What we do
Alive & Thrive is strengthening systems for maternal, infant, and young child nutrition (MIYCN) by building capacity in social and behavior change, policy advocacy, MIYCN service delivery, and the strategic use of data. Powered by knowledge and results, A&T aims for the thoughtful and sustainable scale-up of policies and programs that improve MIYCN, while fostering learning for generations to come.
Alive & Thrive emphasizes adequate nourishment and care for pregnant women, followed by optimal feeding from birth to a child’s second birthday. New efforts on early newborn care and adolescent nutrition support existing MIYCN programming, while heightened emphasis on nutrition-sensitive practices further enrich Alive & Thrive’s multisectoral strategies to reach women, children, and their communities.
Some examples of our technical assistance include…
- Helping governments create new MIYCN-friendly policies. Our support for maternity entitlement legislature has given mothers in Nigeria and Southeast Asia the option to continue breastfeeding through extended maternity leave.
- Designing social and behavior change (SBC) interventions. Our multipronged SBC effort in Ethiopia strengthened Health Extension Workers’ delivery of IYCF counseling and promoted positive practices in communities through outreach by community volunteers.
- Building the capacity of health providers to use data more effectively. In India, our mentoring and training with medical colleges and hospitals has led to better monitoring of service provision and pointed quality improvement efforts that address key gaps in the delivery of these critical MIYCN services.
Alive & Thrive has seen significant improvements in the quality of child feeding and maternal nutrition practices through various interventions at scale around the globe. Here are a few examples:
- Early initiation of breastfeeding. Infants receiving that important first taste of their mothers’ milk within one hour of birth increased from 9 percent to 37 percent in Alive & Thrive’s intervention areas in Burkina Faso. Similarly in Ethiopia, early initiation rates increased from 67 percent to 82 percent.
- Exclusive breastfeeding. The percentage of infants who were given only breastmilk for the first 6 months increased from 49 percent to 86 percent in intervention areas of Bangladesh. In Viet Nam, exclusive breastfeeding (initially 17 percent) nearly tripled in areas where Alive & Thrive initiated interpersonal counseling services in health facilities along with a mass media campaign.
- Maternal nutrition. After receiving high-quality interpersonal counselling services, the minimum diet diversity of pregnant women increased by over 28 percentage points in Bangladesh. Women receiving free iron-folic acid supplements increased from 44.8 percent to 96.5 percent, reducing their risk of anemia and improving their chances of delivering a healthy baby.