Multi-sectoral approaches to nutrition: nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions to accelerate progress

Multi-sectoral approaches to nutrition: nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions to accelerate progress

The case for investing in nutrition is clear. Poor nutrition during the first 1,000 days - from pregnancy through a child’s second birthday - can cause life-long and irreversible damage, with consequences at the individual, community, and national level.

Nutrition-specific interventions are key to accelerating progress. However, it is also critical that other sectors- like agriculture, education, and social welfare - develop nutrition-sensitive interventions. A truly multi-sectoral approach will achieve optimal nutrition outcomes through greater coverage, while also helping other programmes achieve more powerful results and demonstrate their own potential for impact.

Programmes can become more nutrition-sensitive by:

  • strengthening their nutrition goals, design, and implementation. For example, health programmes can often deliver nutrition services through antenatal care services, routine immunisation, and family planning
  • improving targeting, timing, and duration of exposure to interventions. For example, integrating nutrition into programmes that reach families with pregnant and lactating women and children between 0 and 24 months of age will optimise delivery of key services during the critical window of opportunity
  • using conditions to stimulate demand for programme services, while ensuring good service quality. For example, cash transfer programmes can set conditions on payments that require families to utilise key nutrition services, enforce school enrolment and attendance, or require parent participation in health and life skills education
  • optimising focus on women’s nutrition and empowerment. For example, when programmes are designed from the outset to increase women’s decision-making power, it can increase investments in better nutrition for the whole family

 

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