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Phase 1: Proof of concept in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam

(2009 to mid-2014)

The Alive & Thrive initiative was launched in December 2008 to establish proof of concept that innovative approaches to improving infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices could be designed and delivered with impact and at scale, with rigorous documentation and learning. Alive & Thrive applied a common approach to scale while developing delivery models tailored to the Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam contexts. This approach involved four components: advocacy, interpersonal communication and community mobilization, mass communication, and strategic use of data.

Phase 2: Dissemination of approaches and tools through various mechanisms

(2014 – 2017)

Documented results from phase 1 led to additional funding to facilitate and accelerate uptake of proven approaches and tools to improve infant and young child feeding. This is being done in several ways.

  • Comprehensive program in Burkina Faso. Alive & Thrive will adapt and apply the principles and four-component approach developed in its first phase to the distinctly different setting of francophone West Africa. The aim is to build resilience and improve household food security by initially focusing on optimal breastfeeding practices. Burkina Faso will serve as a base for dissemination of learning and tools to other countries in the region.
  • Comprehensive program in Ethiopia. In this second phase of programming in Ethiopia, Alive & Thrive will demonstrate whether a fully implemented model in the Amhara region using multiple channels and a multisectoral approach can work.
  • New technical focus in Bangladesh. An implementation study will evaluate the impact and operational feasibility of integrating an intensified package of maternal nutrition interventions. This package uses interpersonal communication and community mobilization through BRAC’s maternal, neonatal, and child health program in rural areas.
  • Advocacy in Southeast Asia. The regional initiative applies the Alive & Thrive approach to policy change that was successful in Viet Nam with a focus on national codes that limit the advertising of breastmilk substitutes, maternity entitlements, and hospital policies and practices to support breastfeeding. The countries involved in the initiative are Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Viet Nam.
  • Strategic technical assistance in India (Bihar and Uttar Pradesh). In these two states of India, Alive & Thrive is providing “just in time” technical assistance to strengthen any of the four components for scale. In Bihar, Alive & Thrive is collaborating with Ananya, a partnership supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the state’s health goals. In Uttar Pradesh, Alive & Thrive is supporting the foundation’s two large health sector investments for maternal, neonatal, and child health services.
  • IYCF technical support to Scaling Up Nutrition countries. The purpose of the assistance is to accelerate delivery of quality interventions at scale to improve infant and young child feeding.