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Evidence shows that integrating nurturing care into existing nutrition programs results in improved outcomes for both nutrition and early childhood development. USAID Advancing Nutrition developed the Responsive Care and Early Learning (RCEL) Addendum to help programs integrate responsive care and early learning content into existing infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counseling, and provide holistic nurturing care for children from birth to age three.
Responsive Care and Early Learning Addendum Resources for the Kyrgyz Republic
Visit the RCEL Addendum Resources for the Kyrgyz Republic page to access and download all of the materials required for any program interested in using the RCEL Addendum in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Package Adapted and Tested in the Kyrgyz Republic
Between 2021-2023, USAID Advancing Nutrition supported the adaptation, implementation, and testing of the RCEL Addendum in the Kyrygz Republic. Counselors in Batken and Jalal-Abad oblasts provided RCEL counseling to caregivers of children 0-3 years of age using existing facility- and community-based health and nutrition platforms.
Methods and Results
Using a mixed methods approach, USAID Advancing Nutrition tested the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of integrating the RCEL Addendum into existing health and nutrition counseling services in the Kyrgyz Republic. Training, supervision, and qualitative data showed that implementation of the RCEL Addendum in the Kyrgyz Republic was both feasible and acceptable to counselors and caregivers.
USAID Advancing Nutrition documented how we adapted the materials for the Kyrgyz Republic, through both a summary brief on how we trained and supported the counselors to conduct the RCEL training and a report which provides further insights into our adaptation and training processes to help guide other programs seeking to replicate this work. In addition, we hosted community events, including a lullaby contest to encourage caregivers to sing to and engage with their young children.
Study results showed improvements in responsive caregiving practices and early learning opportunities, which will be shared in a forthcoming manuscript. Details of those results can also be found in this webinar series. In the Kyrgyz Republic, a local television news story highlighted the program’s success and influence in the Jalal-Abad oblast.
USAID Advancing Nutrition has also developed other resources and shared materials related to the RCEL Addendum implementation in the Kyrgyz Republic, including a brief on counseling and a webinar to share resources and learnings. The RCEL Addendum was also adapted, implemented, and tested in Ghana.