Improving the environment for mothers and children to thrive
iDE works to develop a supportive environment for communities to have access and availability of nutritious foods, access to sanitation, and information to support families to make healthy choices around food consumption.
A key indicator in nutrition looks at height for age: 144 million children under the age of six are stunted today because of chronic undernutrition, which can have a lifelong impact. Stunted growth is not just due to a lack of food. Good nutrition begins pre-conception and is a product of environmental factors including clean water, hygiene, and sanitation as well as access to a safe, high-quality diet for both mother and child.
iDE takes both household- and community-level approaches to improving nutrition of vulnerable women and children, with a particular focus on the critical 1,000-day window from conception through a child’s second year, employing proven nutrition and hygiene behavior change models.
iDE’s market ecosystems approach promotes sustainable incomes and livelihoods, lifting families out of poverty, measurably improving their access to high-quality foods, and ultimately making them more resilient to shocks and stresses. We capitalize on our high-impact successes within WASH and nutrition-sensitive agriculture, promoting a supportive business environment for producers and entrepreneurs to deliver more, better, and safer nutritious foods and goods. We improve supply chains to ensure communities have better availability to safe, nutritious foods or biofortified crops; support entrepreneurs to target messaging around nutrition; and ensure the market has a supply of goods related to sanitation including toilets and soaps. Nutrition marketing conveys critical information that helps farmers, merchants, and mothers alike to adopt positive practices all along the value chain.
By understanding the market ecosystem (i.e., the value chains, market actors, and the complex interactions that shape the food supply) and the food systems environment (i.e., social and cultural norms that shape dietary choices, production practices, processing and distribution of foods, and intrahousehold food allocation), we can leverage the complex drivers of supply and demand for nutritious food. Utilizing a Human-Centered Design process allows us to effectively target where interventions can be most appropriate given the local context and identify where iDE is best positioned to support sustainable change.