POSHAN is a 4-year initiative which aims to build evidence on effective actions for nutrition and support the use of evidence in decision-making. It is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led by IFPRI in India in collaboration with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK.
The persistence of undernutrition in the face of India’s impressive economic growth is of enormous concern. Although it is now clear that direct nutrition interventions must be widely delivered in order to achieve rapid reductions in undernutrition, in India less than 55% of mothers and children receive any of the necessary health and nutrition interventions. There are three critical issues underlying this: the multiplicity of actors and processes; the divergence of opinion on how best to deliver critical interventions; and the lack of coherent and effective policy engagement mechanisms. Within this context, successful policy dialogue, appropriate policy choices, and effective program action will require transformational thinking coupled with the engagement of numerous players. Although examples exist of engagement processes to move thinking and consensus forward, few processes or networks reach across communities or cut across from national to state level.
POSHAN is working to crystallize the evidence base for action on nutrition in India, bring diverse stakeholders together and actively facilitate dialogue, evidence-building, learning and consensus building, with the goal of moving knowledge into practice in diverse contexts within India. POSHAN will build on existing initiatives, action networks, consortia and coalitions, with the primary goal of strengthening evidence-based dialogue and action. POSHAN has two major objectives: (1) Analyze direct and indirect nutrition-relevant interventions to generate knowledge on optimal approaches to address major bottlenecks to improve maternal and child nutrition outcomes in India; (2) Mobilize evidence-based and actionable knowledge to inform policy formulation and support program planning for nutrition at the national level and in 3-4 key states.
POSHAN aims to ensure greater attention to evidence of impact and operational success, and create demand for more evidence-based, successful programming for improved nutrition.
To read about POSHAN's strategy for meeting its objectives, click here to down load the POSHAN Strategy Note.