Photo Credit: Kate Holt/MCSP

Practical skills, such as empathy, listening, problem-solving—in addition to nutrition knowledge—are essential for a health worker to provide quality nutrition counseling to caregivers and their families. These skills should be a focus of pre-service and in-service capacity strengthening programs, but often health workers do not receive the training or support needed. USAID Advancing Nutrition has conducted research and developed technical resources to help program designers and implementers improve the knowledge and competencies of frontline workers to support improved counseling. These materials—

  • Share research findings on formative research around nutrition counseling capacities, barriers, and enablers in Kenya among community volunteers.
  • Disseminate findings from case studies in Ghana and Nepal on counseling provided during growth monitoring and promotion activities. 
  • Share findings on counseling competencies through case studies of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative programs in Malawi and the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • Provide guidance to strengthen pre-service training for nutrition (including counseling).
  • Highlight competencies required for program staff who design, implement, and evaluate quality nutrition social and behavior change activities (including counseling).
  • Share frontline delivery guidance to help inform decisions related to adapting, updating, strengthening, or scaling up frontline nutrition. services offered at the facility and/or community level (including counseling).
  • Offer examples of tools to provide supportive supervision to counselors, including training materials, checklists, and job aids.