Supplement: The results of a real-time evaluation assessing progress in 9 countries in Southeast Asia and Africa on infant and young child feeding policies
The creation of environments that are more supportive of optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) requires countries to enact policies, such as those related to the Maternity Protection Convention, the International Code of Marketing of Breast‐milk Substitutes (the Code), and the Baby‐Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). However, challenges are experienced in the translation of international policy standards into national legal measures, and there is an important gap in understanding how countries achieve progress. The purpose of this supplement to Maternal & Child Nutrition is to address those gaps. This supplement contains three papers that present findings from a real‐time evaluation of the advocacy efforts of Alive & Thrive (A&T), United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and partners, that sought to support governments in fostering enabling environment for optimal IYCF in Southeast Asia (SEA) and Africa. A combination of two emergent, theory‐based evaluation approaches was used: developmental evaluation and contribution analysis. The overall objective of the evaluation was to document the extent to which policy objectives were or were not achieved in each country and to identify the key drivers of policy change. This supplement provides evidence that the advocacy efforts of A&T, UNICEF, and partners contributed to enhanced IYCF policies in SEA and reveals how it helped to achieve progress.