Proper nutrition from birth to age 2 is critical to a child’s growth and development and lifelong health. (Photo © Alive & Thrive/Tina Sanghvi)
The cornerstone of our strategy is our partnerships with several high-burden countries—Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India (with a focus on Bihar and Uttar Pradesh), and Nigeria—to demonstrate what can be achieved by expanding the use of proven interventions and developing and introducing new solutions.
In each country, we work with partners to show how these interventions can be introduced and expanded in specific contexts. We also work closely with key partners—including Alive & Thrive, Helen Keller International, HarvestPlus, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)—to apply successful approaches and practices to other countries.
Despite significant research in the past few decades, knowledge about the immediate and underlying causes of unhealthy growth and development remains incomplete. We invest in research to understand the full range of causes of malnutrition, identify the right packages of interventions, and establish the best times to intervene.
We work closely with leading universities—including Cornell University; Johns Hopkins University; Oxford University; University of California, Davis; and University of Colorado—to develop, test, and roll out new solutions and address the obstacles to effective implementation, particularly barriers to reaching women and girls and addressing social and gender norms.
A women’s self-help group in a remote region of Rajasthan, India, produces fortified foods for distribution to mothers and young children. (Photo © Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition)
Despite recent agricultural innovations, the current food system is not capable of delivering good nutrition to all. Improving nutrition and addressing dietary deficiencies requires changes across the entire food chain—from how food is produced to how it is sold and consumed.
We work with national governments—particularly ministries of agriculture and health—to strengthen food systems by increasing collaboration between the agriculture and nutrition sectors; improving production and delivery of nutritious foods; using market-oriented approaches to ensuring the safety and affordability of nutritious foods; and empowering women to expand their control of resources in the home.
Data, Analytics, and Evidence
Better data is needed to define the problem of malnutrition, diagnose its root causes, design interventions, and track progress. In particular, many countries lack the data they need to measure progress against global nutrition targets.
We are developing new tools and platforms to enable timely collection of data and improve its analysis and use. We also support global efforts to standardize the collection and monitoring of nutrition data and use evidence to develop effective policies and guidelines.
Policy, Advocacy, and Alignment
Less than 1 percent of global foreign aid is currently directed toward nutrition; national budget allocations in high-burden countries are similarly low. We work to increase domestic and donor resources for nutrition and to improve coordination to achieve long-term impact.
We work with leading organizations—including 1,000 Days, the Global Nutrition Report, Save the Children, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), Graça Machel Trust, and Action Against Hunger (Action Contre La Faim)—to generate better nutrition-related evidence, policies, and advocacy efforts at the global level and in high-burden countries. By encouraging greater investment and more effective spending and donor coordination, we aim to build the political will that is needed to reduce malnutrition globally.