Improving maternal and child nutrition and health through multi-sectoral resource optimisation

Undernutrition leads to approximately 159 million stunted children and 3 million (45%) child deaths per year.

There are six nutrition targets in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals:

  • A 40% reduction in the number of stunted children;
  • A 50% reduction of anaemia in women of reproductive age;
  • A 30% reduction in low birth weight;
  • No increase in childhood overweight;
  • An increase in exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months to above 50%; and
  • A reduction in childhood wasting to less than 5%.

Optima Nutrition is a quantitative tool that can provide practical advice to governments to assist with the allocation of current or projected budgets across nutrition programs. The model contains a geospatial component to determine funding allocations that minimize stunting, wasting, anaemia or under-five mortality at both the national and regional levels.

The model has a flexible intervention set that includes a variety of vitamin supplementation programs, infant and young child feeding education, treatment of severe acute malnutrition, treatment and prevention of diarrhoea, fortification of foods, water sanitation and hygiene (WASH), family planning and malaria prevention interventions.

What types of questions can Optima Nutrition answer?

  • How can a fixed budget be allocated across programs and geographical regions to minimize malnutrition and associated conditions?
  • Which programs and geographical regions should receive priority additional funding, if it were available?
  • How might trends in undernutrition change under different funding scenarios?
  • How close is a country likely to get to their nutrition targets:
    • with the current volume of funding, allocated according to current expenditure?
    • with the current volume of funding, reallocated optimally?
  • What is the minimum funding required, if allocated optimally, to meet the nutrition targets?