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Our approach

Alive & Thrive (A&T) is dedicated to improving the health of children and the future of families and communities by improving infant and young child nutrition. Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam have large populations of undernourished children. Their different cultural and economic environments provide rich settings for learning how to improve infant and young child feeding (IYCF). A&T will share learnings from the three focus countries to inform policies and practices around the world.

A&T takes a systems approach to address barriers to good IYCF practices by working at multiple levels, across sectors, and with a wide range of actors. The three country programs:

  • Integrate proven strategies into existing efforts to reach vulnerable women and children
  • Address context-specific constraints to good feeding practices at multiple levels
  • Introduce innovations to overcome long-standing barriers to infant feeding practices
  • Use a mix of interventions as part of a comprehensive, coordinated set of activities
    • policy dialogue and targeted advocacy
    • community outreach
    • interpersonal communications
    • mass media
    • enhancement of the skills and performance of frontline workers
    • private sector engagement
  • Document process and impact, cost, and cost-effectiveness of IYCF interventions

The weight and dollar investment given to the interventions varies, reflecting social, cultural, and economic differences and the unique opportunities and challenges in each country. The country programs vary with respect to:

  • Platforms for service delivery (government health extension program, NGO community-based health program, government and private clinics)
  • Places of delivery (franchise facility, health post, home, community; urban, rural)
  • Providers (facility-based staff, health extension worker, community volunteer)
  • Communication approaches (timing and number of contacts between provider and mother/caregiver, complexity of messages, use and type of communication materials, audiences for and types of social mobilization activities)
  • Products

In each country, A&T’s program design is guided by three overarching strategies.