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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.


The mNutrition project ended in 2017.

Within the course of the project, CABI and the content consortium, along with local content partners (LCPs), delivered country specific content frameworks to pinpoint the key nutritional issues, interventions, crops and livestock that can be supported through mobile messaging. Localized mobile-ready content was produced by LCPs, in line with the frameworks and which follow a rigorous content production process including Quality Assurance 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 developed training materials and a curriculum. Technical training for the LCPs was 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 process.

Content has been completed in all countries and integrated into at least one mobile service within each of the project countries.

For access to the mNutrition content, please contact us.

Project Manager

Charlotte Day

Project Manager

Nosworthy Way, Wallingford, OX10 8DE, UK