Strengthening community nutrition programming

Tools for reaching caregivers, households, and communities

IYCN created a collection of tools and resources for use by community-based nutrition programs. The collection includes literature reviews, social and behavior change communication resources for reaching a wide range of community members, and monitoring and evaluation tools. Informed by IYCN’s experience implementing community approaches in eight countries, the tools fill specific program needs but can be adapted for use in other country settings. The resources described below can be used together or separately and modified based on findings from formative research.


Strengthening community nutrition programming: Tools for reaching caregivers, households, and communities. Provides an overview of IYCN’s collection of tools for community-based nutrition programming, including a summary of the project’s community approaches and methods used to develop the materials. Download the overview.



Literature reviews on community-based nutrition programs

The roles and influence of grandmothers and men: Evidence supporting a family-focused approach to optimal infant and young child nutrition. Reviews evidence of the roles and influence of grandmothers and men on childhood nutrition and offers recommendations for how program implementers can strengthen community approaches for addressing malnutrition and improving results. Download the literature review.


Behavior change interventions and child nutritional status: Evidence from the promotion of improved complementary feeding practices. Analyzes behavior change interventions aiming to improve complementary feeding practices and children’s nutritional status and provides recommendations for designing and implementing these interventions. Download the literature review.



Community interventions to promote optimal breastfeeding: Evidence on early initiation, any breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, and continued breastfeeding. Examines evidence on community interventions—including health facility outreach, community-mobilized programming, and national social marketing—to promote optimal breastfeeding and offers recommendations to inform policy and program planning. Download the literature review.


Tools for reaching mothers and caregivers

Mother-to-Mother Support Groups: Trainer’s Manual and Facilitator’s Manual with Discussion Guide. A tool for training mother-to-mother support group facilitators to lead participatory discussions on maternal, infant, and young child nutrition. Provides detailed information on potential support group topics and answers to questions that may arise during support group sessions. Download the trainer’s manual and facilitator’s manual with discussion guide.


Infant Feeding and HIV: Trainer’s guide and participant’s manual for training community-based workers and volunteers. A tool for training peer educators to incorporate nutrition into current community-based HIV prevention, care, and treatment activities. Download the trainer’s guide and participant’s manual.



 Tools for reaching household members

Infant and Young Child Feeding and Gender: A training manual and participant manual for male group leaders. A tool for training male group leaders to share information and encourage discussions on gender roles related to optimal infant and young child feeding practices. Download the training manual and participant manual.



Engaging Grandmothers to Improve Nutrition: A training manual and guide for dialogue group mentors. A tool for training grandmothers to serve as dialogue group mentors. Offers information and techniques for facilitating discussions on family care and maternal and child nutrition. Download the training manual and guide.



Tools for reaching community members

Strengthening Health Talks: Training Manual. Offers step-by-step instructions for facilitating a half-day workshop with health workers or community workers to improve the quality of group counseling sessions and health talks. Download the training manual.



Mobilizing communities for improved nutrition: A manual and guide for training community leaders. Provides step-by-step instructions for facilitating a one-day workshop with community leaders (including religious leaders, business leaders, and government officials) to support and improve children’s health and well-being through improved maternal, infant, and young child nutrition. Download the training manual and participant manual.


Community theater for improved nutrition: A guide for program managers and theater groups. Offers recommendations for program managers and community theater groups to integrate maternal, infant, and young child nutrition content into existing community theater activities. Download the guide.



Bushes that Grow Are the Future Forest: Using radio to improve infant and young child feeding in Zambia. Describes IYCN’s experience developing a radio series on infant and young child feeding and provides key steps and tips for replicating the process in a variety of settings. Download this document.



Monitoring and evaluation tools

Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices Monitoring Tool and Guide. A tool to help programs monitor progress in achieving key behaviors related to infant and young child feeding. The tool is designed for community workers to track individual behaviors during each counseling session or contact point with a caregiver, thereby providing a record of progress toward reaching an optimal mix of practices for the child. The guidance provides step-by-step instructions for using the tool in different program settings. Download the tool and guide.


Counseling Supervision Checklist and Guidelines. A tool for health worker supervisors to measure health workers’ knowledge and record their behaviors during counseling sessions. Periodic use of the checklist can help programs identify gaps, implement solutions, and measure changes over time. Download the tool.



Exit Interview Questionnaire and Guidelines. Assists program managers in assessing the quality of counseling services and client satisfaction. The Guidelines provide detailed instructions for using the Questionnaire. Download the tool.



Referral Tracking Form and Register. A tool to track referrals of caregivers from community volunteers to health centers. Download the tool.