India is home to about a third of all global cases of chronic undernutrition. Almost 40 per cent of children under the age of five exhibit stunted growth. As a whole India’s rates of undernutrition have improved significantly – rates of stunting declined from 48 to 39 percent from 2005-06 to 2013-15.Yet the country still lags behind in terms of achieving the World Health Assembly’s targets for stunting. Across India, there is tremendous variability in nutrition outcomes; state-level analyses are critical to understand the complexities of undernutrition in the country.
Over the past two decades, state governments in India have instituted a large number of programmes across a number of sectors that seek to address the strikingly high levels of undernutrition seen in most Indian states. The underlying causes of undernutrition are complex; therefore, to address and ameliorate undernutrition effectively requires that political will exists and that the government coordinates efforts and actions across multiple departments.
R4D partnered with Amaltas Consulting and UNICEF-India to document the evolution of the State Nutrition Missions in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Through this work, we documented the history of the Missions including drivers of success and lessons learned.
Based on our analysis, we identified five critical enablers and five key activities that contributed to the success of the Nutrition Missions in these two states. These enabling factors and activities are described in the documentation reports with examples from each state. Cross-cutting themes that emerged across states were used to generate policy recommendations for states considering adopting the State Nutrition Mission approach. Download the Policy Brief at the download link above, and read the state studies by clicking the links below.