Edward Frongillo:

Document Type



BACKGROUND: To address gaps in coverage and quality of nutrition services, Alive & Thrive (A&T) strengthened the delivery of maternal nutrition interventions through government antenatal care (ANC) services in Uttar Pradesh, India. The impact evaluation of the A&T interventions compared intensive ANC (I-ANC) with standard ANC (S-ANC) areas and found modest impacts on micronutrient supplementation, dietary diversity, and weight-gain monitoring. OBJECTIVES: This study examined intervention-specific program impact pathways (PIPs) and identified reasons for limited impacts of the A&T maternal nutrition intervention package. METHODS: We used mixed methods: frontline worker (FLW) surveys (n = ∼500), counseling observations (n = 407), and qualitative in-depth interviews with FLWs, supervisors, and block-level staff (n = 59). We assessed 7 PIP domains: training and materials, knowledge, supportive supervision, supply chains, data use, service delivery, and counseling. RESULTS: Exposure to training improved in both I-ANC and S-ANC areas with more job aids used in I-ANC compared with S-ANC (90% compared with 70%), but gaps remained for training content and refresher trainings. FLWs' knowledge improvement was higher in I-ANC than S-ANC (22-36 percentage points), but knowledge of micronutrient supplement benefits and recommended foods was insufficient (90%), but supportive supervision was limited by staff vacancies and competing work priorities. Supplies of iron-folic acid and calcium supplements were low in both areas (30-50% stock-outs). Use of monitoring data during review meetings was higher in I-ANC than S-ANC (52% compared with 36%) but was constrained by time, understanding, and data quality. Service provision improved in both I-ANC and S-ANC areas, but counseling on supplement benefits and weight-gain monitoring was low (30-40%). CONCLUSIONS: Systems-strengthening efforts improved maternal nutrition interventions in ANC, but gaps remained. Taking an intervention-specific perspective to the PIP analysis in this package of services was critical to understand how common and specific barriers influenced overall program impact.

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APA Citation

Kachwaha, S., Nguyen, P., Tran, L., Avula, R., Young, M., & Ghosh, S. et al. (2021). Specificity Matters: Unpacking Impact Pathways of Individual Interventions within Bundled Packages Helps Interpret the Limited Impacts of a Maternal Nutrition Intervention in India. The Journal Of Nutrition, 152(2), 612-629.