ACORN Nutrition Project - PNG

The 1,000-day period covering a woman’s pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life is a critical ‘window of opportunity’ for nutrition. Not only are women and children particularly nutritionally vulnerable during this time, but also maintaining good nutrition status throughout this window is a strong foundation for improved health and nutrition in later life.

Approximately half (46 per cent) of all children in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are stunted as a result of chronic undernutrition. This is comparable to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (45 per cent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (46 per cent) and India (48 per cent) and indicates a serious public health crisis.

The Government of PNG is providing increased support to action on child undernutrition. Yet there is limited information available about the determinants of child undernutrition in PNG to inform policy and program responses. This is particularly important in a country as geographically and culturally diverse as PNG, where determinants of child undernutrition are likely to be very regionally specific.

This project will identify and promote feasible, locally acceptable, scalable strategies that households and communities in the project area can use to protect child nutrition during the 1,000-day window. This will inform a regional and national response to child undernutrition in PNG.

This first year of the project will involve detailed scoping, design, partner engagement and baseline setting. Year two will involve the development and rigorous testing of locally acceptable and effective strategies, as well as the preparation of appropriate education materials, stakeholder engagement plans and other approaches to promote these strategies at scale. Year three will involve scale-up in the implementation of efforts to promote the tested strategies.


2016 – 2019


  • PNG Institute of Medical Research


  • DFAT
  • Australian Aid

Health Issue

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Liz Comrie-Thomson

Women's and Children's Health Specialist