The Operational Evidence Base for Delivering Direct Nutrition Interventions in India

The Operational Evidence Base for Delivering Direct Nutrition Interventions in India

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The persistence of undernutrition in the face of IndiaA’s impressive economic growth is of enormous concern. Less than 55 percent of mothers and children receive any essential health and nutrition inputs that are critical for improving maternal and child nutrition. We conducted a desk review (1) to document the extent to which national and civil society/NGO programs in India reflect current technical recommendations for nutrition and (2) assess the operational evidence base for implementing essential interventions for nutrition in the Indian context. We reviewed the design of the two major national programs, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Subsequently, we used Google Scholar to search the published literature from 2000 to 2012 for evidence of interventions addressing the inputs to improve child nutrition. Finally, we contacted 70 program stakeholders to identify the unpublished evidence on inputs in program models implemented by civil society/nongovernment organizations. We find that, by design, the two national programs (ICDS and NRHM) together appear to incorporate all the essential inputs and use evidence-based interventions. There is an expectation by design that the frontline workers of ICDS and NRHM coordinate and collaborate to deliver the interventions. A review of 22 program models shows that a majority focused on improving breastfeeding and timely initiation of complementary feeding. However, only a few addressed the full spectrum of complementary feeding, vitamin A deficiency, pediatric anemia, and severe acute malnutrition. None addressed how to reduce intestinal parasitic burdens or prevent malaria. There is limited published literature on the effectiveness of the recommended interventions to deliver the essential inputs. There are few efficacy studies and even fewer effectiveness studies or program evaluations on delivering essential nutrition interventions in the Indian context. The most commonly used delivery strategies across multiple essential inputs were home visits that involved individual or group counseling by community health workers or by self-help groups. Mass media and community events such as marriages and fairs were used as avenues to generate support for the interventions. Some programs used community mobilization to promote the interventions. Several of these programs worked to improve coordination and convergence between ICDS and NRHM and to strengthen these existing systems through training, improved monitoring, and supervision. Overall, a large gap persists in both the published and gray literature on how to promote interventions to address the essential inputs. Much more operational evidence is needed to ensure high-quality delivery of the evidence-based interventions that are already being implemented nationwide. Given the potential for the national programs to effectively deliver interventions to achieve maximum coverage and impact, and the government of IndiaA’s current interest in ICDS system strengthening, this is an opportune time to test some of the innovations using the ICDS and NRHM platforms.... included in the design of the Integrated Child Development Services and National Rural Health Mission A.6 Mapping essential inputs ... for child nutrition 4 4.1 Integrated Child Development Services Scheme package of services for improving maternal and child nutrition and ... inputs and interventions 11 23 28 30 33 34 35 41 43 51 13 ABSTRACT The persistence of undernutrition in the face of Indiaa#39;s iv.

Title:The Operational Evidence Base for Delivering Direct Nutrition Interventions in India
Author:Rasmi Avula, Suneetha Kadiyala, Kavita Singh, Purnima Menon
Publisher:Intl Food Policy Res Inst - 2013-10-01


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