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Tackling the drivers of child undernutrition in developing countries: what works and how should interventions be designed?

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1 Tackling the drivers of child undernutrition in developing countries: What works and how should interventions be designed? AAbbssttrraacctt The drivers of undernutrition in developing countries are poverty and social inequities. This paper presents the findings from a structured literature review of 58 controlled evaluations and studies in developing countries to assess what works and why in nutrition programming to address these drivers. The evaluations and studies were selected because they are methodologically sound, recent (reported within the last ten years), report on nutritional status, cover a wide range of interventions and are implemented by a range of different agencies. The findings showed that there are a range of indirect interventions that can reduce child undernutrition but for all these interventions context is all-important. It argues that efforts should now be directed more towards improving implementation at scale and provides a detailed discussion and analysis of the constraints to implementing and assessing effective programmes at the macro (national and global) meso (local government/district) and micro (individual/family/ household) levels and how these constraints can be addressed. Finally, the paper presents a detailed menu of areas for further research defining a range of questions that need to be explored. IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn Access to adequate food and nutrition is a basic human right and yet the global burden of child undernutrition is high driven by poverty and social inequities. The problem needs to be addressed urgently because the food, fuel and financial crises, coming together on top of climate changes, are threatening the livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries. Governments also need to pay more attention to nutrition because it is a crucial input for achieving the Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty and because nutrition is n

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