Improved breastfeeding
Complementary feeding

We know that improved breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices during the first two years can prevent child deaths and contribute to healthy growth and brain development.

Is your country looking to deliver nutrition and behavior change communication programs to large numbers of mothers and children? Alive & Thrive can help. We offer a framework for programs to succeed in scaling up behavior change.

From 2010-2014, Alive & Thrive implemented large scale infant and young child feeding programs in three countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam. Results demonstrate that rapid increases in feeding behaviors—known to improve child nutritional status and development—are  possible.

IMPACT

Rapid behavior change is possible

Learn more

Results from rigorous program evaluations show large improvements in several World Health Organization indicators for breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices in Alive & Thrive’s program areas between 2010 and 2014.

Rapid, large-scale increases in exclusive breastfeeding

Exclusive breastfeeding improved in all three countries. The rate tripled in Viet Nam and reached more than 80% in Bangladesh and Ethiopia.

Exclusive breastfeeding means giving breastmilk only and no other foods or fluids for the first six months.

Exclusive breastfeeding means giving breastmilk only and no other foods or fluids for the first six months.

Bangladesh
Ethiopia
Viet Nam

Diverse diet improved in all three countries

The percentage of children 6 to 23 months eating a diverse diet (from four or more food groups) increased in Alive & Thrive program areas in all three countries. In Bangladesh, the percentage of children consuming a diverse diet increased by 32 points in three years. In Ethiopia, the practice doubled (although it is still very low).

Percentage point increase in minimum dietary diversity (2010-2014)

Bangladesh
Ethiopia
Viet Nam
Complementary feeding starts at around 6 months of age, when children need other foods and fluids in addition to breastmilk.

Complementary feeding starts at around 6 months of age, when children need other foods and fluids in addition to breastmilk.

SCALE

Intensive behavior change programs can reach scale

icon_female_red

= 200,000 mothers

0MOTHERSof children under age 2 reached
Interpersonal communication

Interpersonal communication

Mass communication

Mass communication

The three country programs reached more than 16 million mothers of children under two years of age within the several years of implementation through interpersonal communication and/or mass media. This makes Alive & Thrive the first project of its kind to implement infant and young child feeding interventions at scale.

REACHING
INTENSITY

Results show that the more mothers were exposed to child feeding messages, the more likely they were to adopt changes in feeding practices.

Learn more

A
COMPREHENSIVE FRAMEWORK
FOR SUCCESS

Alive & Thrive offers a framework for countries and programs to succeed in scaling up nutrition and other health programs.

Explore the framework

Interpersonal communication and mass communication had a combined and mutually reinforcing impact.

See the results

Interpersonal communication
Interpersonal communication

+

Mass communication
Mass communication

=

Greater improvements in feeding practices
Greater improvements in feeding practices

We now know how to reach large numbers of mothers, children, and communities with early childhood nutrition interventions that work. Other countries and programs can adapt Alive & Thrive’s proven framework to improve nutrition and health.

ELLEN PIWOZ, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

What does it take to achieve impact at scale?

Read lessons learned

WHAT CAN I DO?

Adapt our framework and tools to succeed in scaling up nutrition


We offer the following resources for program designers and implementers.


COUNTRY BRIEFS

Visit the website for more information: www.aliveandthrive.org

STAY CONNECTED

Alive & Thrive
Government of Canada
Irish Aid: Government of Ireland

Alive & Thrive is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the governments of Canada and Ireland and managed by FHI 360.

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