From 2008 to 2011, the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Infant & Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project worked in Madagascar to strengthen programs addressing the high rate of malnutrition among mothers and their young children. To help the country meet its national goal of halving the number of chronically malnourished children younger than five years by 2015, IYCN collaborated with both governmental and nongovernmental partners to assess gaps in geographical coverage and quality among Madagascar’s nutrition programs.

The assessment revealed a great need to strengthen the country’s maternal nutrition programs. IYCN worked with partners to develop a comprehensive national maternal nutrition strategy that included recommendations for how to strengthen these programs and advocated for adoption of the recommendations by the government and donors.


  • IYCN mapped national coverage of government- and nongovernmental organization-led nutrition programs, determining where nutrition programs operated, where interventions overlapped, and where there were programmatic gaps.
  • In collaboration with the Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival project, IYCN conducted a rapid review of essential nutrition actions—a group of evidence-based nutrition and health interventions delivered at health facilities and in communities.
  • IYCN supported the government to develop a comprehensive maternal nutrition strategy by collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders to establish priorities and key actions toward improving maternal nutrition.
  • IYCN worked with Santé Net II to examine the behaviors of pregnant women participating in its community-based iron-folate (IFA) supplementation program and to identify factors that prevent women from regularly taking IFA supplements to prevent anemia.

Download a brief summarizing IYCN’s activities in Madagascar.

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