MIYCN and Hygiene

An Indian woman feeds her young child

In their seminal framework of the causes of undernutrition, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) identified three underlying causes of undernutrition: inadequate care and feeding practices, household food insecurity, and an unhealthy household environment and inadequate health services. All are behavior related, making behavior change paramount to the prevention of stunting and anemia.

To frame SPRING’s work in SBCC for maternal, infant, and young child nutrition (MIYCN), we conducted a review of SBCC strategies and theories, as well as a systematic literature review exploring the effectiveness of SBCC approaches in changing priority MIYCN practices, which were drawn from The Lancet’s 2008 and 2013 Maternal and Child Nutrition Series, the WHO’s Essential Nutrition Actions document (2013), the WHO’s e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions, and UNICEF’s report Improving Child Nutrition: The Achievable Imperative for Global Progress. SPRING considers certain hygiene practices to be of critical importance to nutrition outcomes and promotes behaviors related to handwashing—at a minimum—for all of our MIYCN activities.

SPRING promotes improved MIYCN and hygiene at every level of the ecological model, including systems, national policies and strategies, community, household, and individual levels. SPRING has been directly involved with developing government-led nutrition and SBCC strategies in a number of countries, health systems capacity building for nutrition, and community-led efforts to promote MIYCN and hygiene. SPRING has also spearheaded a multi-year engagement with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health and UNICEF to evaluate the national adaptation of the Community Infant and Young Child Feeding (C-IYCF) Counselling Package that is being scaled up in Kajuru LGA.


Mariam Sy, SPRING/Senegal Nutrition Advisor, holds a microphone on stage in both hands and addresses the crowd gathered.
May 2017
SPRING/Senegal co-organized a social mobilization event in Dinguiraye to raise awareness on how environmental hygiene can prevent malaria.
One of the bands stands outside in a courtyard facing the crowd that wraps around them.
Apr 2017
SPRING/Kyrgyz Republic held concerts in townships of Jalalabad and Naryn oblasts to promote nutrition and WASH.
U.S. Ambassador and USAID Mission Director Visit a SPRING/Bangladesh Farmer Nutrition School
Dec 2016
A senior U.S. government and USAID delegation visited a SPRING/Bangladesh Farmer Nutrition School (FNS) in December.