Home Fortification in Bangladesh

To address the critical first 1,000 days of a child’s life, GAIN promotes Infant Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices including exclusive breast feeding for neonates and infants up to six months of age, continuous breast feeding up to 2 years, home-made nutritious complementary foods, and hygiene practices.

Start: July 2013

Duration: 5 years

Overview

GAIN in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), BRAC, the Social Marketing Company (SMC) and Renata is delivering the Bangladesh Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) Home Fortification Programme Phase 2 funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). With IYCF, GAIN along with partners included appropriate and  effective use of  home  fortification  with  Micronutrient Powders (MNP  5)  to  help  fill  the  nutritional  gap.  The  programme  particularly  focuses  on  170  sub-districts  (164  sub-districts  and  6  urban  slums  of  Dhaka).

GAIN’s role

Management of partnerships, policy and advocacy, research and  surveys.

The programme is geared  towards demonstrating  impacts,  so  icddr,b  is the key research partner, as well an evaluation partner. An external Policy and Advocacy Evaluation Agency have been appointed as evaluation partner. The programme comprises of three components, as below:

  1. Enabling  environment for  home fortification with MNPs as part of the IYCF package of interventions:

This  component aims to develop a conducive policy environment and build consensus and evidence among a range of stakeholders. Sub-objectives include:

  • building government leadership and buy in  on  home  fortification  and  MNPs under the overarching IYCF policies and guidelines;
  • strengthening policies, guidelines  and  political  support  on  home  fortification  and  MNPs; and
  • aligning and ensuring that key  stakeholders  and  civil  society  support  and  demand  home  fortification as part  of optimum IYCF at all levels (national, district and below)
  1. Improving the delivery channels for Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) to ensure effective coverage through BRAC’s network of frontline health workers: Key  activities  include
  • training  and capacity development health  workers  (Shashthya  Shebikas) on IYCF with home fortification:
  • women empowerment inclusive of entrepreneurial skills to  strengthen  the  distribution  network;
  • ensuring adequate utilisation  and  compliance  of MNPs in households; and
  • ensuring monitoring/ compliance of MNP 5 usage.
  1. Behaviour change and demand creation to scale-up home fortification practices and demand for MNPs as  part  of  an  optimal  IYCF  package: Key activities  include
  • formative  research  on market trends and consumer behaviour, and
  • social and behaviour change communication interventions through various channels (mass media campaign, social mobilisation, amongst others).

In order to implement this program, GAIN has partnered itself with the Government of Bangladesh (Ministry of Health) in order to maximise effectiveness.

GAIN’s Partners:

  • BRAC
  • Renata Ltd.
  • Social Marketing Company (SMC)
  • International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease and Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B)
  • Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA)
  • Government of Bangladesh (Ministry of Health)