Low birth weight in Papua New Guinea is a killer. Help us research what is causing low birth weight in PNG so that we can stop it.
Stunting, or chronic undernutrition defined as a low height-for-age index, is a well-established risk factor for poor child development with numerous studies showing associations between stunting and motor and cognitive development. Improving maternal and child nutrition has positive health, education, economic and gender outcomes. These benefits were consistent with the priority investments of the Australian aid program as outlined in June 2014.
Undernutrition contributes to between one-third and one-half of all deaths in children under five years of age. In 2011, 165 million children were stunted – a global prevalence of 26%. While the highest rates of stunting are in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, some countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific have very high rates, including Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Laos, Myanmar, and Solomon Islands. Child undernutrition rates are particularly high in the Indo-Pacific region, where 90 per cent of the Australian aid program was focused as at 2014.
Australia has formally recognised the importance of increasing its response to the problem of child undernutrition, signing up to the ‘Scaling Up Nutrition’ global movement in 2013.
The purpose of this evaluation was to provide an evidence-based analysis of how the Australian aid program addressed child undernutrition, and to identify opportunities for improvement. The evaluation was commissioned to contribute to organisational learning by informing the development and/or strengthening of relevant policy, both for the aid program as a whole, and in partner countries where child undernutrition has been a significant development challenge.
The evaluation comprised three main exercises:
1 May 2013 - 30 April 2015
Findings from the evaluation have provided guidance to the strategic approach of the Australian aid program in addressing child undernutrition.
The Health Resource Facility;
Farida Fleming – evaluation consultant;
Office of Development Effectiveness, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade