Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Global Program

NEEP Highlight: Nutrition Improvement Program at Cameroon Baptist Convention

Photo: Cameroon Baptist Convention

Photo: Cameroon Baptist Convention

The Nutrition Embedding Evaluation Programme (NEEP) would like to highlight one of its grantees, Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBC), and the great work they have been doing with their Nutrition Improvement Program (NIP). CBC initiated NIP in an effort to change poor infant feeding practices and to improve mother and infant nutrition. NIP includes 23 trained nutrition counselors who integrate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counseling into maternal and child health services. The program focuses on exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding as nutrition interventions that can reduce child morbidity and mortality. NEEP is funding the evaluation of the effectiveness and acceptability of NIP.

CBC staff have been active in seeking opportunities to disseminate their research. They presented “Mami, Bobbi Be Na Fanye Chop: Effectiveness and Acceptability of NIP on Infant and Young Child Feeding and Nutritional Status” at the ECOWAS Forum on Good Practices in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. They also presented “Nutrition Improvement Program: Building an Enabling Environment for Nutrition Sensitive and Specific Actions” at the Integrated Nutrition Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Additionally, CBC staff will present “‘We pass out information with doubts on our faces’: training nutrition counselors in infant and young child feeding” at the 143rd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Chicago, USA, at the end of this month.

The NEEP team anxiously awaits CBC’s final results after their evaluation project comes to a close in January 2016.

For more information, please contact Brianna Musselman at

NEEP Global Meeting

Photo: Sandrine Fimbi

Photo: Sandrine Fimbi

Under the Nutrition Embedding Evaluation Program (NEEP), 20 NGOs and CSOs are conducting high-quality evaluations of innovative nutrition programs across the globe. NEEP is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and has been running since October 2013.

From September 22–25, 2015, NEEP grantees came together in Barcelona, Spain, for a global meeting and workshop led by Altrena Mukuria, NEEP’s senior evaluation adviser. The three objectives for the global meeting were as follows:

  1. To update on impact evaluation methodologies with a focus on nutrition programs.
  2. To share strategies and experiences about the implementation of evaluations of nutrition programs.
  3. To understand challenges and discuss mechanisms for strengthening impact evaluations of nutrition programs within country contexts.

After listening to short presentations about each other’s project evaluations, the grantee representatives participated in activities to augment their research skills with more in-depth nutrition knowledge. The workshop covered topics such as key nutrition pathways, monitoring and evaluation frameworks, Theory of Change, evaluation design, and managing the implementation of nutrition evaluations.

Photo: Sandrine Fimbi

One of the group’s favorite activities was creating problem trees and solution pathways. Drawing on their knowledge of Theory of Change, small groups of grantees mapped out common problems that impact nutrition in the field—like lack of access to water, poor gender equality, and low diet diversity, to name a few—using index cards and masking tape to depict how each problem is connected to others. Since each of the grantees has a unique experience and perspective, each small group arranged its problem tree in a slightly different way.

Photo: Sandrine Fimbi

Photo: Sandrine Fimbi

After mapping out their problems, each small group transformed its problem tree into a solution pathway by critiquing an existing program impact pathway. For example, the problem of limited access to supplementary micronutrients can be transformed into the solution of increased access to supplementary micronutrients through improved distribution mechanisms. Each of the grantee organizations is conducting a nutrition-specific or nutrition-sensitive intervention that creates solutions to address problems within the tree. By mapping out the problems and solutions in this way, grantees could visualize how their interventions contribute to the overall impact of malnutrition of mothers and children.

Overall, the NEEP Global Meeting provided a fantastic opportunity for grantees to get to know each other and share tools and ideas to enhance their own evaluations. We hope that the grantees return to their organizations with even more excitement about their projects.

For more information, please contact Brianna Musselman at

20 Grantees Are Evaluating Nutrition Interventions through NEEP

Under the Nutrition Embedding Evaluation Program (NEEP), 20 NGOs and CSOs are conducting high-quality evaluations of innovative nutrition programs across the globe. NEEP is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and has been running since October 2013.

Below is a brief description of each of the grantees’ evaluations. Click the links for more information about the grantees and their projects.

  • In Chad, Action Contre la Faim is studying whether improving water quality and hygiene practices can improve nutrition in children.
  • In Bangladesh, BRAC is learning how to scale up early childhood development interventions to improve nutrition.
  • In Kenya, Evidence Action is distributing nutrition information alongside an existing safe water program. Evidence Action is evaluating three types of interventions to determine whether providing nutrition information to different members of the household can improve nutrition.
  • Save the Children in Malawi is evaluating nutrition interventions in childcare centers and parenting groups.
  • In Bangladesh, Helen Keller International is evaluating the nutritional impacts of Making Markets Work for Women, a program focused on home food production.
  • Also in Bangladesh, Helen Keller International is evaluating Food and Agriculture Approaches to Reducing Malnutrition, an intervention to train households to produce food for consumption and sale.
  • In Kenya, the Organic Health Response is using social networks like families, church groups, and other community members to encourage positive nutrition-related practices.
  • In Kenya and South Sudan, Epicentre is conducting a cost-effectiveness analysis of interventions to treat children on the moderate-to-severe acute malnutrition spectrum.
  • In Bangladesh, Eminence Associates is evaluating a program that supports lactating mothers working in garment factories.
  • In Pakistan, ACTED is evaluating nutrition-sensitive interventions (including water, sanitation, and hygiene [WASH] and improved housing) for different groups of families residing in homes rebuilt by humanitarian assistance efforts.
  • In Nepal, Action Contre la Faim is evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the FUSAM project, which includes a brief psychosocial intervention, on child nutrition, health, and development.


Click the map below to view the grantees’ study titles and where they’re conducting evaluations:

NEEP map

We can’t wait for the NEEP grantees to finalize their results and make important contributions to the nutrition intervention evaluation field. Until then, stay tuned for updates on the grantees’ successes along the way.


For more information, please contact Brianna Musselman at

PATH/MCSP launches Essential Care for Every Babies curriculum in Latin America and the Caribbean





PATH/ MCSP on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Neonatal Alliance, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Colombia and the Colombian Neonatology Association (ASCON), launched the first regional training in LAC on Essential Care for Every Baby (ECEB) in Bogota, Colombia in August. The interactive newborn health care training curriculum was developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as part of the Helping Babies Survive package, and was first launched in May 2014 in Ethiopia.


What is ECEB? ECEB is a simplified training course to assist learners in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to provide every newborn with basic, essential newborn care (ENC). The content is based on the 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) ENC Course and other WHO documents, including the 2006 WHO Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum and Newborn Care guidelines. The ECEB curriculum covers actions to be taken following immediate care at birth as well as within the first 60 and 90 minutes of life after birth, which includes preventive care and other actions that allow for the classification of the newborn by 90 minutes after birth.  Care of the normal newborn, newborn with a problem (abnormal, temperature, birthweight <2000 grams, poor feeding) and care of a newborn presenting a danger sign (jaundice or birthweight <1500 grams) are categorized accordingly. Care before discharge and counseling to parents are also covered, and communication with the family is stressed in all case scenarios.


Fifty six health providers, including physicians, (Pediatricians, Neonatologists), nurses, and midwives, from 11 countries in the LAC region, participated in the two-day training. PATH’s very own Master Trainers, Newborn Health Advisor, Dr. Goldy Mazia, and Senior Program Officer, Dr. Magdalena Serpa, facilitated an additional two- day Instructors training with eleven Colombians prior to the regional event. The participants, representing Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela, were selected according to recommendations from the Alliance membership, including partners Panamerican Federation of Professional Nurses (FEPPEN) and the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM).  Those trained returned to their home countries with equipment donated by the LAC Neonatal Alliance to facilitate replication of trainings.




Goldy and Magdalena have extensive experience training providers in AAP’s Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) curriculum across the LAC region and most recently with ECEB in the west African country of Ghana. Earlier this month Goldy and Magdalena participated in the North American Rollout of Essential Care for Every Baby and Essential Care for Small Babies in Washington DC alongside fellow experts in newborn health.


Questions? To learn more, contact



Launch of the Regional Virtual Collaborative Project to Reduce Hospital Acquired Newborn Infections

Did you know? Every year in Latin America and the Caribbean, there are more than one million hospital -acquired neonatal infections, mainly due to gaps in the quality of care during and immediately after birth.

PATH / Maternal Child Survival Program (MCSP) in a co-led initiative with USAID’s Project ASSIST on behalf of the LAC Neonatal Alliance, will launch a virtual collaborative which aims to reduce hospital-acquired neonatal infections in Latin America and the Caribbean. Twenty-six hospitals from ten countries in the region will participate in the year-long voluntary and free forum: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Venezuela.

The collaborative aims to increase the use of evidenced based practices and reduce the number of hospital acquired newborn infections among participating hospitals. To reach this objective, each participating hospital will form a Continuous Improvement Team (CIT) comprised of 6-10 members of health professionals providing care in delivery care and neonatology units. PATH/ MCSP and Project ASSIST will provide technical assistance regarding evidenced based interventions to reduce hospital-acquired newborn infections as well as methodology on continuous quality of care improvement. The CITs will conduct baseline assessments, apply the proposed interventions, and measure results. The teams will also develop and conduct a training for other personnel delivering services in the delivery room and neonatology unit.

Participating hospitals will obtain new information regarding the control and surveillance of hospital acquired newborn infections and quality of care improvement processes. The virtual exchange via virtual sessions and forums will also enable participants to identify common barriers with other participating hospitals.

Upon successful completion of the program, hospitals will receive a Certificate of Recognition. One hospital will be selected to showcase their results at the Fifth Annual meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Neonatal Alliance, scheduled to take place in late 2015.

To learn more about the program, click here (in Spanish).

Questions? Contact:

Live webinar, 2/3 @ 12p: Essential Newborn Care: An Effective Training Tool for Health Professionals


The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Newborn Alliance invites you to participate in the live webinar, Essential Newborn Care: an effective training tool for health professionals, organized by USAID’s Project, ASSIST, on Tuesday, February 3 from 12-1:30 pm EST. The event will be held in English and Spanish. Register by sending an email to Ximena Gudino (

More than 400 newborn deaths occur globally every hour, the majority of which are preventable. Newborn mortality can be reduced through the application of essential newborn care practices as recommended by the World Health Organization and various international health authorities. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), through the Helping Babies Survive Program, has developed a training tool to provide health providers with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver essential newborn care. The training tool will be presented during the live webinar which will include a question and answer session following the presentation. Continue reading »

An update on PATH’s early childhood development work

Globally, more than 200 million children aged 0 to five years fail to reach their age-appropriate developmental milestones. This results in numerous immense negative ramifications for the health, well-being, and fulfillment of every child’s educational and Poster--Developmental Milestones ENGLISHeconomic potential from infancy, through childhood and into later life. The period from the start of pregnancy through the first two years of life (the first thousand days) marks the most rapid brain development of every human. During this period, delays in physical growth, social and emotional connectivity, and intellectual development are often irreversible, with sometimes devastating consequences. Studies have clearly demonstrated that children who are appropriately stimulated in their early years grow up to be healthier, more educated adults, with better economic and social outcomes in life.[1] Luckily, it has been demonstrated that providing an enriched environment for a child, epitomized by simple care and stimulation activities—play, responsive care and feeding, provision of age-appropriate toys and learning materials, having conversations and telling stories to children—can have life-altering benefits. Continue reading »

Webinar: Prospects and Challenges for Newborn Health in Latin America and the Caribbean

In recent decades, the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region has made ​​significant progress in reducing child mortality, however, equal progress in reducing newborn deaths, in LAC and globally, lags behind. Inequities between and within countries, and across the LAC region, persist.

On November 5th at 1pm EST a live webinar titled, “Prospects and challenges for newborn health in Latin America”, will present recent newborn health figures in LAC and provide a forum for participants on how best to promote newborn health in the region. Intended for health professionals and policymakers, this webinar is the third of a series hosted by the USAID ASSIST Project; next Wednesday’s session will be held in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the LAC Newborn Alliance. Continue reading »

PATH’s innovative nutrition work featured at the Experimental Biology Conference

EB conf photoIn April 2014, scientific findings from two PATH projects – the Mama Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa (Mama SASHA) project and the Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) project – were presented at the Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego, California. The conference is an annual meeting comprised of over 14,000 scientists from around the world and exhibitors representing six sponsoring societies and multiple guest societies. The conference brings together leading global nutrition scientists and public health nutrition practitioners. At the conference, the Mama SASHA and IYCN projects were highlighted in four oral presentations and four poster sessions (See list of abstracts captured below).

These two Kenyan-designed and tested innovations offer health facility, community, and household solutions to promote maternal, infant and child health, and nutrition: Continue reading »

Advocacy workshop in Ghana

In collaboration with The Maternal and Child Health Program (MCHIP), PATH’s Maternal/ Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) and Advocacy & Public Policy (APP) teams combined their areas of expertise to facilitate a three-day advocacy workshop in Accra, Ghana June 17-19. The workshop focused on scaling up the use of key lifesaving health commodities, particularly the three maternal health commodities, based on the 2012 recommendations of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities (UNComLSC) for Women and Children.

Photo: PATH

Photo: PATH

The advocacy workshop brought together health programmers and advocates to develop advocacy strategies targeted at changing policies and increasing resource allocations in support of expanded access to these commodities, services, and programs. In Ghana, the twenty-four participants included representatives from Ghana Health Services (GHS), the Ministry of Health, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), and USAID, among others. Continue reading »