Alive & Thrive will undertake a comprehensive effort to institutionalize its extensive knowledge and lessons learned on maternal, infant, young child and adolescent nutrition (MIYCAN) thanks to a new grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The new funding complements the initiative’s continuing work at the country level in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Nigeria, and the East Asia Pacific region.
“This funding will allow us to curate and share maternal, infant, young child and adolescent nutrition evidence and program learning in a more comprehensive and thoughtful way,” said Sandra Remancus, Director of Alive & Thrive.
The new funding, covering 2022-2024, will focus on:
- Consolidating country-based programmatic learning related to policy advocacy, social and behavior change (SBC), strategic use of data, and systems strengthening
- Expanding and sharing technological solutions related to supportive supervision, integration and counseling
- Publishing key implementation lessons related to SBC, technical assistance, maternity protection policies, and quality in nutrition service delivery
- Analyzing data from past research to further capture evidence on service delivery, service quality, coverage and utilization; determinants of maternal nutrition practices; and nutrition intervention design
- Modifying the Alive & Thrive website to make it easier to find and access tools and materials
While the new grant aims to leverage and share Alive & Thrive’s knowledge from the past decade, other country-level and regional awards are reinforcing ongoing health system strengthening and research activities. They include programs in:
- Nigeria, which emphasizes local capacity strengthening, maternal nutrition and strengthening delivery platforms for nutrition products like iron folic acid, multiple micronutrient supplements and balanced energy protein, funded by the Gates Foundation; and formative research on infant and young child feeding practices funded by UNICEF
- Ethiopia, which supports the strengthening of nutrition services through the health, agriculture and social protection systems, with a particular emphasis on evidence generation and learning related to maternal and adolescent nutrition
- India, which focuses on systems strengthening to improve maternal, infant, young child and adolescent nutrition service delivery, particularly to support convergence of nutrition services at the household level
- Madagascar, which includes technical assistance on social and behavior change, funded by the World Bank
- Papua New Guinea, which includes technical assistance on social and behavior change, funded by the World Bank
- Cambodia, Laos, and Viet Nam, which addresses malnutrition in the furthest behind, funded by the Government of Ireland
- Viet Nam, which supports the creation of breastfeeding-friendly workplaces funded by various private sector companies.
New programs in Ethiopia and India are currently being developed; a new phase of the SBC program in Madagascar is expected to start activities within the next few months.
“The evolution and continual refocusing of Alive & Thrive reflects our commitment to responding to global nutrition needs,” Remancus said. “We will ensure that investments in the initiative continue to benefit the global nutrition community and we look forward to working with program implementers, government officials, researchers and advocates in a collective effort to improve nutrition outcomes for all.”
Great! I believe the strengthening of delivery platforms will greatly promote uptake of Nutrition services in Nigeria.