International Programs

Use the links below to learn more about each International Program.

A2Z: The USAID Micronutrient and Child Blindness Project
A2Z: The USAID Micronutrient and Child Blindness Project consolidates, builds, and expands on USAID's long-term investment in micronutrients, child survival, and nutrition. A2Z takes proven interventions to scale, introduces innovation, expands services, and builds sustainable programs to increase the use of key micronutrient and blindness interventions to improve child and maternal health. With work in vitamin A supplementation of children, newborn vitamin A, food fortification, maternal and child anemia control, monitoring and evaluation, and health systems strengthening, A2Z's focus countries have included Bangladesh, Cambodia, the East, Central and Southern Africa region, India, Nepal, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and West Bank.

Africa's Health in 2010
AED supports USAID's Africa Bureau in contributing to policy change related to health and nutrition in Africa and in strengthening African institutions. The nutrition team works with the U.S. government, international agencies, and African regional institutions and the country ministries with which they work to improve policies and programs addressing nutritional and food security problems. Priority activities include working with African partners to integrate and strengthen the delivery of Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) into maternal, newborn, and child health programs; to promote policy and program links between nutrition and food security; and to address the nutritional and food security needs of orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Alive & Thrive (A&T)
Alive & Thrive is a five-year initiative to improve infant and young child nutrition by increasing rates of exclusive breastfeeding and improving complementary feeding practices. A&T aims to reach more than 16 million children under two years of age in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam by working through household, community, health facility, and mass media interventions. The objectives of the initiative are to create delivery models in three distinct learning environments that improve infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices at scale and that can be replicated in other parts of the world; to document impact, cost, and cost-effectiveness of IYCF interventions; to foster innovation through a grants program; and to disseminate lessons learned from A&T models, innovations, operations research, and evaluations.

Commercial Sector Analysis for Expanding Fortified Complementary Foods
AED joined with McKinsey & Company to conduct a commercial sector analysis for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to assess the prospects for expanding the supply and use of high-quality foods and products for young children. This involved market research at the global and country level in India, China, South Africa, Senegal, and Nigeria with pharmaceutical firms, consumer packaged goods companies, consumer groups, government, and NGOs. The goal is to identify the commercial barriers to entry and incentives required for the introduction of fortified complementary foods and products aimed at improving the nutritional status of 6-24 month old children among C and D class consumer groups. AED looked at a range of issues including consumer awareness, price/affordability, potential market size, R&D product development, distribution, and partnership prospects with the public/non-profit sector.

Ethiopia Child Survival Project - Essential Services for Health in Ethiopia (ESHE)
The ESHE project, funded by USAID, aimed to improve family health in Ethiopia. AED carried out nutrition and behavior change program activities under the project, including working with newly established volunteer health promoters at the community level. Volunteers were trained to promote "Essential Nutrition Actions" such as breastfeeding and the use of iodized salt. The ESHE Project reached an estimated 6.5 million direct beneficiaries in 60 focus woredas (20 in each of three target regions).

Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA) and Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance II (FANTA-2)
FANTA provided technical assistance to NGOs and national governments in nutrition and food security program design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation as well as nutrition and food security policy and strategy development. Through production of guidelines and program tools, in-country technical assistance, program review, and targeted evaluation and operations research, FANTA strengthened the impact of nutrition and food security programs and policies on food insecure and malnourished populations. The project, funded by USAID, advanced food security knowledge by publishing and disseminating state-of-the-art technical information, including best practices and standards, and supported the development and testing of innovative interventions to prevent and treat malnutrition, such as community-based treatment of severe acute malnutrition in children and nutritional care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS.

FANTA-2 works to improve nutrition and food security policies, strategies and programs through technical support to USAID and its partners, including host country governments, international organizations, and NGO implementing partners. Focus areas for technical assistance include maternal and child health and nutrition, HIV and other infectious diseases, food security and livelihood strengthening, and emergency and reconstruction. FANTA-2 develops and adapts approaches to support the design and quality implementation of field programs, while building on field experience to improve and expand the evidence base, methods, and global standards for nutrition and food security programming. The project is funded by USAID and managed by the Bureau for Global Health (GH).

Ghana Sustainable Change Project (GSCP)
The purpose of the five-year USAID project was to improve the health of Ghanaians through the use of state-of-the-art communications and social marketing initiatives. The project supported nutrition as an integral aspect of all of the USAID mission's health programs - including child survival, maternal and reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS. One of the project's priority interventions was timely and appropriate breastfeeding. GSCP had four overall objectives: 1) build capacity within the public and private sector to support effective behavior change activities; 2) develop behavior change strategies that used mass media campaigns and supported community activities to reinforce desired health behaviors; 3) strengthen the ability of government officials and policymakers to advocate for programs and activities that create positive behavior change; and 4) use social marketing to promote products and services that support positive behavior change. In the later years of the project, consistent with USAID's portfolio realignment, the project foci were changed to: 1) capacity building to strengthen public and private capacity for targeted BCC at district level and below; 2) targeted BCC activities - for example, developing and implementing targeted BCC activities in family planning and reproductive health, maternal and child health, malaria, and other public health threats, with an emphasis on interpersonal communication at the district level and below; 3) targeted HIV/AIDS communication support, including developing HIV/AIDS communications materials, activities, and programs for most-at-risk populations (MARPs) for use by USAID's HIV/AIDS program, Strengthening HIV/AIDS Response Partnerships (SHARP); and 4) social marketing support to strengthen and expand social marketing of family planning commodities which support sustainable, positive behavior change. AED worked in 37 districts, located in seven of the 10 regions of the country.

Health Communication Partnership (HCP)
The Health Communication Partnership (HCP), funded by USAID, promoted healthy societies by advancing the field of health communication, using proven and evidence-based strategies, and developing new approaches. HCP addressed HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, maternal health, child survival, nutrition, and infectious diseases (e.g. malaria, tuberculosis). At both individual and societal levels, the project advocated for supportive environments, effective health services, and health literacy. It focused on three domains of communication intervention: individuals and communities, health services, and social and political environments. AED led the HCP program in Ethiopia, which included a focus on infant and young child feeding. AED also designed and launched a "health competent schools" initiative in Jordan, which included activities to engage middle school-aged children in adopting healthy nutrition habits and prevent obesity.

Infant and Young Child Feeding Program (LINKAGES)
LINKAGES, a worldwide program funded by USAID, promoted five health-related practices: exclusive breastfeeding, timely and appropriate complementary child feeding, safe infant feeding in communities affected by HIV, better maternal nutrition, and the Lactational Amenorrhea Method as a safe, short-term, modern method of birth spacing. Over ten years, LINKAGES documented increases in the timely initiation of breastfeeding after delivery and exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life. For example, in Madagascar between 2000 and 2005, timely initiation of breastfeeding increased from 32% to 68% and exclusive breastfeeding for infants 0 < 6 months increased from 42% to 70%.

Kenya Nutrition and HIV Program (NHP)
NHP works to strengthen nutritional therapy in and out of hospital settings. The project targets malnourished people living with HIV (PLHIV), positive pregnant and post-partum women, and orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC). The project trains health providers to deliver nutrition services as an adjunct in care and treatment of HIV and AIDS; catalyses local capacity development to produce supplemental and therapeutic foods by supporting private sector partners in the production of food formulations; and encourages the development of a supply chain system for nutritional commodities. NHP also collaborates with public and private partners to address the disconnection between knowledge and action, and between evidence and practice, specifically when addressing food security, the impact of food by prescription, and the effectiveness of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). NHP collaborates with Kenya’s National AIDS/STD Control Program (NASCOP) in developing health worker materials required for training and for clinical use as well as take-home materials for clients. By 2013, NHP will ensure that staff at 250 public and mission hospitals and their satellite sites offer food by prescription along with nutrition education and counseling as an HIV care and treatment component.

Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Electronic Discussion Forum
ProNut-HIV is a collaborative effort between the AED Center for Nutrition and the AED-SATELLIFE Center for Health Information and Technology. The electronic forum shares up-to-date information, knowledge, and experience in nutrition and HIV/AIDS. The focus of the discussion group is nutritional care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). The goal is to enhance positive living by promoting constructive dialogue between PLWHA, front-line workers, researchers, HIV/AIDS specialists, program managers, and policy makers. The expected outcomes of the discussion group are improved access to state-of-the-art information on nutritional care and support for PLWHA for professionals in the field, motivation of front-line workers to increase and improve nutritional care and support for PLWHA, empowerment of PLWHA through the experience of others living positively with HIV through proper nutrition, and consensus among front-line workers and policy makers on the importance of nutritional care and support for PLWHA.

Point-of-Use Water Disinfection and Zinc Treatment Project (POUZN)
The project, funded by USAID, is designed to prevent diarrhea by introducing point-of-use water disinfection and to reduce the severity and length of diarrheal episodes with zinc and ORS treatment. In India and Tanzania, POUZN is engaging the commercial and public sectors to make both products widely available at an affordable price. For zinc, this means accelerating registration as an over-the-counter treatment and building partnerships with local pharmaceutical firms to build distribution networks that reach at-risk populations and engage NGOs in getting the products to at-risk populations. A second focus is conducting large-scale public education campaigns and educating health providers on the new protocols for diarrhea prevention and treatment.

PROFILES is a participatory advocacy process that uses interactive computer-based models to project the functional consequences of poor nutrition on important development outcomes such as mortality, morbidity, fertility, school performance, and labor productivity. PROFILES also estimates the costs and benefits of nutrition programs in a given country. Created to communicate with policymakers, PROFILES offers a way to engage national leaders in policy dialogue about public health nutrition. PROFILES encourages program planners to examine potential payoffs of alternative program approaches. By learning to manipulate models and by becoming familiar with the supporting scientific literature, users gain an appreciation of the different functional consequences of malnutrition and the role of various interventions. Since 1992, when PROFILES was first introduced in Bangladesh, the process has been used in 34 countries to support specific policy changes.

REDUCE and ALIVE are participatory advocacy processes based on interactive computer models that estimate the impact, in a specific region, of poor maternal and newborn care (respectively) on maternal and infant deaths; on short-and long-term illnesses and disabilities; and on economic productivity. REDUCE and ALIVE include an emphasis on nutritional factors such as maternal nutrition and anemia, low birthweight, and breastfeeding. Since 2000, REDUCE and REDUCE-ALIVE have been used by two regional teams (West Africa and sub-Saharan Africa) and 16 country teams to effect changes in policies, programs, and funding levels.

Speak for the Child
Speak for the Child (SFC) supports families and communities in Kenya to improve the health, nutrition, education, and psychosocial care of young children orphaned and affected by HIV/AIDS. The program serves approximately 96,000 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) age 0-12 years. SFC works with 43 experienced community-based organizations (CBO's) which serve as key partners in the delivery of services and support to children.  Through field-tested, intensive, and ongoing training and monitoring, SFC insures that a comprehensive, multi-sectoral program of orphan care is delivered and CBO capacity to administer, implement, and monitor the program is strengthened.  In collaboration with CBO's and government ministries, SFC provides mentors and support groups for caregivers; health clinic and pharmacy vouchers; health support commodities; access to education; livelihood support; legal protection training; HIV/TB treatment support; and food security training.

The Capable Partners Program (CAP)
The Capable Partners Program (CAP) in South Africa integrates maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding (IYCF) state-of-the-art practices into prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV service delivery at primary health care facilities and community clinics in nine priority sites in all provinces. The program includes: advocacy for integrated PMTCT programming; technical assistance to the National Department of Health on policy, guidelines, and national training curriculum; and training of facility and community health providers in PMTCT, counseling and negotiation skills, and social and behavior change communication. CAP uses a five-step process that addresses effective use of site data, national policies, and site-specific challenges to design an integrated program in conjunction with health facility and community providers. It also provides supportive follow-up with monitoring and evaluation for sustainability and using results and lessons learned for program improvement. This is a joint project between the Global Health, Population and Nutrition Group and the Social Change Group at AED.

The Global Nutrition Advocacy and Messages on Nutrition Project
The Global Nutrition Advocacy and Messages on Nutrition project offered communication support to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) during an important period in advocacy for international nutrition programs. During 2009 and 2010, nutrition advocates undertook studies and activities to improve coordination among national agencies and international organizations, especially as they communicate with policymakers and donors worldwide about the urgency of supporting infant and young child feeding. AED-ARTS and its partners, GMMB, Inc. and Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc., developed a set of core messages and framework for coordinated action related to global nutrition priorities. This project coordinated closely with a short-term communications research project conducted by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and AED, resulting in a report to the World Bank, “A Communications Strategy to Mobilize Nutrition Investment.”

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