Community Health Worker weighing child
(Morgana Wingard/USAID)

Growth monitoring and promotion (GMP) refers to the process of tracking child growth by regularly measuring the child and comparing his or her growth (i.e., height or weight) to a standard, assessing growth adequacy, and linking the growth trend with a target action through tailored counseling and referral. These actions support children’s optimal growth through increased caregiver awareness of child growth trends, improved caring practices, and increased use of other services. These contacts also provide an important opportunity for health workers to deliver essential nutrition, child health, and development services. Over 186 countries currently provide GMP services for young children.

In October of 2018, the Global Financing Facility of the World Bank Group, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Manoff Group convened global thought leaders to review GMP evidence and results. They recommended a paradigm shift that would reposition GMP to better integrate child growth and development in the first years of life and strengthen the promotion element of GMP. They also called out the need to define diverse GMP models to inform global guidance. USAID Advancing Nutrition is responding to this call by examining GMP in Ghana and Nepal through a two-country case study designed to examine and document different approaches and experiences, drawing out important lessons for other countries.

In collaboration with local research firms, we will use desk review, interviews, and observations to explore the contexts in which GMP is conducted. We will also identify challenges and best practices for 1) using GMP data for decision-making, 2) tailoring counseling to prevent growth faltering, and 3) using the growth promotion platform for promoting physical growth and holistic child development. We will also examine referrals to services outside of the health sector, linkages with other technical areas or platforms, and innovations or adaptations. The findings will be used to inform technical assistance, spark conversations about next steps for strengthening GMP, and support the development of global guidance.

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