Breaking barriers to effective nutrition interventions

Integrating nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions across sectors is a widely endorsed strategy to ensure sustainable improvements in nutrition among women, adolescents, and children.

However, there is insufficient evidence to determine which actions should be taken to strengthen the evidence-base regarding barriers to effective integration.

Our Solution

Integrating nutrition into multi-sector programs through BRAC

In collaboration with BRAC, Nutrition International proposed generating evidence on how to systematically integrate nutrition into multi-sector programs by:

  • Optimizing opportunities to deliver nutrition interventions
  • Maximizing the demand for nutrition services
  • Designing an efficient inter-sector coordination mechanism

BRAC is committed to alleviating poverty by empowering the poor through its many programs in areas including economic development, public health, education, community empowerment, and agriculture and food security.

BRAC would use the results of this project to integrate a package of nutrition interventions for adolescent girls into Bangladesh secondary schools as well as its existing programs.

Designing a model to integrate actionable nutrition packages

Our research to identify barriers to adolescent nutrition in Bangladesh informed the design of a model and the creation of the How to integrate nutrition into multi-sector programs manual. This research included:

  • Review of nutrition gaps in Bangladesh
  • Identification of potential nutrition interventions that could be integrated into BRAC’s existing programs with minimal additional effort
  • Detailed understanding of how services are delivered at the individual, household, and community level
  • Preparation of Program Impact Pathways of BRAC programs to understand how they operate at various levels
  • Identification of intervention target groups and potential nutrition intervention packages

The Impact

A manual for nutrition integration

This project developed a planning methodology to systematically integrate nutrition into multiple platforms of BRAC – the largest NGO in the world – to reach adolescent girls across Bangladesh. A manual developed through this research was also used to integrate nutrition into Amref programs in eight African countries. Published results of the study helped to fill the evidence gap around adolescent girls’ perceptions about their own health and nutrition, and how those perceptions should shape interventions.