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Acceleration of progress in nutrition will require effective, large-scale nutrition-sensitive programmes that address key underlying determinants of nutrition and enhance the coverage and effectiveness of nutrition-specific interventions.
The authors of this article in the 2013 Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition reviewed evidence of nutritional effects of programmes in four sectors - agriculture, social safety nets, early child development, and schooling. The need for investments to boost agricultural production, keep prices low, and increase incomes is undisputable; targeted agricultural programmes can complement these investments by supporting livelihoods, enhancing access to diverse diets in poor populations, and fostering women's empowerment.
The article finds that:
Many of the programmes reviewed byt he authors were not originally designed to improve nutrition yet have great potential to do so. The authors argue that ways to enhance programme nutrition-sensitivity include:
Nutrition-sensitive programmes can help scale up nutrition-specific interventions and create a stimulating environment in which young children can grow and develop to their full potential.
Please note: This paper is accessible upon free registration to The Lancet.
Migration is transforming our world: by the end of this decade, most developing countries will have more people living in cities than in rural areas. Most migrants are in their early to mid-20s. Substantial numbers of adolescent girls are also on the move. Because of their age and gender, migrant girls are especially vulnerable to risks such as exploitative employment. But more evidence is needed on how to maximise migration’s benefits and minimise its risks for adolescent girls.
This policy brief provides a summary of key findings and recommendations from the the Population Council report, Girls on the Move: Adolescent Girls & Migration in the Developing World, from their Girls Count series. By providing a road map for policy makers and programme planners, the report focuses on the need to increase the visibility of migrant girls, reduce their vulnerability, and realise their full potential.
Main recommendations include:
prepare and equip girls before they migrate - with knowledge of their rights, life skills, IDs, and other portable assets
reduce the risk of trafficking and exploitation by connecting girls with safe places to stay and trusted individuals and by building support networks
ensure health and education services are sensitive to age, sex, and migration status
prepare girls for success
design girl-only approaches to reach domestic workers, child brides, and sexually exploited girls
develop qualitative and longitudinal studies to shed light on migrant girls’ experiences
maximise the benefits of migration by increasing adolescent girls’ visibility in policy and advocacy
This study aims to investigate a range of household-level socio-economic and social support predictors of stunting in children aged less than 30 months. Logical regression models were constructed using a conceptual framework to investigate the association between early life measures of socio-economic status and stunting, using data collected in the Birth to Twenty study.
Stunting and child malnutrition remain policy priorities for the South African Department of Health, and this study suggests that policies that aim to increase parental education level and reduce unemployment or target additional support to families with low education or unemployed parents may reduce stunting in preschool-age children in this setting.
Overall, the effectiveness of child protection programmes seems to be only average and highly variable. One commonly cited finding is the importance of contextualising action: programming, programme implementation and programme assessment need to be tailored to local situations and practices in child protection. It is also important to acknowledge that child protection is political and reflects political choices by governments and donors.
This report first identifies and describes the state of available evidence. It then presents findings on the effectiveness of child protection programmes in developing countries in five selected areas:
The first comprehensive analysis of sexual and reproductive health components in HIV proposals funded through the Global Fund has shown that an average of 25 per cent of all HIV proposals include interventions related to PMTCT. In light of the priority by many partners including UNAIDS to scale up PMTCT services and for the elimination of paediatric HIV in newborn, the authors conducted an in-depth analysis of the four components of the global PMTCT strategy in funded HIV proposals. A particular focus was to assess whether the interventions included comprehensive PMTCT services where a balance between the different components was apparent. Individual approved HIV proposals submitted to the Global Fund were analysed for these components.
In total, 345 original HIV proposals approved for funding from Rounds 1 to 9 were reviewed. The four components of the global PMTCT strategy do not feature equally. In particular, prevention of unintended pregnancies in HIV infected women (component 2) was the least represented, appearing in 34 per cent of the proposals. On the other hand, preventing HIV transmission from a woman living with HIV to her infant (component 3) was present in approximately 90 per cent. However, component 2 represents the only component that consistently increased throughout the Rounds, with signs of the greatest increase between Rounds 3 and 7.
The authors conclude that it is important for countries to support comprehensive PMTCT interventions that are balanced across the four components. The Global Fund is one of the largest donors and this study shows interventions that countries could capitalise on to scale-up PMTCT efforts as well as synergise efforts in linking with other global and national initiatives in maternal, reproductive, and child health.