GAIN publishes lessons learnt on infant and young child nutrition

GAIN has recently published two new working papers detailing lessons learned from six year Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) program. The papers were launched at our one day #Nutrition Now: 1,000 Days Symposium in London.

The two papers outline in detail challenges met and strategies used across 23 projects in 17 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The projects are an innovative mix of public and private models and combine proven infant interventions, such as the promotion of breast feeding, with novel market-based strategies.

The papers each focus on a different element of GAINs approach:
Paper 1 examines lessons learned regarding effective public and private sector business models for production and delivery of complementary feeding products and fortified foods
Paper 2 analyses what we’ve learned about driving consumer awareness and behaviour change to ensure good feeding practices and uptake of complementary feeding products

Combining to deliver a comprehensive and thorough review of our experience in improving infant and child nutrition, the two papers offer any organisation seeking to make an impact in this area a solid base of learning from which to structure their intervention.

Common themes that emerge from both papers include the importance of regulation to ensure a safe and favourable environment for change, clear and consistent messaging to support both product uptake and good feeding practices, as well as the absolute need for parallel investment in demand creation and behaviour change alongside any focus on products and delivery channels. Cultural understanding of what foods are acceptable in local regions is also crucial to success, from both a business model as well as behaviour change perspective.

The IYCN program spans a six year period between 2008 and 2014 and was launched to help address the global crisis of infant and child mortality, with nearly half of all child deaths every year – some 3.1 million – due to malnutrition. Initially funded by a US$38.8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IYCN has since benefited from additional funding from a diverse range of donors including CIFF, DFID, DGIS, Irish Aid, KBZF and USAID.

By December 2014 the program had reached 19 million beneficiaries, just short of our 20 million target, with this figure expected to rise to 25 million by the end of 2015. Throughout the program GAIN has sought to work with local partners in both the public and private sectors to ensure effective project delivery which delivers value-for-money.

Read more about the achievements reached through the IYCN programs here

Download the full reports:

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

Watch our videos:

GAIN in Indonesia: Improving nutrition and changing behaviours in the first 1,000 days  

Improving nutrition for infants and children

Published on 6 March 2015