Alive and Thrive is a 5-year (2009-2014), 3-country initiative to combat global child undernutrition through the promotion of appropriate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices, using Vietnam, Ethiopia and Bangladesh as demonstration countries. Just like IFPRI’s PM2A research, this initiative is built on evidence showing the importance of good nutrition in the first 2 years of life. The Alive and Thrive program implements large-scale interventions and policy awareness initiatives to address the behavioral, social and policy barriers to optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices in these three countries.
IFPRI’s role in this program, which is led by the Academy for Educational Development (AED), is to evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of integrated approaches to improving IYCF practices and childhood stunting. Impact evaluations in all three countries uses rigorous impact evaluation methods, including randomization where possible, and process evaluations which will provide insight into how program impacts are achieved. In addition, evaluation research in all three countries will include research on policy processes, since one of the major objectives of the Alive and Thrive programs is to influence the policy environment for optimal IYCF practices.