Nutrition for Women and Children
The 1,000 days from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until her child’s second birthday offers a unique opportunity to shape not only a child’s future, but the future of a society. The right nutrition during this crucial period can have an enormous impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn and develop to his or her full potential. In order to break intergenerational cycles of malnutrition, there is a need to broaden the focus on improving the nutrition of adolescent girls and women (pre-pregnancy as well as during pregnancy).
Despite the considerable progress made over the past decades, millions of children are still affected by acute and chronic malnutrition and many more are suffering from some degree of sub-optimal health and/or development due to micronutrient deficiencies. Poor complementary feeding is a significant driver of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency which leads to stunting. Globally 159 million children are stunted and more than 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.
GAIN’s MIYCN program aims to protect and promote optimal breastfeeding and dietary diversity in close collaboration with governments, food producers and NGO’s in order to address stunting and micronutrient deficiency amongst mothers and children and adolescents. We work to improve access to and utilization of high-quality, affordable nutritious foods and food supplements for women and children, strengthening delivery channels which are both sustainable and scalable.
Recognizing the complexity of malnutrition, GAIN seeks opportunities to integrate the focus on complementary feeding with critical interventions such as water, sanitation and hygiene interventions (WASH) and approaches to support women’s social and economic empowerment.
OUR WORK /
Building on 9 years of experience, GAIN has learned valuable lessons on how to strengthen supply of and create demand for nutritious foods and supplements for mothers and young children, within a public health context. We having worked on effective delivery of MNP’s in nine countries, and we have worked with over ten profit and non-for-profit organisations on production and distribution of fortified complementary foods. We are developing approaches to create nutrition-friendly workplaces for women and are investing to fill the knowledge gap and improve understanding on how to improve nutritional status of adolescent girls. Aiming for impact, scale and sustainability, GAIN co-designs and co-creates projects in partnership with other actors, based on a robust learning agenda, which allows close monitoring of progress and timely course correcting, where and when needed.
Our interventions focus on:
- Systems and consumer-centric approaches to shaping the market and the regulatory environment for fortified nutritious foods and supplements
- Effective delivery models driving compliant utilization of multi-nutrient powders
- Multi-channel social and behaviour change interventions with a touch of commercial marketing approaches, through mass-media, social media, mobile phone technology, community activation and interpersonal counselling.
- Integrating nutrition interventions with social and economic empowerment of women, for example the production of complementary foods by women groups, improving nutrition of female workers in industry.
Over the past 9 years, GAIN’s MIYCN programs have reached a cumulative 20 million children and pregnant women with more nutritious foods, with ongoing projects reaching 584,000 in 2015.
Key achievements include:
- Engagement of the private sector to explore business models for nutrition; GAIN is an early adopter of market-based approaches, and has learned many lessons with regard to supply of and demand for nutritious products for target groups.
- Contribution to global policy development and thinking, including to the revision of Codex Alimentarius product guidelines for formulated complementary foods; and the adoption of World Health Assembly resolution 65.6 and advancing technical nutrition areas through convening of global expertise such as the Home Fortification Technical Advisory Group
- Brokering partnerships, building alliances of country-level stakeholders and an inclusive approach to getting nutrition on the agenda and creating collective impact
- The write up of lessons learned in the IYCN Working Paper Series of 3 papers on quality complementary feeding through:
Co-organising the Designing the Future of Nutrition Social Behaviour Change Conference with USAID / SPRING and the development of a strategic agenda.
The past and current MIYCN project portfolio consists of a diverse set of projects across in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America carried out over a 9 year period between 2007 and 2016.
- Afghanistan – home fortification with micronutrient powders (MNPs)
- Bangladesh – home fortification with MNPs
- Bangladesh – nutrition of female workers in the garment industry
- Cote d’Ivoire – marketing of fortified complementary foods
- Ecuador – innovative finance for nutritious foods
- Ethiopia -home fortification with MNPs
- Ethiopia – production of complementary foods by women groups
- Ghana – marketing of fortified complementary foods
- Ghana effectiveness of home-fortification with KOKO Plus
- Haiti innovative finance for lipid nutrient supplements
- India (Andhra Pradesh) production of fortified complementary foods
- India (Bihar) production of supplementary foods by women groups
- India (Rajasthan) production of supplementary foods by women groups
- India (Rajasthan) community management of acute malnutrition
- Indonesia BADUTA project, integrated stunting reduction
- Kenya home fortification with MNPs
- mNutrition services (multi-country)
- Mozambique home fortification with micronutrient powders
- Nigeria home fortification with MNPs
- South Africa Nutrimark project
- Vietnam home fortification with MNPs
Working papers and reports published by GAIN.
- Infant & Young Child Feeding and Home Fortification in Bangladesh Perspectives from a Focused Ethnographic Study
- The scope and practice of behaviour change to improve infant and young child feeding in low- and middle- income countries: results of a practitioner study in international development organizations
- Perspectives and reflections on the practice of behaviour change communications for infant and child feeding
The papers below were launched at the #Nutrition Now: 1,000 Days Symposium in London in February 2015.
- Working Paper 1: Improving complementary feeding: Assessing public and private sector business models_
- Working Paper 2: Promoting optimal infant feeding practices and effective use of complementary food for infants: Delivery lessons
Supplements sponsored by GAIN in the Maternal and Child Nutrition journal
- Using implementation research for evidence – based programme development: a case study from Kenya
- Consequences of Malnutrition in Early Life, October 2011
- Enhancing Young Child Feeding in Developing Countries, January 2013
- Hystra Report: Marketing nutrition for the base of the pyramid
- Maximizing Impacts on Child Growth and Micronutrient Status
- Programs and Policies to Improve Maternal and Child Nutrition
- GAIN Working Paper no. 3: Using the Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes
- South Africa Nutrimark GBSN Case Study
- Home fortification in Kenya: lessons from implementation at the county level
- Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition Research in Sidaorjo, Indonesia
- Empowering women entrepreneurs to produce fortified foods in Rajasthan, India
- Investing in Entrepreneurs in Cote d’Ivoire to fortify children’s first foods
- Better business practices to support the Indian government improve nutrition
- GSMA mNutrition Initiative: Developing and scaling-up the delivery of nutrition messages through Cell Phones
- Home Fortification with Multinutrient Powders, Afghanistan
- Home Fortification, Bangladesh
- Complementary Foods, Cote d’Ivoire
- Innovative Finance for lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS), Ecuador
- Home Fortification with Multinutrient Supplements, Ethiopia
- Complementary Foods, Ghana
- Innovative Finance for LNS, Haiti
- Home Fortifiation Technical Advisory Group (HF-TAG)
- Complementary Foods, India
- Fortified Blended Foods by Women’s Groups, India
- Decentralized Production of Supplementary Foods, India
- Baduta Project, Indonesia
- Scaling Up Home Fortification, Kenya
- Home Fortification with Multinutrient Supplements, Nigeria
- Home Fortification of Complementary Foods using Multinutrient Supplements, Vietnam
- Addressing malnutrition in the first 1,000 days, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia