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New Program to Address Bangladesh’s Persistent Nutrition Challenges, Improve Empowerment of Women and Adolescents

Abt to Manage $23 Million Feed the Future Activity

ROCKVILLE, MD – Abt Global will undertake a major program to improve Bangladesh’s nutrition and sanitation and the social and economic status of women and adolescents. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the five-year, $23 million USAID/Bangladesh Feed the Future Bangladesh Nutrition Activity (BNA) is a cooperative agreement co-designed in an intensive 19-month process.  The program’s objectives are to:

1. Improve the nutrition and health of children under 5, pregnant and lactating women and adolescents

2. Improve the social and economic empowerment of women and adolescents

3. Increase adoption of improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) behaviors

Abt will work with local partners on a two-pronged approach. Our team will catalyze sustainable improvements in nutrition and WASH behaviors by integrating social and behavior change (SBC) approaches and market development strategies. This approach will increase local market access to and demand for nutritious foods and quality WASH products to sustain outcomes long after the BNA work ends. It also will strengthen the role that women and adolescents play as decision-makers and change agents and improve their nutrition and WASH outcomes.

BNA will draw on Abt’s cross-sectoral capabilities in agriculture and nutrition and SBC. Our interventions will include a mix of direct behavior change communications for consumers—including social marketing, environmental nudges and product design—to reach targeted audiences and sustainably improve nutrition and WASH behaviors. To develop supply and demand for nutritious foods and WASH products, we will work with market actors to strengthen marketing strategies and customer linkages, build capacity and skills, support creation of sustainable networks and strengthen supply chains. Throughout, Abt will boost female and adolescent empowerment by facilitating income generation for them and creating social support to encourage behavior change. We will also incorporate innovative rapid-cycle evaluations to enhance learning, adaptation and effectiveness.

BNA is the product of more than a year and a half of close collaboration involving Abt, our partners and technical experts from USAID/Bangladesh and USAID/Washington. The group designed a program that addresses Bangladesh’s persistent nutrition challenges. The result is an innovative, ambitious effort to generate significant learning on market-based approaches to improving nutrition and WASH outcomes.

Abt partners include Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Friends in Village Development Bangladesh, Jagorani Chakra Foundation, iDE, and the International Potato Center.

About Abt Global
Abt Global is an engine for social impact, dedicated to moving people from vulnerability to security. Harnessing the power of data and our experts’ insights, we provide research, consulting and technical services globally in the areas of health, environmental and social policy, technology and international development.

Christine Ohresser-Joumard
(301) 347-5747

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