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Program components

Alive & Thrive’s four components for scale and impact

A program is best positioned to achieve and sustain change for improved feeding practices if four components are present in a comprehensive program. For additional details, download Tool: Framework for delivering nutrition results at scale.

  1. Advocacy educates and motivates policymakers and program managers to act and support measures that will create an enabling environment for mothers to adopt optimal feeding practices.
  2. Interpersonal communication allows frontline workers to personalize messages, demonstrate skills, and provide encouragement during home visits, support group meetings, and sessions at health centers. Community mobilization aims to orient community leaders and get their commitment to take actions in support of improved feeding practices.
  3. Mass communication uses available channels to reach masses of people with persuasive, consistent messages. When done right and adequately funded, it can change beliefs, shift perceptions of social norms, increase self-efficacy, and prompt behavior change.
  4. Strategic use of data informs program design, shapes advocacy messages, and improves program implementation and management.

Partnerships and alliances are critical for achieving national scale, resilience, results, and sustainability.

A&T Program Components

Framework for Implementing Infant and Young Child Feeding Programs at Scale

Distinctive features

  • Focus on the proven, most cost-effective times for intervention—the continuum of infant and young child feeding from birth through 24 months to prevent undernutrition
  • Scale as the driver of all aspects of program design and decision making
  • Comprehensive in its inclusion of all actors who can influence feeding decisions and varied in its delivery of support and messages
  • Mutual trust and collaboration among stakeholders to leverage diverse strengths and funds, scale up through multiple program platforms, share responsibility, and speak with one voice
  • Evidence-based with an unwavering dedication to changing behavior through field testing, application of theory, audience research, and strategic use of data at all program stages
  • Innovative and agile strategies that allow rapid scale up with attention to quality, such as franchised infant feeding counseling services, performance-based cash incentives for frontline workers, and engagement of informal health providers, religious leaders, and journalists

Results

The four-component framework applied in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam achieved results in the first three years of implementation:

  • More than 11 million mothers of children under 2 years of age reached through interpersonal communication and/or mass media
  • Achieved over 80 percent exclusive breastfeeding rates in Bangladesh and Ethiopia in program areas. In Viet Nam, where initial levels were lower than 20 percent, the rate tripled. (2013 process evaluation data)