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 and Health Systems
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts
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.