To share challenges and lessons learned from addressing the complexity of developing and supporting an infant and young child feeding (IYCF) policy and regulatory environment, harnessing partnerships to create collective impact.
This paper includes a case-study of how partnerships across sectors resulted in policy changes harnessing global mechanisms such as the Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition Working Group and the Home Fortification Technical Advisory Group.
Convening scientific experts and establishing consensus around existing evidence and best practices, has led to updated and aligned global recommendations and standards on IYCF. This helped create the enabling environment for scale-up of IYCF solutions for low-income families, including market-based approaches, while at the same time setting the boundaries for private sector in marketing and promotion activities. Specific examples include the development of guidelines for home fortification of complementary foods with multiple micronutrient powders (MNP’s) and formulating high-quality fortified complementary foods, updating the Codex Alimentarius for Formulated Complementary Foods, as well as developing guidelines for applying the BMS Code on marketing of complementary foods.
To create coherent policy and regulatory environments at global and national levels, stakeholder engagement can significantly benefit from collective processes fostered by a backbone organisation. More upstream investment in effective policy setting is critical to unlock sustainable solutions to reducing global malnutrition levels.