Helen Keller Intl provides technical assistance to national governments and local partners in Africa and Asia-Pacific to improve the nutrition of infants and young children, as well as that of their mothers and other vulnerable family members. Our work aims to develop capacity of the nutrition workforce through practical and state-of-the-art training. Helen Keller Intl experts provide technical assistance in the areas of feeding infants and young children, adolescent nutrition, women’s nutrition, micronutrients, food fortification, and the care of sick and malnourished children. We also work to address the underlying causes of malnutrition through ‘agriculture for nutrition’ programs. Our field teams undertake research to identify effective program implementation that will reach people most in need and to support the development of policies and strategies that are evidence-based and foster improvements.
Nutrition for Developing Countries Textbook. Having drawn from the experiences of an international editor and writing team comprised of senior Helen Keller Intl staff with extensive field experience, Helen Keller Intl is proud to have helped publish in 2015 an update of the classic Oxford University Press textbook Nutrition for Developing Countries, which brings together essential and proven nutrition actions to address both under- and over-nutrition. The book won the British Medical Association’s distinction of ‘highly commended’ for the public health category in 2016. Read more about this action-oriented and practical book for nutrition field practitioners in Africa and Asia-Pacific.
Nutrition Training Materials for Front-line Workers. Helen Keller Intl’s nutrition experts teamed up with colleagues at sister organizations to write The Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) and Essential Hygiene Actions (EHA) training materials that our country program field teams use to improve the capacity of front-line workers (health workers and community workers) to deliver the right nutrition services and messages to the right people at the right time using all relevant program platforms, both within and outside the health system. The ENA/EHA training materials also include exercises to build participants’ skills in counseling and negotiation that support caregivers in adopting improved practices. These ENA/EHA training materials are available in both English and French.
Research on Infant and Young Child Feeding. Helen Keller International’s Assessment & Research on Child Feeding (ARCH) project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, works to improve infant and young child feeding policies, guidelines and practices through the generation of country-specific evidence and providing technical expertise. The ARCH project conducts research in Cambodia, Nepal, Senegal, and Indonesia on the availability, promotion, and consumption of foods consumed by infants and young children under two years of age, including breastmilk substitutes and commercially produced complementary and snack foods. Read about the ARCH project’s exciting results, which have been used by the World Health Organization, among other groups.
Agriculture for Nutrition Programs. Since 1988, when it was first piloted in Bangladesh, Helen Keller Intl has addressed malnutrition, household food insecurity and poverty through the development and implementation of our flagship Enhanced Homestead Food Production (EHFP) program, which focuses on women farmers to increase year-round availability and intake of diverse micronutrient-rich foods and promotes optimal nutrition and hygiene practices among poor households. Bangladesh continues to adapt the EHFP model to increase livelihoods assets, improve nutrition and health and strengthen resilience capacities through the SAPLING project. The cumulative number of families reached by Helen Keller Intl’s EHFP program today totals nearly 1.9 million across both Asia-Pacific and Africa. Learn more about the evolution and impact of Helen Keller Intl’s EHFP program model.
To implement the Asia-based EHFP program model in Africa, Helen Keller Intl’s field teams needed to test and adapt the model to the local needs and vastly different contexts found in African countries. With funding from Global Affairs Canada, Helen Keller Intl’s launched a research project called “Creating Homestead Agriculture for Nutrition and Gender Equity” (CHANGE) in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Tanzania. Read more about what we learned through the CHANGE project and its impact on the well-being of smallholder farmers – many times women – in one of the world’s most impoverished regions.