies to reduce child undernutrition.  

Reports and Tools

2020 Global Nutrition Report

Global Nutrition Report, May 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
With a focus on promoting equality in food and health systems, this year’s report calls on governments, businesses, and civil society to act now to mainstream nutrition into food and health systems. It examines the causes of nutrition inequalities, identifying insufficient deployment of resources; inadequate implementation of policies, programs, and interventions; and lack of coordination across sectors. The authors suggest that improving data and using multi-sectoral efforts are important actions. The report also includes a forward dedicated to the impact of COVID-19 on nutrition programming.

Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) East and Southern Africa Capacity Mapping and Assessment Tool

Save the Children and UNICEF ESARO, May 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Protecting, promoting, and supporting proper infant and young child feeding practices is especially important in emergency contexts with higher rates of child mortality and acute malnutrition. This tool uses six priority areas to guide governments and their partners in assessing and improving their infant and young child feeding in emergencies programming.

Strengthening Promotion Activities within Growth Monitoring Programs

Global Financing Facility, March 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
During growth monitoring and promotion, health care workers are meant to provide vital, individualized nutrition and growth counseling to suit each child’s needs. However, too often counseling by frontline workers is inadequate, generic, or even non-existent. This brief includes suggestions and tools that can: 1) help health care workers visualize growth, 2) guide counseling, 3) improve counseling content, and 4) improve worker performance of promotion activities.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

Impact of Ethiopia’s 2015 Drought on Child Undernutrition

Hirvonen, Kalle, Thomas Pave Sohnesen, and Tom Bundervoet. World Development, Vol. 131, July 2020.
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Following Ethiopia’s catastrophic drought in 2015, experts thought there would be a significant impact on child malnutrition. Although the authors of this study did not find direct evidence to support this claim, they did find that rates of chronic malnutrition were higher in drought- affected areas with a limited road network and, therefore, more barriers to markets and humanitarian actors. The study suggests that recent investments in road networks in Ethiopia may have strengthened resilience for future droughts.  

Maternal Profiles and Social Determinants of Severe Acute Malnutrition among Children Under- Five Years of Age: A Case-Control Study in Nepal

Hossain, Ahmed, Bhupendra Niroula, Sangita Duwal, et al. Heliyon, Vol. 6, Issue 5, e03849, May 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
More evidence is needed to understand the causes of severe acute malnutrition and develop effective interventions. To address this gap, the authors conducted a case control study in Nepal to identify determinants of severe acute malnutrition in children, including social and material factors. Findings highlight a relationship between mothers’ socioeconomic status and the incidence of SAM in children. Providing services to improve socioeconomic status could help reduce severe acute malnutrition. The results also suggest that promoting handwashing with soap, exclusive breastfeeding, and complementary feeding are ideal low-cost interventions.

Reports and Tools

Declaration on Food Security and Nutrition during the COVID-19 Pandemic

African Union and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, April 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Ministers for agriculture from African Union member states outline their priorities for food security and nutrition in the context of COVID-19 in this statement. They explain the challenges that COVID-19 poses to the continent’s agricultural supply chain, particularly in East Africa, which is already facing difficulties caused by a locust outbreak. The document calls for increased attention from international donors to ensure that the current situation does not evolve into a humanitarian crisis.

Operational Guidance on Nutrition Sectoral/Cluster Coordination in the Context of COVID-19, Version 2.0 of 6th of April 2020

Global Nutrition Cluster, April 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
This document provides guidance for Nutrition Sector/Cluster coordination mechanisms at the national level to adapt core cluster coordination functions and working modalities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Global Nutrition Cluster Coordination team will regularly update the guidance to provide the latest available evidence and information for two possible scenarios: 1) no population mobility restrictions and 2) partial or full population mobility restrictions.  

Risk of COVID-19 Complications in Children Affected by Wasting: A Joint Statement by UNICEF and the Global Nutrition Cluster

UNICEF and the Global Nutrition Cluster, April 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Because children affected by wasting may be at higher risk of pneumonia related to COVID-19, this statement calls for their inclusion in the list of highly vulnerable groups. The authors caution that as countries develop COVID 19 response policies, strategies, and programs, it is critical that they do not underestimate the potential primary and secondary impact of COVID-19 on children. The statement suggests that countries intensify their efforts to prevent child wasting and sustain and adapt existing services for early detection and treatment of child wasting.

The Sphere Standards and the Coronavirus Response

Sphere, February 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Sphere defines standards in the humanitarian space and recently published this report on how the standards are evolving in light of COVID-19. The first section focuses on the fundamentals for a holistic approach to the pandemic, which can be achieved by prioritizing peoples’ actual needs over stopping the spread of the virus. The second section covers health essentials, such as promoting hygiene education and strengthening health care systems.

IconSocial and Behavior Change

Reports and Tools

Adapting Social and Behavior Change Materials in the Time of COVID-19

Food for the Hungry, 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
According to the author of this brief, during a pandemic such as COVID-19, it is important to shift our thinking about research, material design, and behavior-change communications from a longer process to one that focuses on the most important issues and immediate next steps. This publication provides five tips for quickly and effectively adapting social and behavior change materials that are key in the fight against COVID-19. This guidance is intended to help social and behavior change practitioners understand how to frame the behaviors they want to promote immediately.

Creating Demand for Multiple Micronutrient Supplements (MMS): A Mini Guide

Sight and Life, April 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
Public health practitioners who wish to improve demand for, uptake of, and adherence to multiple micronutrient supplements can look to this guide for assistance. It contains tips categorized into three phases: getting started, project implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. The authors incorporate key elements, questions, and data to help practitioners achieve better results.

Infant and Young Child Feeding Recommendations When COVID-19 is Suspected or Confirmed

UNICEF and USAID Advancing Nutrition, April 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
WHO and UNICEF advise caregivers and families with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case to continue with their usual infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices while adhering to the recommended hygiene precautions for COVID-19. This package, containing 10 counseling cards and a recommended practices booklet, reflects the latest recommendations for IYCF during the pandemic to help counselors continue to promote proper breastfeeding practices during COVID-19. User-friendly graphics allow counselors to use the cards in low-literacy communities and across various contexts.

Why Are Child Feeding Practices So Tough to Change?

Alive & Thrive Inspire, May 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Social and Behavior Change
While WHO’s Guiding Principles for Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed Child still largely influences the design and implementation of nutrition programs for complementary feeding, implementers—such as caregivers—often face difficulties applying these guidelines to local contexts. This blog discusses the challenges caregivers may face when using complementary feeding methods in their day-to-day lives, including the local food environment, picky eaters, and parenting and feeding styles, among others. Alive & Thrive Inspire invites readers to engage in the conversation surrounding what tools and approaches would be useful for overcoming these challenges.

Women's Empowerment in Agriculture and Nutritional Outcomes: Evidence from Six Countries in Africa and Asia

International Food Policy Research Institute, May 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
Although evidence exists linking women’s empowerment and improved child human capital outcomes, researchers lack evidence about the relationship between women’s empowerment and child nutrition. This paper examines connections between women’s empowerment and the dietary and nutrition outcome of women, children, and their households by analyzing Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index data from six countries in Africa and Asia. The authors conclude that the most cost-effective interventions may be those that work to address the top contributors to women’s disempowerment while also improving a broad range of nutritional outcomes.

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.

IconKnowledge Management

Research Articles

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.

Reports and Tools

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.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

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.

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.

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

The Social Norms Exploration Tool (SNET)

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.

September 2020

IconEarly Childhood Development

Research Articles

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 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.

Early Life Experiences and Trajectories of Cognitive Development

McCormick, Benjamin J. J., Laura E. Caulfield, Stephanie A. Richard, et al. Pediatrics, September 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Evidence demonstrates that a supporting and nurturing environment—defined as warmth and responsiveness, discipline and control, stimulation, and teaching—improves cognitive development. Conversely, chronic illness during childhood is negatively associated with cognitive development and school readiness.

The Effect of Malnutrition and Micronutrient Deficiency on Children’s Mental Health

Grantham-McGregor, Sally, Joanne Smith. Mental Health and Illness of Children and Adolescents, March 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Data suggest that psychosocial interventions can improve malnourished children’s mental health but there is insufficient evidence on the effects of such interventions on supplementation. The World Health Organization recommends that malnourished children participate in psychosocial interventions and stresses the importance of more research on the mental health sequelae of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.

Effects of the Global Coronavirus Disease-2019 Pandemic on Early Childhood Development: Short- and Long-Term Risks and Mitigating Program and Policy Actions

Yoshikawa, Hirokazu, Alice J. Wuermli, Pia Rebello Britto, et al. Journal of Pediatrics, May 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
COVID-19 is causing reductions in health care access and may lead to 42 to 66 million more children living in extreme poverty. Crowded housing and lack of access to water and sanitation make physical distancing and handwashing difficult, and researchers anticipate increases in domestic and sexual violence and the loss of caregivers. Multi-sectorial interventions to address health care, economic and food security, violence, and family support for illness and death are critical.

Household Food Insecurity and Early Childhood Development: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Oliveira, Klébya Hellen Dantas de, Géssica Mercia de Almeida, Muriel Bauermann Gubert, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, February 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Food Systems
Significant associations exist between household food insecurity and several early childhood development domains, including developmental risk, vocabulary skills, and math skills; while there are marginal associations with school readiness, reading, and motor development. It is important for researchers to have standardized methods and clear definitions of domains to increase comparability globally.

Identifying Children at Risk of Intellectual Disability in UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys: Cross-Sectional Survey

Emerson, Eric, Gwynnyth Llewellyn. Disability and Health Journal, August 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Using functional difficulty associated with learning (FDAL) data from Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys as a proxy indicator for intellectual disability risks may produce false negative errors in low- and-middle income countries and false positive errors among those with higher socioeconomic status. This article is behind a paywall.

The Impact of Nutritional Interventions on Child Health and Cognitive Development

Boomer, Christian, Nitya Mittal, Sebastian Vollmer. The Annual Review of Resource Economics, April 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
While promising interventions exist to improve nutritional intake, addressing malnutrition requires multifactorial approaches. For interventions to successfully transform into large-scale policy programs, research must focus on maximizing compliance and sustainability. This article is behind a paywall.

INCAP Longitudinal Study: 50 Years of History and Legacy

Ramirez-Zea, Manuel, Mónica Mazariegos. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, March 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
A cohort of children who participated in a nutritional supplementation intervention from 1969–1977 has been followed since. Follow-up studies demonstrate strong evidence of the impact of investments in nutrition, health, and childcare in the first 1,000 days on child development, well-being, and human capital later in life. This article is behind a paywall.

Parental Health and Early Child Development

Yamashita, Hiroshi, Kenichi Yamane, Daisuke Katsuki, Keiko Yoshida. Chapter in Mental Health and Illness of Children and Adolescents, August 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
The period from pregnancy to age 3 is when children are most susceptible to extreme poverty, gender inequities, violence, toxins, and poor mental health. Parents and other caretakers need information, resources, and services to provide nurturing care. Practitioners should implement high-quality interventions that simultaneously target multiple risks and build on existing delivery platforms to enhance scaling and sustainability. This chapter is behind a paywall.

Physical Discipline, Deprivation, and Differential Risk of Developmental Delay Across 17 Countries

Salhi, Carmel, Elizabeth Beatriz, Ryan McBain, et al. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, March 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
Cross-national associations exist between socio-emotional and cognitive delay and parental physical discipline, not having books, and not counting with the child. This article is behind a paywall.

Reports and Tools

Five Ways Health and Social Services Can Support Babies, Toddlers and the People Who Care for Them through the Covid-19 Pandemic

Bernard van Leer Foundation, May 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
COVID-19 requires health care, social services, childcare, and other sectors to address rapidly changing governmental policies. Priorities include early years health and nutrition services, parent coaching and support through remote means, childcare services, mental health services to caregivers and families with young children, and investments to prevent and address domestic violence.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

Defining Diet Quality: A Synthesis of Dietary Quality Metrics and Their Validity for the Double Burden of Malnutrition

Miller, Victoria, Patrick Webb, Renata Micha, et al. The Lancet Planetary Health, August 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Addressing the double burden of malnutrition requires attention to diet-related maternal and child health (MCH) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Identifying a unified global dietary quality metric that can measure the relative contributions of MCH and NCD to malnutrition would help policy and programmatic decision-making.

Fisheries and Policy Implications for Human Nutrition

Vianna, Gabriel M. S., Dirk Zeller, Daniel Pauly. Food, Health, and the Environment, August 2020
  • Food Systems
Fisheries can address malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies with critical nutrients, such as fatty acids, zinc, iron, calcium, and vitamins. Overfishing, climate change, and international trade reduce local availability of nutritious and affordable fish in low income countries. Policy reforms that shift management focus of fisheries as a commodity provider to a domestic public health asset to ensure food- and nutrient-security are critical. This article is behind a paywall.

How Countries Can Reduce Child Stunting at Scale: Lessons from Exemplar Countries

Bhutta, Zulfiqar A., Nadia Akseer, Emily C. Keats, et al. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Reducing child stunting requires interventions in multiple sectors. Improving maternal education, fertility practices, and nutrition, as well as maternal and newborn care, are strong contributors to change. Investing to improve reproductive health practices are important to increase contraceptive use, delay first pregnancy, and increase birth spacing. Improving economic conditions, parental education, and access to water and sanitation are also critical. 

IconKnowledge Management

Reports and Tools

CGIAR COVID-19 Hub

CGIAR, June 2020
  • Food Systems
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.

COVID-19 Nutrition Resources

USAID Advancing Nutrition, August 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
These resources focus on multi-sectoral nutrition programming in the context of COVID-19. Research and reports provide guidance about nutrition in humanitarian contexts, monitoring, evaluation and learning, safe breastfeeding practices for COVID-19 positive women, social and behavior change for nutrition in context of COVID-19, and food security.

COVID-19’s Triple Threat to Gender Equality, Nutrition and Future Potential

1,000 Days, June 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
COVID-19 threatens women’s and girls’ health, nutrition, development, and gender equality gains. Financial hardships, overwhelmed health systems, and reduced access to health services compound these threats. Priority actions include providing additional nutritional supplements and counseling, integrating nutrition messages during cash distribution, and holding catch-up child health and immunization campaigns. Countries need data, analytics, and technical assistance to make informed decisions about reducing risk and allocating resources.

The Nutrition Crisis Hidden Within the Pandemic

U.S. Agency for International Development Medium, July 2020
  • Food Systems
COVID-19 impacts income and affordable nutritious food, and many food producers and sellers are struggling to survive. Health systems and social safety nets are overwhelmed, many are reluctant to seek health care, and misinformation hinders breastfeeding. While demand for humanitarian assistance grows, safe delivery is a challenge. USAID partners are working with food producers to determine consumer nutrition needs and providing counseling about nutrition and COVID-19 transmission via cell phones, radio, and social media.

Responding to COVID-19’s Impact on Resilience and Food Security

U.S. Agency for International Development, August 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
The U.S. Agency for International Development predicts that 148 million additional people may fall into extreme poverty and that emergency food assistance needs will increase by 25% due to COVID-19. This collection provides information and resources related to food security, nutrition, and safe and sustainable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene and highlights the role well-functioning markets and supply chains must play, both of which are impacted by COVID-19.

U.S. Agency for International Development Bureau for Resilience and Food Security COVID-19 Learning Hub

Agrilinks, August 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This Learning Hub disseminates lessons learned about how to prevent widespread hunger, poverty, malnutrition, and water insecurity. It also provides guidance about how to mitigate and respond to the pandemic’s impacts through agriculture, nutrition, resilience, and water security, sanitation, and hygiene policy and programming. Current resources focus on digital tools, how markets can improve resilience, gender-responsive COVID-19 policies, and acute food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa.

UNSCN Nutrition 45: Nutrition in a Digital World

United Nations System Committee on Nutrition, July 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
Digital technologies to increase sustainable healthy diets and progressively realize the right to adequate food are powerful but may also have adverse impacts. This collection focuses on digital food marketing to young people, using mobile-phone technology to change behavior, improving nutrition and health data to and from remote regions, and harnessing artificial intelligence to achieve healthy and sustainable food systems.

Events

Safeguarding Progress towards Improved Nutrition During the COVID-19 Pandemic: USAID Partner Experiences

USAID Advancing Nutrition, August 2020
  • Food Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
USAID implementing partners from several countries in Africa and Asia described country-specific efforts to respond to shocks due to COVID-19. Examples include business cooperation between online foodservice delivery platforms and local dairy processors, online cattle trading systems, procurement and distribution of personal protective equipment to thousands of female community health volunteers, new phone infrastructure to report domestic violence, new COVID-19 episodes to augment current radio programming, and the use of megaphones to deliver nutrition messaging door to door.

Stakeholder Community Meeting: Mitigating the Impacts of COVID-19 on Food, Nutrition, and Water Security

U.S. Agency for International Development, August 2020
  • Food Systems
COVID-19 will drive 70–100 million people into poverty and 80–130 million into chronic hunger. These impacts will persist beyond 2021, the number of malnourished children will increase, and access to water and sanitation services will decrease. Priorities for mitigating impacts include averting the need for additional humanitarian assistance and preventing food crises that may contribute to political unrest. Country-specific case studies focus on operational and programmatic pivots.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

Research Articles

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
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.

Effective Coverage Measurement in Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health and Nutrition: Progress, Future Prospects, and Implications for Quality Health Systems

Marsh, Andrew D., Moise Muzigaba, Theresa Diaz, et al. The Lancet Global Health, May 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The widely used intervention coverage metric does not address quality and potentially overestimates the health benefits of services. Authors recommend that effective coverage be defined as the proportion of a population in need of a service that results in a positive health outcome from the service, and they identify several research priorities.

Geospatial Modelling of Changes and Inequality in Nutrition Status Among Children in Mali

Benedict, Rukundo K., Benjamin K. Mayala, Jean de Dieu Bizimana, et al. The Demographic and Health Surveys Program, April 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Results from 2006 and 2018 studies using geospatial modelling techniques show that children’s minimum dietary diversity, mother’s education, and mother’s body mass index are strongly associated with stunting, while children’s minimum dietary diversity and aridity are associated with wasting. Geospatial modelling may help the Government of Mali target programming at lower administrative levels and inform the allocation of resources and program implementation.

Net Benefit and Cost-Effectiveness of Universal Iron-Containing Multiple Micronutrient Powders for Young Children in 78 Countries: A Microsimulation Study

Pasricha, Sant-Rayn, Adrian Gheorghe, Fayrouz Sakr-Ashour, et al. The Lancet Global Health, August 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The net health benefits of micronutrient powders vary between countries, are highest where the prevalence of moderate and severe anemia is greatest but infection prevalence is smallest, and are ameliorated when coverage of the intervention is poor.

Proposal of a Quality of Care Index (QOCI)

Mallick, Lindsay, Rukundo K. Benedict, Courtney Allen, et al. The Demographic and Health Surveys Program, August 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The international community lacks consensus around key indicators or summary measures to capture effective, high-quality care to reduce maternal and child death. The Quality of Care Index (QOCI) consists of 17 indicators related to family planning, antenatal care, delivery care, immunization, child curative care, and WASH. It provides insights into subnational regions and health service areas that most need quality of care interventions. Future research should consider additional indicators, including indicators that capture client experience.

Reports and Tools

Nutrition Information Management, Surveillance and Monitoring in the Context of COVID-19 Brief No. 2

United Nations Children’s Fund, The Global Technical Assistance Mechanism for Nutrition, Global Nutrition Cluster, July 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
This brief provides recommendations for undertaking a nutrition situation analysis and estimating its magnitude, monitoring impacts of COVID-19, and pursuing alternative data collection strategies. Even once restrictions have been lifted, practitioners should conduct harm-versus-risk analyses to assess the necessity of the data despite health and safety risks. Discussion focuses on remote data collection, how to estimate the number of people in nutritional need, and how to monitor the nutrition situation and programs during COVID-19.

The Sensitivity of Anthropometric Estimates to Errors in the Measurement of Height, Weight, and Age for Children Under Five in Population-Based Surveys

The Demographic and Health Surveys Program, August 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ), and weight-for-height (WHZ) scores for children under 5 years are based on a transformation of height, weight, and age into bivariate relationships. This report aims to improve understanding of how changes in these measurements can induce changes in the means and standard deviations of HAZ, WAZ, and WHZ, as well as stunting, wasting, underweight, and overweight estimates. Data from Peru and Nepal were used because of their different nutritional profiles and evidence of good data quality.

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

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
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.

Making the Health System Work for the Delivery of Nutrition Interventions

King, Shannon E., Talata Sawadogo-Lewis, Robert E. Black, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, July 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Successful delivery of nutrition interventions requires a skilled and motivated health workforce, an effective supply chain, demand for services, and access to services. Programs should encourage delivery of nutrition interventions at every client-provider interaction and should actively generate demand for both general and nutrition services. It is critical to identify health system components responsible for the greatest bottlenecks and opportunities for impact.

Maternal Diets Matter for Children's Dietary Quality: Seasonal Dietary Diversity and Animal-Source Foods Consumption in Rural Timor-Leste

Bonis-Profumo, Gianna, Natasha Stacey, Julie Brimblecombe. Maternal & Child Nutrition, August 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Women's dietary quality and education levels are strong predictors of children's dietary diversity and consumption of animal-source foods, while seasonality impacts diversity and consumption. Production, affordability, and consumption of nutrient‐dense foods require widespread market access and sustained nutrition‐sensitive programs.

Reports and Tools

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
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.

Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative for Small, Sick and Preterm Newborns

World Health Organization, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), August 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Poor planning for breastfeeding, inconsistent advice, misinformation, lack of knowledge or time, and facility policies impact breastfeeding small, sick, and preterm infants. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative recommends 10 steps to improve breastfeeding in this specific population, including using cup or tube feedings rather than bottles and teats until breastfeeding is possible, and comprehensive discharge planning.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

Impacts of COVID-19 on Childhood Malnutrition and Nutrition-Related Mortality

Headey, Derek, Rebecca Heidkamp, Saskia Osendarp, et al. The Lancet, July 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Authors expect COVID-19 to exacerbate all forms of malnutrition, and estimate that people facing acute food insecurity will nearly double to 265 million this year. Analyses suggest that even short lockdown measures—combined with severe mobility disruptions and moderate food systems disruptions in low- and-middle income countries—will lead to an average 8% per capita decrease in gross national income, 6.7 million more young children experiencing wasting, and 128,605 more deaths among young children in 2020.

Resilience of Local Food Systems and Links to Food Security – A Review of Some Important Concepts in the Context of COVID-19 and Other Shocks

Béné, Christophe. Journal of Food Security, July 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Structural issues such as bad roads and limited markets impact geographic and economic isolation, while additional shocks such as COVID-19 have devastating impacts on food security and resilience. It is important to simultaneously focus on the initial impacts of the shock, such as crop destruction and the multiple consequences of COVID-19, and on recovery actions. A food system resilience framework identifies economic, institutional, and social dependencies among policymakers and other actors, and points to complexities that impact the food system.

Reports and Tools

Evidence and Guidance Note on the Use of Cash and Voucher Assistance for Nutrition Outcomes in Emergencies

CashCap and Global Nutrition Cluster, August 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Cash and voucher assistance can improve maternal and child nutrition by increasing individuals’ ability to purchase goods and access services. Conditional transfers increase participation in nutrition social behavior change activities and preventive health services.

Global Nutrition Cluster: 2020 Mid-Year Report (Jan-Jun)

Global Nutrition Cluster, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Vision, August 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
The Global Nutrition Cluster has developed a COVID-19 Coordination Resource Site, a COVID-19 Nutrition in Emergencies Resource Site, and technical briefs, podcasts, and webinars focusing on COVID-19 and nutrition. It has also created Programmatic Adaptation Teams to compile, curate, and present potential adaptations and related tools and resources, and create stronger collaborations with international, regional, and local partners.

Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment of Wasting in Children 0-59 Months through National Health Systems in the Context of COVID-19

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization, August 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
This document adapts existing guidance on service delivery for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of child wasting in the context of COVID-19.

IconSocial and Behavior Change

Research Articles

Gender Accommodative Versus Transformative Approaches: A Comparative Assessment within a Post-Harvest Fish Loss Reduction Intervention

Cole, Steven M., Alexander M. Kaminski, Cynthia McDougall, et al. Gender, Technology and Development, March 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
A gender transformative approach encourages critical awareness of gender norms, challenges gender-based work and resource allocations, and addresses power relationships between women and others in the community. It encourages women and men to jointly identify shifts in norms or behaviors they would like to see and provides space to test new ways of engaging. Development programs that do not address gendered power dynamics and women’s decision-making capacities fail to maximize the impact of their activities.

Men's Nutrition Knowledge is Important for Women's and Children's Nutrition in Ethiopia

Ambikapathi, Ramya, Simone Passarelli, Isabel Madzorera, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, August 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
Men's nutrition knowledge has significant, positive, and additive associations with households', children's, and women's dietary diversity. Research exploring how nutrition knowledge is gendered and how to engage men in programming may lead to better nutrition outcomes.

Reports and Tools

Guidance on SBC for Nutrition During COVID-19: Technical Brief

Breakthrough ACTION, USAID Advancing Nutrition, July 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
Practitioners must find new ways to engage families and communities while following physical distancing guidelines and may need to adapt messaging and calls to action to acknowledge the reality of people’s daily lives. While some messaging will remain the same, some may require changes to address people’s emotional states, country contexts, available services, and local government responses.

Make Me a Change Agent: An SBC Resource for WASH, Agriculture, and Livelihoods Activities

Love, A. and N. Weber, 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
This guide focuses on training frontline workers to promote behavior change related to water, sanitation, and hygiene, agriculture, and livelihoods. The highly participatory training includes lessons on effective communication, facilitation, negotiation, social and behavior change, action planning, quality improvement, and giving and receiving feedback. A video introduction to the training guide is available in English, French, and Amharic.

Managing Nutrition Myths and Misconceptions During COVID-19: Technical Brief

Breakthrough ACTION, USAID Advancing Nutrition, July 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
Misinformation has led to unnecessary separation of infants and mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection during delivery and breastfeeding. It has also led to mistrust of the health care system, delayed care-seeking of nutrition services, and limited uptake of COVID-19 preventive practices. Social and behavior change strategies to combat misinformation include having trusted authorities provide consistent communication with current information and thoughtful responses to misinformation, and building media literacy.

Events

A Learning and Sharing “Café”: IYCF Programming Adaptations in the Context of COVID-19 – Second Cafe

The Nutrition Technical Rapid Response Team, August 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
This platform encourages countries to share lessons learned and experiences with adapting infant and young child feeding (IYCF) programs during COVID-19. It provides videos on breastfeeding and complementary feeding, social media content on IYCF, a detailed review of counseling packages for IYCF, and materials focusing on feeding when COVID is suspected or confirmed. Materials are available in French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, and English.

August 2020

IconEarly Childhood Development

Research Articles

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
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.

Experiences of Incorporating Support for Early Childhood Development into the Baby Friendly Community Initiative in Rural Kenya

Mwoma, Teresa, Patricia Kitsao-Wekulo, Emma Haycraft, et al. Journal of the British Academy, March 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
The Care for Child Development package trains community health volunteers to help caregivers provide nurturing care and develop stronger relationships with young children. Participating volunteers reported that training increased their skills and confidence, while caregivers reported learning about feeding practices and the importance of play. The authors conclude that there is political will in Kenya to support a care package to promote optimal early child development.

Reports and Tools

Birth & Beyond iOS App

Global Health Media, June 2020
  • Early Childhood Development
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.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

COVID-19 Pandemic and Mitigation Strategies: Implications for Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition

Akseer, Nadia, Goutham Kandru, Emily C Keats, et al. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2020
  • Food Systems
COVID-19 has created profound challenges for maternal and child nutrition. This review urges governments, donors, and others to rely on data for decision-making as they prioritize investments to strengthen food supply chains, respond to acute food shortages, improve access to health care, and provide social safety net programs for the most vulnerable.

IconKnowledge Management

Reports and Tools

The Business Case for Investment in Nutrition

Chatham House, July 2020
  • Knowledge Management
Authors discuss the impacts of malnutrition on companies’ bottom line, including loss of productivity due to underweight employees and lifelong cognitive impacts from childhood malnutrition. While corporate entities cannot address all factors driving malnutrition, providing workplace support for breastfeeding women is within businesses’ sphere of influence.

COVID-19 Videos

Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, July 2020
  • Knowledge Management
These brief videos demonstrate how women with COVID-19 can safely breastfeed. Videos are available in Spanish, English, French, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic.

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) #WBW2020 Action Folder

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, May 2020
  • Knowledge Management
Protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding requires coordinated actions to identify and address structural, setting, and individual-level determinants. Authors identify fundamental challenges and detail actions that governments, donors, and NGOs must take to create a more enabling environment and improve breastfeeding practices.

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) #WBW2020 Pledge Map

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, May 2020
  • Knowledge Management
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has crowdsourced events and activities for Breastfeeding Week 2020 around the world. The interactive pledge map allows users to explore details of each event and activity categorized by country.

Events

Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding amid COVID-19

1,000 Days, May 2020
  • Knowledge Management
In this webinar, Dr. Larry Grummer-Strawn from the World Health Organization stresses that women with suspected COVID-19 symptoms can continue to breastfeed according to standard feeding guidelines but must practice proper respiratory and hand hygiene.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

Research Articles

Measuring Coverage of Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselling Interventions: A Framework and Empirical Considerations for Survey Question Design

Choufani, Jowel, Sunny S. Kim, Phuong Hong Nguyen, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, April 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Infant and young child feeding counselling interventions are common, but data to track coverage of these activities is limited and inconsistent. Authors introduce a framework for designing surveys to measure counselling coverage and stress that surveys must include questions about timing, place, and frequency of contact, target behavior, message content, type of service provider, and mode of intervention. Triangulating data with local administrative data is also recommended.

Reports and Tools

Making a Difference: An Evaluation Report of the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) in Mobilising National Actions on Breastfeeding and IYCF

World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative Global Secretariat, June 2020
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The WBTi has brought together diverse partners to advocate for breastfeeding and created national-level structures to benchmark breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding (IYCF) progress. Almost all countries that have conducted multiple WBTi assessments have seen improvements in breastfeeding and IYCF practices; have developed better policies, partnerships, and monitoring tools; and are better able to identify gaps.

Meeting Emerging Nutrition Data Needs in DHS-8 (Blog)

The DHS Program, December 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
To better understand the current state of nutrition and track nutrition interventions, the Woman’s Questionnaire asks 89 questions related to nutrition counseling, including questions on breastfeeding counseling. Questions also include anthropometry measurement, food and cash assistance, iron supplementation, minimum dietary diversity for women, unhealthy foods for children, growth monitoring, and the Food Insecurity Experience Scale. The Questionnaire will be ready for use in late 2020.

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

The Cost of Not Breastfeeding: Global Results from a New Tool

Walters, Dylan D., Linh T. H. Phan, Roger Mathisen. Health Policy and Planning, June 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This tool aggregates data to estimate the human and economic costs of not breastfeeding. Data attributed to not breastfeeding include childhood deaths from diarrhea and pneumonia, childhood obesity, maternal breast and ovarian cancers, and type 2 diabetes. Researchers conservatively estimate total global economic losses to be US $341.3 billion (0.70% of global gross national income) per year due to cognitive losses, health system treatment costs, and future lost earnings.

Facility Readiness and Counseling during Antenatal Care and the Relationship with Early Breastfeeding in Haiti and Malawi

Mallick, Lindsay, Rukundo K. Benedict, Wenjuan Wang. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, May 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
While almost all surveyed health facilities in Haiti and Malawi reported that they routinely provided breastfeeding counseling, fewer than 30% of providers reported having recently attended relevant training, and only 4% of patients were observed to have received counseling as part of antenatal care. Training providers on breastfeeding counseling was positively associated with early initiation of breastfeeding.

Scaling Up Breastfeeding Policy and Programs in Samoa: Application of the Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly Initiative

Soti-Ulberg, Christina, Amber Hromi-Fiedler, Nicola L Hawley, et al. International Breastfeeding Journal, January 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This evidence-informed initiative provides countries with a practical toolbox to assess and scale breastfeeding policies and programs. Work in Samoa yielded important policy recommendations, including the development and implementation of a National Breastfeeding Policy and Strategic Action Plan, identification of high-level advocates to serve as champions, and the creation of a national budget line for breastfeeding activities.

Reports and Tools

Breastfeeding and COVID-19

World Health Organization, June 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
The World Health Organization recommends that mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 be encouraged to practice skin-to-skin contact and initiate or continue breastfeeding while practicing infection prevention and control measures. Current data suggest that the health benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risks of potential infant or child COVID-19 infection. Current data are insufficient to conclude vertical transmission of COVID-19 through breastfeeding.

Covid-19 Technical Support: Guidance and Tools

UNICEF, Global Technical Assistance Mechanism
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
UNICEF, the Global Nutrition Cluster, and GTAM have put together technical guidance and tools to help address the effects of COVID-19 on nutrition programming. They are also producing a series of nutrition guidance briefs to help programmers respond to and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. The first three briefs cover Prevention and Management of Wasting, Nutrition for UNICEF, the Global Nutrition Cluster, and GTAM have put together technical guidance and tools to help address the effects of COVID-19 on nutrition programming. They are also producing a series of nutrition guidance briefs to help programmers respond to and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. The first three briefs cover Prevention and Management of Wasting, Nutrition for Infants and Young Children, and Nutrition Information Systems.The briefs outline priority actions, recommend adaptations, and outstanding evidence gaps for each topic area, providing practitioners with the most up-to-date nutrition evidence to complement more general COVID-19 response guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions: Breastfeeding and COVID-19 for Health Care Workers

World Health Organization, May 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
In addition to answering common questions about COVID-19 transmission through breast milk and the risks of choosing not to breastfeed, a decision tree helps health care workers understand current guidelines and precautionary steps to support breastfeeding mothers with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. The document is available in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Infant and Young Child Feeding in the Context of COVID-19

UNICEF, Global Technical Assistance Mechanism for Nutrition (GTAM), and the Global Nutrition Cluster, March 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
During COVID-19, UNICEF recommends that mothers follow hygiene precautions while continuing recommended feeding practices. It calls for coordinating nutrition, health, food security and livelihood, agriculture, WASH, social protection, and mental health support to reach infants and young children. It also highlights the need to prioritize preventive services to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on young children’s diets and wellbeing.

Initiation of Breastfeeding in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Time-to-Event Analysis

United States Agency for International Development, June 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Demographic and Health Survey data collected in 31 countries since 2015 show that women who deliver by cesarean section initiate breastfeeding later compared to those who give birth vaginally. Immediate skin-to-skin contact and higher parity were also significantly associated with shorter time to initiating breastfeeding.

The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes: Frequently Asked Questions on the Roles and Responsibilities of Health Workers

World Health Organization, May 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Authors discuss common tactics that companies use to encourage health care workers to over-promote breast milk substitutes and clarify health care workers’ role and responsibilities to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

Nutrition During Pregnancy and Lactation

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, June 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This brief summarizes new evidence related to nutrients, dietary patterns, and nutritional supplements, including improving the micronutrient composition of breastmilk. It identifies additional research needed to design effective interventions to improve maternal and infant nutrition.

Toolkit: Workplace Lactation Support Program

Alive & Thrive, April 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This toolkit provides practical advocacy, policy, technical, and financial guidance for employers, employees, governments, and donors working to support lactation in the workplace. It includes detailed case studies and is available in Vietnamese and English.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

Greater Household Food Insecurity Is Associated With Lower Breast Milk Intake Among Infants In Western Kenya

Miller, Joshua D., Sera L. Young, Godfred O. Boateng, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, June 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Researchers found a significant relationship between household food insecurity and decreased breast milk intake among HIV-uninfected infants in this cohort. They recommend screening for and integrating programs that reduce food insecurity to increase quantities of breast milk ingested.

How the pandemic is affecting funding for nutrition

Borces, Kyle, Mary D’Alimonte, Augustin Flory, Research for Development, May 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Food Systems
COVID-19 is placing additional strain on nutrition programs’ limited resources. This blog post identifies three key trends in nutrition financing in the current context including increasing rates of malnutrition, challenges to social sector funding, and an unfavorable outlook for nutrition-specific aid. The authors assert that the nutrition community will need to push more than ever to mobilize funding commitments at the upcoming Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2021, and in the meantime, make sure that recovery efforts for COVID-19 are as nutrition-sensitive as possible.

Violent Conflict and Breastfeeding: The Case of Iraq

Diwakar, Vidya, Michael Malcolm, George Naufal. Conflict and Health, December 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Findings from this study suggest that increases in conflict-related casualties reduce the probability of a child ever beginning and continuing breastfeeding, and that infant formula provided to offer temporary relief impact these trends. Adequate health care and breastfeeding support systems for women are critical in conflict zones.

Reports and Tools

Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes: National Implementation of the International Code, Status Report 2020

World Health Organization, May 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
This report highlights progress to promote and protect breastfeeding and curb harmful marketing practices by manufacturers and distributors of breastmilk substitutes, which often are donated or offered in emergency settings. It provides recommendations for legislators and policy-makers to fulfill legal and human rights obligations, analyze and address weaknesses or gaps in their existing legislation, and act accordingly. The full report is available in English while the summary is available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

IconSocial and Behavior Change

Research Articles

Mixed-Methods Systematic Review of Behavioral Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries to Increase Family Support for Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition during the First 1000 Days

Martin, Stephanie L., Juliet K McCann, Emily Gascoigne, et al. Current Developments in Nutrition, June 2020
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
Research that draws causal inference, estimates the magnitude of impact, and identifies scalable behavioral interventions that engage fathers, grandmothers, and other family members to support mothers of infants and young children is limited. This research design found quantitative and qualitative evidence of positive impacts on nutrition practices, including breastfeeding, family members’ knowledge and awareness of recommended practices, and provision of support to mothers.

Social Circumstances and Cultural Beliefs Influence Maternal Nutrition, Breastfeeding and Child Feeding Practices in South Africa

Chakona, Gamuchirai. Nutrition Journal, May 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Social and Behavior Change
There is a gap between knowledge and practices related to maternal dietary diversity, breastfeeding, and infant and young child feeding. Lack of income, dependence on food purchasing, young mothers' feelings about breastfeeding, and cultural beliefs were drivers of this gap. Authors conclude that it is crucial to identify interventions to reduce breastfeeding burden and isolation, including paternal inclusion and the use of indigenous knowledge.

When Separation is Not the Answer: Breastfeeding Mothers and Infants Affected by COVID‐19

Tomori, Cecília, Karleen Gribble, Aunchalee E.L. Palmquist, et al. Maternal and Child Nutrition, May 2020
  • Social and Behavior Change
Although the World Health Organization has provided comprehensive guidance that promotes continued breastfeeding during COVID-19, this article argues countries that have imposed separation and discouraged or prohibited breastfeeding or provision of expressed breastmilk fail to acknowledge the health and psychological impacts of separation. This article argues that countries have unduly imposed separation between mothers and breastfeeding children, citing the discouragement of breastfeeding or the provision of expressed breastmilk as a failure to acknowledge the health and psychological impacts of separation.

Reports and Tools

Behavior Profile: Continued Breastfeeding

The Manoff Group, n.d.
  • Social and Behavior Change
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.

Factors That Influence Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Behaviors

USAID Advancing Nutrition, March 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Researchers and implementers can use this tool when designing formative research and social and behavior change activities to improve breastfeeding. Barriers and enablers at the structural, social, and internal level must be considered and addressed. This tool can also be used to identify factors to measure to ensure programs are making progress to improve breastfeeding.

January 2020

IconEarly Childhood Development

Research Articles

Do Effects of Early Life Interventions on Linear Growth Correspond to Effects on Neurobehavioural Development? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Prado, Elizabeth L., Leila M. Larson, Katherine Cox, et al. The Lancet, Vol. 7, Issue 10, October 10, 2019
  • Early Childhood Development
Linear growth and child development are often assumed to have common determinants. The authors assess this assumption through a systematic review and meta-analysis of interventions focused on length-for-age or height-for-age Z scores and child development outcomes for children 0-5 years old and during pregnancy. The researchers found that the determinants of linear growth and neurodevelopment are only partly shared; therefore, interventions should target determinants of both, if children are to thrive.

Reports and Tools

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
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.

Nurturing Care for Small and Sick Newborns: Evidence Review and Country Case Studies

Every Preemie-SCALE/Project, Maternal and Child Survival Program, August 2019
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Small and sick newborns face serious risk of developmental delays, but most newborns can survive and thrive, provided they have access to quality nurturing care. This package summarizes nurturing care evidence and best practices for this population. It includes an updated evidence review of the core elements of developmentally supportive, family-centered, and nurturing care; implementation experience from seven countries with high-, middle- and low-income settings; and a gap analysis to inform future research.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

Affordability of the EAT-Lancet Reference Diet: A Global Analysis

Hirvonen, Kalle, Yan Bai, Derek Headey, et al. The Lancet. November 7, 2019
  • Food Systems
The EAT-Lancet Commission created a global benchmark diet capable of both sustaining health and protecting the environment, but did not examine the diet’s affordability. This analysis strives to understand the diet’s cost around the world by comparing food price and household income data from 159 countries. Findings show that for 1.58 billion people worldwide, the benchmark diet is too expensive for daily incomes to support.

Reports and Tools

Empowering Women in Livestock Systems (Infographic)

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, November 2019
  • Food Systems
Around the world women make up two-thirds of livestock keepers, yet they often lack access to and control over these resources. This infographic shows different ways women can be empowered across food systems and provides examples of Feed the Future activities working to do so in a variety of countries.

Guiding Principles for Sustainable Healthy Diets

FAO and WHO, October 2019
  • Food Systems
To celebrate this year’s World Food Day, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization published this document to provide policy recommendations for food systems that are healthy, environmentally friendly, and culturally and economically sustainable. The recommendations encompass a wide range of topics from nutrient intake goals to exclusive breastfeeding to reducing carbon footprints. The authors hope the guidelines will help facilitate the global drive toward sustainable consumption.

The State of Food and Agriculture 2019: Moving Forward on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

FAO, October 2019
  • Food Systems
In 2011, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that 30 percent of food is lost or wasted globally. The FAO is now in the process of replacing that figure with two Sustainable Development Goal indices that more precisely account for how much food is lost from the farm up to retailers and how much is wasted by consumers or retailers. The 2019 State of Food and Agriculture report includes early estimates using these indices and also analyzes how to address food loss and waste taking into account geography, production vs. consumption, and supply chains.

Events

Food System Transformations: National Actions in a Globalized World

IFPRI, November 2019
  • Food Systems
As global and regional events contribute to the rapid transformation of food systems in developing countries, country actors are playing an essential role in shaping the future of their own food systems. In this seminar, representatives from Nigeria and Viet Nam discussed their experiences with private sector engagement and policy change respectively. In addition, representatives from the World Bank, USAID, and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health spoke about ways to develop food systems that are healthy, sustainable, and equitable.

Food Systems and Nutrition E-Consultation: Emerging Evidence and Research Opportunities

Agrilinks, November 2019
  • Food Systems
To help uncover research gaps in food systems and nutrition, Agrilinks, USAID Advancing Nutrition, and USAID’s Bureau for Food Security hosted an e-consultation in November 2019. Discussions across four themes focused on an evidence review by the USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition. Participants from around the world discussed research priorities to build evidence for nutritious food systems, resulting in a collection of useful resources while also shaping the future food systems research agenda.

IconKnowledge Management

Research Articles

The Implications of Three Major New Trials for the Effect of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene on Childhood Diarrhea and Stunting: A Consensus Statement

Cumming, O., B.F. Arnold, R. Ban, et al. BMC Med 17, 173, 2019
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Food Systems
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
With the results from the SHINE and WASH Benefits trials demonstrating limited impact of basic water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) on childhood stunting, what role does WASH now play in multi-sectoral nutrition programming? Following the studies, the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation convened experts to reach a consensus on five key messages in response to the new evidence. This consensus statement details those five messages.

Reports and Tools

The Asia Food Challenge: Harvesting the Future

PWC, Rabobank, and Temasek, November 2019
  • Food Systems
  • Knowledge Management
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.”

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

UNICEF, October 2019
  • Food Systems
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
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.

Innovations and Tools in Child Growth Measurement and Data Visualization

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The Global Financing Facility, November 2019
  • Knowledge Management
Making the case for why we need better tools to measure child growth, this publication presents promising technological interventions. It also outlines major challenges to reliable and accurate measurement and discusses the pros and cons of tools that might both address these challenges and aid in data visualization.

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

Research Articles

The Burden of Child and Maternal Malnutrition and Trends in Its Indicators in the States of India: The Global Burden of Disease Study 1990–2017

India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative Malnutrition Collaborators. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, Vol. 3, Issue 12, December 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
To inform subnational nutrition actions in India, researchers analyzed the burden of disease due to malnutrition and trends in malnutrition indicators from 1990 to 2017 in every Indian state as part of Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2017. Examining trends in relation to Indian and global nutrition targets, the authors found that malnutrition is still the leading risk factor for disease burden in India and the predominant risk factor for death in children younger than 5 years of age. This type of analysis could be useful in other low- and middle-income countries to track and motivate progress toward reducing malnutrition.

Drivers of Under-Five Stunting Trend in 14 Low- and Middle-Income Countries since the Turn of the Millennium: A Multilevel Pooled Analysis of 50 Demographic and Health Surveys

Argaw, Alemayehu, Giles Hanley-Cook, Nathalie De Cock, et al. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, September 5, 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Social and Behavior Change
Analyzing data from 50 Demographic and Health Surveys in 14 different countries since 2000, the authors of this study sought to detect trends in stunting and potential contributing factors. Their research found a decreasing trend in stunting among all countries. Factors such as improvement in women’s decision-making, increasing urbanization, and children's access to basic vaccinations were significantly associated with the decreasing trend and reinforce the need for a combination of nutrition-sensitive and -specific interventions. Findings from such analyses may help guide global efforts to reduce stunting and monitor progress against chronic childhood undernutrition.

Progress in Reducing Child Mortality and Stunting in India: An Application of the Lives Saved Tool

Alderman, Harold, Phuong Hong Nguyen, Purnima Menon. Health Policy and Planning Journal, Vol. 34, Issue 9, November 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The Lives Saved Tool (LiST) enables policymakers and technical stakeholders to estimate the impact of scaling up intervention coverage on undernutrition and mortality. This study used LiST to model the impact of scaling up programs in India between 2006 and 2016 and subsequently compared them to the observed impact during the same time period. Although estimates from the use of the LiST tool were close to actual values observed, there remain challenges with the tool itself and its applications.

Reports and Tools

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019: Safeguarding against Economic Slowdowns and Downturns

FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO, July 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Knowledge Management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The 2019 edition of this annual report indicates that the number of people who suffer from hunger, overweight, and obesity continues to rise, while many people also experience moderate food insecurity. New evidence linking economic downturns to food insecurity and malnutrition is highlighted. To help monitor progress toward ending malnutrition, the report includes estimates of food insecurity prevalence based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES). The authors conclude by recommending policies that both address the underlying causes of malnutrition—poverty, inequality, and marginalization—and also safeguard food security and nutrition against economic slowdowns.

Events

If You Can't Measure It, You Can't Improve It: Experiences and Insights on Social Norms Measurement

The Learning Collaborative to Advance Normative Change, November 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Social and Behavior Change
Experts from Drexel University, CARE USA, UNICEF, and Emory University presented an overview on the state of social norms measures, building on the recently published guide titled Resources for Measuring Social Norms: A Practical Guide for Implementers. The panelists also examined advancements in measuring social norms and shared various frameworks for designing measurement tools. Challenges in social norms measurement methods and the monitoring of social behaviors were also discussed.

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

Child-Sensitive WASH Composite Score and the Nutritional Status in Cambodian Children

Manzoni, G., A. Laillou, C. Samnang, et al. Nutrients. September 2019. Vol. 11 No. 9
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Despite progress in health over the years in Cambodia, the number of malnourished children remains high, which may be associated in part with poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices. To address gaps in knowledge on the association between WASH practices and the nutritional status of children, this study analyzed the relationship between WASH child-sensitive composite scores and the wasting child anthropometry indicators. The authors found a significant association, reinforcing existing knowledge of the need to align WASH and nutrition practices.

Facility‐ and Community‐based Delivery of Micronutrient Powders in Uganda: Opening the Black Box of Implementation Using Mixed Methods

D’Agostino, Alexis, Francis Ssebiryo, Hillary Murphy, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition. Vol. 15, Issue 55, October 17, 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
The authors of this study sought to fill a gap in the documentation of lessons learned in micronutrient powder (MNP) implementation programs. To do so, they used a mixed method evaluation to compare community- and facility-based delivery of MNP and document users’ experiences. Their findings rely on qualitative and quantitative evidence to show that community-based delivery resulted in significantly higher adherence to MNP programs. They also analyze barriers to MNP use and provide predictors of adherence to MNP programs.

Impact on Child Acute Malnutrition of Integrating a Preventive Nutrition Package into Facility-Based Screening for Acute Malnutrition during Well-Baby Consultation: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial in Burkina Faso

Becquey, E., L. Huybregts, A. Zongrone, et al. PLoS Medicine. Vol. 16 No. 8. August 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
Community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) is an effective approach for treating acute malnutrition (AM), but low (50 percent) screening levels for AM impede effectiveness of CMAM. Scaling up screening coverage to 90 percent of acutely malnourished children could save 435,000 lives per year. In this cluster-randomized control trial in Burkina Faso, researchers studied the impact of behavior change communication preventative packages and the use of small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements on screening rates. Findings showed that these interventions increased participation in monthly AM screening, thus overcoming a major impediment to CMAM effectiveness. 

Reports and Tools

Maternal Nutrition Operational Guidance Program Considerations for Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Maternal and Child Survival Program, September 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Developed by USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program, this practical guidance document is meant to help ministries of health, nongovernmental organizations, and implementing partners working in low- and middle-income countries design, implement, and strengthen the delivery of maternal nutrition interventions during pregnancy and lactation within the health system. It includes step-by-step guidance on how to add maternal nutrition interventions, precedent case studies on maternal nutrition, an antenatal care schedule, and quality of care standards, among other resources.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

“System of Hunger”: Understanding Causal Disaster Vulnerability of Indigenous Food Systems

Jackson, Guy, Karen E. McNamara, Bradd Witt. Journal of Rural Studies. November 4, 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Indigenous food systems are vulnerable to hazards that cause food insecurity. In indigenous contexts, particular care needs to be taken to account for unique cultural and social systems. Researchers have looked at the Bedamuni tribe in Papua, New Guinea and developed a food system causal disaster vulnerability framework that can help program planners, nongovernmental organizations, and policy makers reduce vulnerability and increase the resilience of indigenous food systems.

Reports and Tools

Guidance for Assessing Resilience in Market Systems

USAID, September 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Resilience has become a high-level objective for many nutrition projects. Though most resilience guidance focuses on the household or community, population-level resilience is heavily reliant on the strength and functionality of market systems through periods of shock or stress. This tool provides guidance on integrating market systems resilience into program analysis and implementation.

Nutrition in Africa’s Drylands: A Conceptual Framework for Addressing Acute Malnutrition (Draft)

Feinstein International Center, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, October 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
East Africa and the Sahel’s drylands present a unique context for implementation. Regime instability, climate change, and shifts in traditional pastoral ways of life mean that stakeholders need a new way to view these regions. This brief examines and expands upon UNICEF’s malnutrition causal framework to respond to these changing circumstances. The new framework captures how climate and conflict are essential in gauging the underlying causes of malnutrition in the region. An accompanying webinar provides further detail.

Transfers, Nutrition Programming, and Economic Well-being: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh

IFPRI, October 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Little research has been conducted on how leveraging cash transfers with nutrition interventions could impact household economic well-being. This study examined a program in Bangladesh that offered impoverished women transfers of cash and food with and without nutrition behavior change communication. Findings suggest that cash transfers combined with behavior change communications increase not only consumption at the household level, but also household assets through investments.

Twin Peaks: The Seasonality of Acute Malnutrition, Conflict, and Environmental Factors

Feinstein International Center, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, November 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
According to a long-held assumption about the seasonality of food security in Chad, Sudan, and South Sudan, the peak of malnutrition happens at the end of the lean season. This report finds that there are actually two peaks, with the worst occurring at the end of the dry season and a smaller peak at the end of the lean season. Other findings reinforce how climate and conflict lead to prolonged shocks to livelihoods.

IconSocial and Behavior Change

Research Articles

Commonly Applied Social-Behavior Change Techniques Used in Complementary Feeding Programs in Low and Middle Income Countries: A Scoping Review

Webb, Girard A., E. Waugh, S. Sawyer, et al. Maternal and Child Nutrition. August 6, 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
An examination of literature on complementary feeding interventions in lower- and middle-income countries since 2000, this scoping review considered 64 behavior change interventions. Across the interventions, authors identified 28 out of a possible 93 behavior change techniques (BCTs), estimating effectiveness ratios for each. Certain BCTs showed promise and warrant further evaluation. Reviewers called for further implementation science research around BCTs and more publically available intervention details on the use of BCTs to optimize and scale up complementary feeding interventions.

Degree of Exposure to Interventions Influences Maternal and Child Dietary Practices: Evidence from a Large-Scale Multisectoral Nutrition Program

Suresh, Shalini, Anne Paxton, Bhim Kumari Pun, et al. PLoS ONE. August 26, 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
Suaahara II is a multi-sectoral program created to combat the high prevalence of maternal and child malnutrition in Nepal. Looking at cross-sectional data from an annual monitoring survey, this review analyzes the association between exposure to Suaahara II and dietary diversity, focusing on three behavior change intervention platforms. The authors concluded that interpersonal communication and community mobilization programs are essential precursors for mass media to effectively change behaviors related to dietary diversity.

Effects of Nutritional Supplementation and Home Visiting on Growth and Development in Young Children in Madagascar: A Cluster-Randomised Controlled Trial

Galasso, Emanuela, Ann M. Weber, Christine P. Stewart, et al. The Lancet, Vol. 7, Issue 9, September 1, 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
In this cluster-randomized control trial in Madagascar, researchers assigned 3,738 mothers who were pregnant or had children under 11 months old to five different intervention groups within a larger scale community-based nutrition program. The groups were used to test growth-monitoring and promotion, varied intensity of nutrition counseling by community health workers, and different lipid-based nutritional supplementation (LNS) interventions. The study found that LNS supplementation over 12 months helped growth only if begun at 6 months of age. Authors suggest that early stimulation messages and home visits did not have an impact due to low uptake of behavior-change messages.

Ethiopian Mothers' Experiences with Micronutrient Powders: Perspectives from Continuing and Noncontinuing Users

Pelto, Gretel H., Alison Tumilowicz, Courtney H. Schnefke, et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition, Vol. 15, Issue S5. October 17, 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
To respond to deficiencies in the diets of children 0-23 months old, the Federal Ministry of Health in Ethiopia worked with partner organizations to deliver micronutrient powders (MNP) through health extension workers. Researchers conducted ethnographic interviews with caregivers who were part of this trial, focusing on their experiences using MNP and barriers to use. The findings emphasize the need to help caregivers navigate negative child reactions to MNP and call for additional research on taste preferences and mother-child interactions around food with and without MNP in resource‐constrained environments. 

Information Diffusion and Social Norms Are Associated with Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in Bangladesh

Nguyen, Phuong H., Edward A. Frongillo, Sunny S. Kim, et al. The Journal of Nutrition. Vol. 149, No. 11. November 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
Researchers conducted two rounds of surveys in 2,000 Bangladeshi households to examine the diffusion of infant and young child feeding (IYCF) messaging through interventions targeting mothers’ social networks. Based on their findings, the authors propose that diffusion of IYCF information through social networks, bolstered by positive social norms for messages promoted over time, will positively affect changes in IYCF practices.

October 2019

IconEarly Childhood Development

Research Articles

Early Childhood Development and Stunting: Findings from the MAL-ED Birth Cohort Study in Bangladesh

Nahar et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition. 2019, June 25:e12864
  • Early Childhood Development
The global early childhood development and nutrition fields lack robust research in low-income contexts on the link between stunting and child development. A recent study in Bangladesh, where 36 percent of under‐5 children are stunted, explored the differences in child development between non-stunted and stunted. The study found that stunted children had notably lower early childhood development scores than their non‐stunted peers on language, cognitive, social-emotional, and motor scales. In Bangladesh, stunting in young children is associated with poor developmental outcomes.

Improving Parenting Practices and Development for Young Children in Rwanda: Results from a Randomized Control Trial

Abimpaye, Monique, Caroline Dusabe, Jean Providence Nzabonimpa, Richard Ashford, Lauren Pisani. International Journal of Behavioral Development. July 16, 2019
  • Early Childhood Development
The first years of life have long-term impacts on children’s development across language, cognitive, social-emotional, and motor domains, yet evidence on critical parent-young child interactions in low-income settings is scarce. A cluster randomized control trial in Rwanda compared the outcomes of light-touch and full-intervention 17-week courses on parenting skills and child development for families with children aged 6–36 months. The results revealed that children in the light-touch and full-intervention groups scored significantly higher on early childhood development scales across all domains than the control group.

Nutrition, Hygiene and Stimulation Education for Impoverished Mothers in Rural Uganda: Effect on Maternal Depression Symptoms and Their Associations to Child Development Outcomes

Atukunda, P., Muhoozi, G.K.M., Westerberg A.C., Iversen P.O. Nutrients. 2019, 11, 1561.
  • Early Childhood Development
Maternal depression is linked to poor developmental outcomes in young children. A follow-up of an open cluster-randomized trial studied the effects of a parenting education program for mothers in rural Uganda on maternal depression and child development. Participation in the parenting education program was associated with decreased maternal depression scores. Additionally, reduced maternal depression was associated with improved child cognitive and language development outcomes.

Reports and Tools

Nurturing Care Framework for Early Childhood Development: Dissemination and Uptake Since May 2018

WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank Group, the ECD Action Network and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, June 2019
  • Early Childhood Development
One year after WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and partners launched the Nurturing Care Framework, they published this report on efforts by countries around the world to adopt it. To date, 30 countries have begun implementing the Framework and identifying entry points in the health, nutrition, and other sectors to deliver multi-sectoral services. The report provides an overview of uptake at the national, regional, and global levels.

Events

The Science Behind the First 1,000 Days: Linking Nutrition, Brain Development, and Nurturing Care

USAID Advancing Nutrition, September 11, 2019
  • Early Childhood Development
The first 1,000 days between conception and a child’s second birthday is a period of unique development, representing both risk and opportunity. The foundation for a child’s brain is laid during this time, with 799 new neural connections established every second, making it especially vulnerable to external factors, including optimal nutrition, strong social support, and secure attachment. Enhancing the linkages among good nutrition, brain development, and nurturing care can strengthen multi-sectoral programming to improve health and development outcomes. In this webinar, Dr. Sarah Cusick, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, provided an overview of how nutrient deficiency in the first 1,000 days can lead to long-term dysfunction and how application of the general principles of nutrient and brain interaction can help inform programming. Patricia Jodrey from USAID’s Child Health Team provided further context through the lens of the Nurturing Care Framework.

IconFood Systems

Research Articles

The Effect of Food Price Changes on Consumer Purchases: A Randomised Experiment

Waterlander, Wilma E., Yannan Jiang, Nhung Nghiem. The Lancet. August 1, Vol. 4(8): 394-405.
  • Food Systems
Governments are increasingly implementing health-related food taxes to reduce consumption of unhealthy foods. Although research indicates that these policies are effective at reducing consumption of a targeted nutrient or food, little is known about their impact on the total diet. This study used a virtual supermarket to emulate different food price and subsidy scenarios and determine the effect of price changes on the consumer's total food basket. The study confirms existing research by demonstrating that food taxes can be used to improve diets, but also indicates a more comprehensive policy approach that combines multiple taxes and subsidies may be most effective.

The Relative Caloric Prices of Healthy and Unhealthy Foods Differ Systematically across Income Levels and Continents

Headey, Derek D., Harold H Alderman. The Journal of Nutrition. July 2019. nxz158.
  • Food Systems
Little is known about the affordability of healthy foods and unhealthy foods in low- and middle-income countries, and how relative price may influence nutrition outcomes. This paper aims to quantify the link between price and dietary indicators and nutrition outcomes. Pulling from existing databases, it determines the relative caloric prices for foods across different categories, such as animal source foods and starchy staples, in 176 countries. The paper then compares food prices across countries to determine if there are associations between affordability and under- and overnutrition.

Trade, Nutrition, and Sustainable Food Systems

Thow, Anne Marie, Nicholas Nisbett. The Lancet. August 31, Vol 394 (10200):716-718.
  • Food Systems
There is global interest in creating trade policy that better supports sustainable and food and nutrition systems. This paper identifies three key starting points to make progress toward this goal: 1) the public health sector should acknowledge that because trade has the potential to enhance as well as hinder health outcomes, it deserves further attention; 2) public health actors need to be better prepared with the right language to push for better policy; and 3) public health actors need to frame nutrition as a social and political issue--not just a technical one--if they want to bring nutrition to the forefront of development.

Reports and Tools

Supporting Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture through Neglected and Underutilized Species—Operational Framework

Investing in Rural People and Biodiversity International, May 2019
  • Food Systems
Agrobiodiverstiy and neglected and underutilized species have the potential to magnify nutrition-sensitive agriculture and related livelihood outcomes. In this report, Investing in Rural People and Biodiversity International provides an operational framework to help Investing in Rural People project development teams integrate neglected and underutilized species into their activities. Although the guidance is targeted at Investing in Rural People activities, the framework can be more widely used by agriculture and nutrition-sensitive programmers and implementers.

Events

Linking Climate Change, Gender and Nutrition: Approaches, Highlights and the Way Forward

International Food Policy Research Institute, September 17, 2019
  • Food Systems
In this webinar, speakers from the Gender, Climate Change and Nutrition Integration Initiative and the USAID Bureau for Food Security discussed how to integrate resilience, gender, and nutrition into program interventions to maximize development impact. Speakers shared approaches used by the Gender, Climate Change and Nutrition Integration Initiative, which works with USAID headquarters, missions, and partners to ensure they are meeting resilience, nutrition, and gender goals.

IconKnowledge Management

Reports and Tools

DataDENT Indicator Mapping Technical Brief

DataDENT, August 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
A landscape assessment of nutrition data visualization tools by DataDENT (Data for Decisions to Expand Nutrition Transformation) found that these tools often report on various indicators without uniform definitions. This can lead to differing conclusions and makes it challenging to determine which indicators and tools implementers should use for decision-making and advocacy. In an effort to better understand this challenge, DataDENT summarized the overlaps and differences in indicator definitions across a select set of data visualization tools and nutrition monitoring frameworks. The resulting technical brief links to a blog post and excel spreadsheet of indicators across nutrition data and tools.

ENN's Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Programme Case Studies

Emergency Nutrition Network, August 2019
  • Knowledge Management
The Emergency Nutrition Network conducted case studies of three “high achieving” SUN countries (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Niger) with a strong track record in championing and improving undernutrition at a sub-national level. A synthesis document draws out key lessons and builds on three previous case studies conducted in 2018 in Kenya, Nepal, and Senegal. A brief video also highlights common themes from the six case studies.

Global Health Nutrition Legacy: Save the Children 100 Years

Save the Children, May 2019
  • Knowledge Management
To capture the legacy of its work in global nutrition, Save the Children developed a pithy and colorful report that reviews the organization's efforts to improve the health and nutrition of women, children, and their communities. The document presents global program achievements and leadership, key contributions, and program learning and results. It also outlines priority areas for Save the Children’s next three-year nutrition strategy.

Private Sector in Agricultural Innovation and Development Community of Practice

Capacity4dev.edu, June 2019
  • Knowledge Management
This community of practice, launched in June 2019, showcases examples of and approaches to working with the private sector in international agricultural innovation. Members can discuss topics such as agriculture and rural development, food and nutrition security, and private sector development, and learn about upcoming events. The community is open to the public, but to join the group, potential members must have a Capacity4dev account.

Events

Nutrition 2019 Sessions on Demand

American Society for Nutrition, June 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Professionals who missed Nutrition 2019 in Baltimore, MD, USA, or who would like to find the materials from a session they attended, can find them on the American Society for Nutrition website, where select session recordings are available for free. Topics of interest include “A Cross-Sector Debate to Increase the Consumption of Nutrient Dense Foods,” “Diet Quality, Micronutrient Delivery,” and “Addressing the Four Domains of Sustainable Food Systems Science.” The American Society for Nutrition will continue to post more sessions related to this year’s theme, “Where the Best in Science & Health Meet.”

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

Reports and Tools

Capturing Cost Data: A First-mile Problem

World Bank, August 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
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.

Economic Evaluation of Multisectoral Actions for Health and Nutrition

Agriculture, Nutrition & Health Academy, August 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Economic evaluations and metrics related to the costs and benefits of agriculture, food, and livelihood strategies can be highly complex. To bolster understanding of these evaluations, the Agriculture, Nutrition & Health Academy published this technical brief, which discusses economic evaluation typologies, existing economic evaluation guidelines, and the challenges and complexity of cost-benefit measurement in multi-sectoral actions for nutrition and health. The brief also provides researchers with a framework for measuring costs and benefits along the impact pathway and highlights opportunities for further research in light of existing method/metric gaps.

Global Data Visualization Tools to Empower Decision-Making in Nutrition

Sight and Life, August 2019
  • Knowledge Management
As part of the Data for Decisions to Expand Nutrition initiative, Results for Development Institute conducted a landscape analysis of global data visualization tools and a literature review of data visualizations. They found that increases in available nutrition data can present challenges such as knowing which data are most critical for decision-making. Data visualization tools should lessen such challenges by serving as the interface between data and data users. After reviewing 22 tools, the authors identified inefficiencies in the data visualization tool landscape. This article suggests ways that improving such tools and their coordination might improve the uptake of data for nutrition decision-making.

What’s the Cost of Evaluations and Other Surveys?

Data for Impact, April 2019
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Data for Impact helps countries improve their program design, policies, and overall health outcomes through operationalizing the power of data. In this accessible two-pager, Data for Impact provides program implementers with detailed cost and timeline considerations for incorporating evaluations and surveys into program design.

IconNutrition and Health Systems

Research Articles

Excess Risk of Preterm Birth with Periconceptional Iron Supplementation in a Malaria Endemic Area: Analysis of Secondary Data on Birth Outcomes in a Double Blind Randomized Controlled Safety Trial in Burkina Faso

Bernard et al. Malaria Journal. May 2019. Vol. 18 No. 161
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
To examine the effects of long-term weekly iron supplementation on malaria and genital tract infections in pregnant and non-pregnant women, researchers used secondary data on birth outcomes from a double-blind randomized control trial in Burkina Faso. The analysis examined the effects of long-term weekly iron supplementation on malaria and genital tract infections in pregnant and non-pregnant women. The secondary data researchers examined included ultrasound-dated gestational age, fetal growth, placental malaria, chorioamnionitis, and iron biomarkers. The study found that long-term iron supplementation leads to excess preterm births in the malaria endemic area, especially during the malaria transmission season.

Marketing and Consumption of Commercial Foods Fed to Young Children in Low and Middle-income Countries

Hall et al. (Eds). Maternal & Child Nutrition. June 2019. Vol 15 Issue S4
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Editorial commentary and supplementary articles on the consumption and marketing of foods fed to young children, including breast milk substitutes, complementary foods, snack foods, and beverages, comprise this journal supplement. The supplement touches on rapidly evolving food environments, television advertisements, monitoring and enforcement of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, fortification, and product placement.

Nutritional Interventions for Preventing Stunting in Children (Birth to 59 Months) Living in Urban Slums in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC)

Goudet, Sophie M., Barry A. Bogin, Nyovani J. Madise, Paula L. Griffiths. Cochrane Systematic Review. June 2019.
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
Researchers systematically reviewed 15 studies conducted in slums or poor urban and periurban areas to determine nutritional interventions that can prevent stunting of infants and young children who are high-risk populations. Despite finding that nutrient supplementation for mothers had no effect on birth weight and length, the authors found that maternal education interventions seemed to improve birth weight. Researchers found inconclusive results around using nutrient supplementation for children and improving health systems to improve stunting status.

Reports and Tools

Addressing Barriers to Exclusive Breastfeeding in Nampula, Mozambique: Opportunities to Strengthen Counseling and Use of Job Aids

USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program, June 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
In Nampula, Mozambique, exclusive breastfeeding practices are suboptimal. To reduce breastfeeding challenges in Nampula, the USAID Maternal and Child Health Survival Program conducted a study on the minimum breastfeeding competencies and practical skills needed by Nampula facility- and community-based providers.

Events

Building Healthy Communities at Home and Abroad: Catalyzing the Impact of the U.S. Government’s Efforts to Support Breastfeeding Families

U.S. Government Global Nutrition Coordination Plan, August 13, 2019, Washington, DC
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
As a leader in global nutrition and development, the U.S. Government recognizes the critical role that the 1,000-day window between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday has on child growth, cognitive development, and disease prevention. In honor of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, the U.S. Government Global Nutrition Coordination Plan hosted an event in Washington DC on August 2019 to bring together U.S. Government departments and agencies, implementing partners, external stakeholders, civil society, and other breastfeeding advocates. Participants discussed skilled support for breastfeeding as well as U.S. Government investments supporting families to breastfeed in the workplace and in communities.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Research Articles

Effects of Microbiota-directed Foods in Gnotobiotic Animals and Undernourished Children

Gehrig, Jeanette L., Siddarth Venkatesh, How-Wei Chang. Science. July 12, 2019, Vol. 365 (6449)
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Current treatments for acute malnutrition, including therapeutic complementary foods, are not formulated based on an understanding of how they impact gut microbiota. This may limit their efficacy. This paper examines the links among therapeutic diets, microbiota development, and the growth recovery of children in Bangladesh. It argues that by intentionally identifying and incorporating foods that support healthy microbiota, treatment could be made more effective, affordable, and sustainable.

Leveraging Human Nutrition through Livestock Interventions: Perceptions, Knowledge, Barriers and Opportunities in the Sahel

Dominguez-Salas, Paula, Domitille Kauffmann, Christophe Breyne. Journal of Food Security , August 24, 2019, Vol.11(4): 777–796.
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Animal source foods can play an important role in improving nutrition, particularly in areas like the Sahel, where livestock is a key dietary resource and source of livelihood. This paper asserts that limited animal source food interventions are incorporated into development programming, using USAID Feed the Future initiatives as an example. The study used interviews and a regional participatory workshop to identify the primary opportunities and barriers for animal source food adoption in development programs based in the West African Sahel. The paper argues that more evidence is needed to effectively link the livestock and nutrition sectors.

Spatial Typology for Targeted Food and Nutrition Security Intervention

Marivoet, Wim, John Ulimwengu, Fernando. Sedano. World Development, August 15, 2019, Vol. 120:62-75
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
Food security programming in developing countries is often challenged by limited access to accurate and current data. This study describes a typology to help programmers identify food security priority areas and target interventions using limited data. The typology classifies interventions based on location and magnitude of nutrition constraints using four indicators: agricultural potential, availability, access, and utilization. This paper suggests that the methodology can be easily adapted to various types of interventions and developing-country contexts to support more focused food security interventions.

Reports and Tools

Field Exchange Special Issue on the Continuum of Care for Acute Malnutrition

Emergency Nutrition Network, July 2019
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
This special edition takes stock of current acute malnutrition programming efforts, including successes and ongoing challenges, through a curated summary of 8 field articles, 19 research studies, and 1 evaluation. Each article focuses on a specific issue along the continuum of care for acute malnutrition in a variety of country contexts, primarily in Africa. Key technical themes covered in the articles include simplified/expanded/combined approaches to acute malnutrition treatment, linkages between wasting and stunting programs along the continuum of care, and programs targeting moderate acute malnutrition.

IconSocial and Behavior Change

Research Articles

Fathers’ Experiences and Perspectives of Breastfeeding: A Scoping Review

Sihota, Harvinder, John Oliffe, Mary T. Kelly, Fairleth McCuaig. American Journal of Men’s Health. May 2019.
  • Social and Behavior Change
The researchers conducted a scoping review across 18 international studies to determine the experiences, roles, and needs of fathers of breastfed infants and how health care providers can use this knowledge to assist, support, and engage fathers. Examining studies that involved fathers in the United Kingdom, North America, Australia, Pakistan, Jordan, and Taiwan, the review found that fathers of children who are breastfed may feel excluded, inadequate, and helpless. To help these fathers, antenatal support and education should be tailored their needs, experiences, and perceptions. Fathers must be recognized as “fundamental members of the breastfeeding triad” and be engaged from the beginning to promote long-term involvement in their children’s nutrition.

Grab a Seat! Nudging Providers to Sit Improves the Patient Experience in the Emergency Department

Orloski, Clinton J., Erica R. Tabakin, Frances S. Shofer, Jennifer S. Myers, Angela M. Mills. Journal of Patient Experience. June, 2019. Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 110-116.
  • Social and Behavior Change
Are patients in the emergency department more satisfied during a visit if the provider sits and are there ways to encourage providers to sit? These are the questions researchers sought to answer in a prospective, controlled pre-post trial. They found that when a provider sat at some point during the visit, patient satisfaction significantly increased. Satisfaction was measured by patient responses to questions about their provider. When a seat was placed in the room with the provider, the odds of the provider sitting increased by 30 percent.

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. July, 2019. Vol. 233, pp. 93-102.
  • Social and Behavior Change
Women's empowerment is thought to be a critical component in improving household nutrition. To test this theory, researchers used a cluster-randomized controlled trial in Burkina Faso that examined whether empowering women in four domains--purchasing decisions, healthcare decisions, family planning decisions, and spousal communication--improves child nutritional outcomes. The trial used reduction in wasting and an increase in hemoglobin as proxies for improved nutritional outcomes. The researchers found that all four domains contributed to a reduction in wasting; however, none of the domains contributed to an increase in hemoglobin. These findings should lead future nutrition-sensitive programs to incorporate women’s empowerment mechanisms to improve child nutritional status.

Participatory Agroecological Research on Climate Change Adaptation Improves Smallholder Farmer Household Food Security and Dietary Diversity in Malawi

Kerr et al. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. July 2019. Vol. 279, pp 109-121.
  • Food Systems
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Social and Behavior Change
This four-year mixed-methods study examined the effect that agroecological farming practices can have on food security and dietary diversity in Malawi. Intercrops and crop diversification increased household food security. Use of organic soil amendments, which lessen the chance of metal accumulation by plants, resulted in increased dietary diversity. The researchers also found that when spouses discuss farming, they are 2.4 times more likely to have both food security and dietary diversity. Participatory agroecology research approaches that promote farmer experimentation and community-based education on gender equity can improve food security and nutrition.

Using a Gender Lens to Understand Eating Behaviors of Adolescent Females Living in Low-income Households in Bangladesh

Blum et al. Maternal & Child Nutrition. May 2019.
  • Social and Behavior Change
To understand individual, social, and environmental factors that influence eating behaviors of adolescent females in Bangladesh, researchers conducted this qualitative study, which found that household food insecurity, gender norms and discrimination, work and school schedules, and an inferior social position influence girls' level of psychological stress as well as food quality, quantity, and frequency. The study found that household food insecurity, gender norms and discrimination, work and school schedules, and an inferior social position influence their level of psychological stress as well as food quality, quantity, and frequency. To decrease adolescent girls’ vulnerability to undernutrition, the study proposes: 1) policies to increase the age of marriage and reduce adolescent pregnancy, 2) programs to ensure adolescents attending school receive adequate nutrition during the day, and 3) methods for prolonging school education to strengthen their economic viability and alter cultural expectations.

Reports and Tools

Essential Nutrition Actions: Mainstreaming Nutrition throughout the Life-Course

WHO, September 2019
  • Nutrition and Health Systems
  • Social and Behavior Change
The World Health Organization has released updated Essential Nutrition Actions to mainstream nutrition throughout the life-course and support the Global Nutrition Targets 2025. In an easy-to-use format, this document describes actions that can be taken to combat all forms of malnutrition and help decision-makers integrate nutrition interventions into national health policies, strategies, and plans based on country-specific needs and global priorities.

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.

IconKnowledge Management

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. 

IconMonitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

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

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.

October 2020

IconKnowledge Management

Research Articles

IFPRI’s new COVID-19 Food Price Monitor tracks warning signs of stress in local markets

IFPRI, May 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Food Systems
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
The Food Price Monitor from IFPRI allows users to track changes in food prices since the start of COVID-19 social distancing measures. Daily updates of prices in wholesale and retail markets are provided for a wide range of key food products.

IconNutrition in Humanitarian Contexts

Reports and Tools

Interim Recommendations for Adjusting Food Distribution Standard Operating Procedures in the Context of the COVID-19 Outbreak

IASC and WFP, March 2020
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
This Interim Guidance is intended for field coordinators, site managers and public health personnel, as well as national and local governments and the wider humanitarian community working in humanitarian situations at food distribution sites, who are involved in the decision making and implementation of multi-sectorial COVID-19 outbreak readiness and response activities – the Guidance is therefore relevant for all Humanitarian Clusters and their partners.