From 2010 through 2011, the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Infant & Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project supported Malawi’s Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) to develop community-based nutrition services targeting mothers, infants, and young children, including HIV-positive populations. The project increased understanding of feeding behaviors, supported enhanced national policies, played a key role in shaping the country’s Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) strategy, developed a package of training materials for a new cadre of community nutrition workers, and increased the capacity of community-based workers to improve infant and young child nutrition.
We piloted capacity-building activities in Salima District, which will be scaled up nationally to improve the growth, nutritional status, health, and HIV-free survival of infants and young children.
- IYCN conducted a joint research study with Bunda College of Agriculture and the World Bank to increase the understanding of current feeding practices among families with children younger than two years of age, and the social, cultural, and economic context influencing them.
- The project collaborated with the OPC and the World Bank to disseminate results from the study, including recommendations for correcting feeding-related problems.
- The findings created the basis for a national operational strategy promoting improvements in specific infant and young child feeding practices. IYCN led the development of the operational strategy and supported the government to build consensus among various ministries and stakeholders.
- IYCN used findings from its formative research to develop a package of materials, Community Nutrition Workers Training Package, to support the OPC’s plan to identify and train a new cadre of community workers focused on improving nutrition.
- During a three-month pilot intervention in Salima District, IYCN used the training package to train 20 national trainers, 20 district trainers, and 153 community workers to offer nutrition counseling and support. The package was adapted as part of the SUN strategy.
Download a brief summarizing IYCN’s activities in Malawi.
Photo: PATH/Christine Demmelmaier