Publications & Reports

Addressing Child Undernutrition : Evidence Review

Comrie-Thomson L, Davis J, Renzaho A, Toole M


This evidence review provides an overview of current evidence-based approaches to addressing child undernutrition and how they may apply to the Australian aid program. Part I provides an up-to-date overview of the evidence for the ‘proximal’ (direct) and ‘distal’ (indirect) risk factors for child undernutrition, and the effectiveness of tested ‘nutrition-specific’ (direct) and ‘nutrition-sensitive’ (indirect) interventions to reduce child undernutrition. Evidence on the costeffectiveness of these interventions is also included. These terms are explained in the ‘Explanation of technical terms’ and further elaborated later in this report. Part II provides an overview of contemporary policy thinking and approaches to addressing childhood undernutrition by development partners, including multilateral organisations, global frameworks and alliances, bilateral donors, and developing country governments. Reference is also made to contemporary nutrition research and programming work by non-government organisations. Part III summarises data on child nutrition indicators in countries relevant to the Australian aid program. Indicators have been selected to capture type I and type II undernutrition, low birthweight, and the proximal and distal risk factors for child undernutrition. Data for countries most relevant to the Australian aid program are interpreted in supplementary text. Data on overweight and obesity in children are not readily available for most countries of interest to the Australian aid program; however, a global and regional overview is provided.


  • Journal: Report for Office of Development Effectiveness, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government
  • Published: 01/03/2014