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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

mNutrition: Addressing hidden hunger through mobile messaging

One in three people in the developing world suffer from ‘hidden hunger’, or micronutrient deficiency, due to a lack of information on proper nutrition. This is a major cause of illness, poor growth, reduced productivity and impaired cognitive development. To help combat the problem, CABI and its partners in the DFID mNutrition initiative are developing content for a mobile phone-based messaging service aimed at increasing knowledge of nutrition and health within communities in 14 countries.

Project Overview

So, what's the problem

‘Hidden hunger’ or micronutrient deficiency is a major cause of illness, stunting growth, reducing productivity and impairing cognitive development. Poor access to agricultural and health information is a major barrier to rural communities adopting best nutritional practises, particularly for women and vulnerable groups in marginalized areas.  

What is this project doing?

GSMA, with support from DFID, is running the mNutrition initiative which targets improvements in the nutrition outcomes of three million people across 12 countries in Africa and South Asia. CABI, as a world leader in knowledge management, is leading the Global Content work stream.

The CABI team and its content consortium (comprising Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Oxfam Great Britain and BMJ are developing nutrition content for mobile phone-based messaging services in all 12 countries. We are working with Local Content Partners (LCPs) to develop their capacity and build sustainable content development models.

The mobile services will be run by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in each country and will provide agriculture and health-based information to help target communities improve their nutritional status. By bridging GSMA’s existing mHealth and mAgri programmes, mNutrition aims to increase nutrition knowledge to achieve optimal foetal and young child nutrition and development.

Results

Country specific content frameworks have been developed to pinpoint the key nutritional issues, interventions, crops and livestock that can be supported through mobile messaging. Localized mobile-ready content is being produced and managed by LCPs, in line with the frameworks and which follow a rigorous content production process including Quality Assurance and is supported by the consortium. 

To aid the LCPs and to help build capacity to support the production of high quality nutrition content, CABI and the BMJ have developed training materials and a curriculum. Technical training for the LCP’s has been carried out in the form of workshops in each country by ILRI who also offered continued support, including online learning modules, throughout the content development.   

Content has been completed in Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania. Anniversary Workshops have been delivered in Malawi and Bangladesh and will also be held in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Pakistan by the end of 2016. These workshops have furthered content development and sustainability plans for ongoing work. The four remaining countries – Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Kenya – are underway with content development for existing mobile services. 

Further to this, an open access Nutrition Knowledge Bank has been developed by the team, which will be released at the end of 2016. The Knowledge Bank forms a repository of country-specific nutrition, health and agriculture factsheets and mobile messages produced by the LCPs. Data is searchable by country and information domain and the Knowledge Bank provides content available for repurposing and future projects. The Knowledge Bank will retain the ability to incorporate content from countries outside of the project remit.

The team

Project Manager

Staff image of Charlotte Jordan

Charlotte Jordan  Nutrition Project Manager

CABI
Nosworthy Way
Wallingford
Oxfordshire
OX108DE
United Kingdom
T +44 (0)1491 829318
E c.jordan@cabi.org

Project Manager

Staff image of Morvah George

Morvah George  Nutrition Project Coordinator

CABI
Nosworthy Way
Wallingford
Oxfordshire
OX108DE
United Kingdom
T 01491 829196
E m.george@cabi.org

Project team

Staff image of Sharbendu Banerjee

Sharbendu Banerjee

Global Director, Mobile

Staff image of Fook-Wing Chan

Fook-Wing Chan

IT Specialist

Staff image of Krishna Sannigrahi

Krishna Sannigrahi

Content Manager - Nutrition

Staff image of Nitesh Maan

Nitesh Maan

Head of IT/Mobile Platforms

Staff image of Lucy Karanja

Lucy Karanja

Content Manager

Staff image of Daniel Karanja

Daniel Karanja

Deputy Director, Development, Africa

Staff image of Henry Mibei

Henry Mibei

Operations Manager Mobile, Africa

Staff image of Sudhanshu Jain

Sudhanshu Jain

Staff image of Sunita Bhatia

Sunita Bhatia

Country

  • Sri Lanka
  • Myanmar
  • Zambia
  • Nigeria
  • Ghana
  • Uganda
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Bangladesh
  • Pakistan

Duration

  • Start: 01/05/2014
  • End: 31/05/2017

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