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Health worker documenting small infant's weight outside with a hanging scale, while the mother holding the child.
Photo Credit: Kamal Deen Djabaku for JSI

Responding to the need to strengthen growth monitoring and promotion (GMP), USAID Advancing Nutrition convened global partners and developed tools to support health workers.In 2022 USAID and USAID Advancing Nutrition hosted an expert consultation in collaboration with the Global Financing Facility, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization. The consultation provided a forum to identify opportunities to elevate GMP as an important delivery platform for improving child nutrition, health, and development outcomes, and identify priorities for future research and programming since the prior GMP convening in 2018 (PDF, 119KB).

Participants recommended creating an operational learning agenda, focusing on improving counseling, continuing to harness the power of technology, continuing discussions about how growth is measured, and holistically considering challenges with, and advantages of, different measurement techniques. The focus of many partners on how to strengthen growth monitoring left a gap  on the promotion component of GMP and particularly, counseling. Evidence shows that counseling is critical to the success of GMP programs, but requires more attention and research. To respond, USAID Advancing Nutrition developed a learning agenda to better understand how to strengthen counseling as part of GMP.

Learning Agenda Development Process

To initiate the learning agenda process, USAID Advancing Nutrition conducted a rapid desk review and held listening sessions with health workers in Ghana, Kyrgyz Republic, and Nigeria. The activity team then solicited input and feedback on the learning agenda during a 2023 convening attended by participants of the 2022 consultation. To gather input from a wider audience, we also shared the learning agenda through a webinar hosted by the Child Health Task force.

Learning Agenda on Counseling within GMP

The learning agenda is divided into four topic areas, with broad questions under each topic. The questions will need to be refined by researchers and implementers to fit their context. The topic areas are:

  • Preconditions to quality counseling
  • Achieving quality counseling
  • Creating a supportive community environment
  • Tracking and monitoring

One of the recommendations from the 2023 convening was to publish the learning agenda in a peer-reviewed journal for wider dissemination and uptake. USAID Advancing Nutrition is in the process of submitting a commentary presenting the learning agenda for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.


USAID Advancing Nutrition hosted a learning event in Bolgatanga, marking the end of three years of project implementation in northern Ghana focused on improving multi-sectoral nutrition planning and…