Investigating market-based opportunities for the provision of nutritious and safe diets to prevent childhood stunting: A UKRI-GCRF action against stunting hub protocol paper

Gregory S. Cooper, Hilary Davies-Kershaw, Paula Dominguez-Salas, Umi Fahmida, Babacar Faye, Elaine Ferguson, Delia Grace, Barbara N. Häsler, Suneetha Kadiyala, Archana Konapur, Bharati Kulkarni, Bhagyalakshmi Chengat Prakashbabu, Indriya L. Pramesthi, Dominic Rowland, Kiruthika Selvaraj, Arienta R.P. Sudibya, Roger C. Tine, D. M.Dinesh Yadav, Nur L. Zahra, Bhavani ShankarClaire Heffernan

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background Inadequate access to affordable, safe, desirable and convenient nutrient-dense food is one of the underlying causes of child stunting. While targeted nutrition-sensitive interventions (eg, backyard 'nutri-gardens') may increase dietary diversity within farming households, such interventions have limited scalability across the wider food system where markets remain underdeveloped. This research aims to develop and assess market-based interventions for key nutrient-dense foods to help improve the diets of women and children in the first 1000 days of life. Methods Data collection uses four parallel approaches in each of the three study countries (India, Indonesia and Senegal). (1) A novel food environment tool will be developed to characterise the accessibility and affordability of nutrient-dense foods in the study countries. The tool will be validated through pretesting using cognitive interviewing and piloting in purposively sampled households, 10 (cognitive interviewing) and 30 (piloting) households in each country; (2) stakeholder interviews (eg, with producers, intermediaries and retailers) will be conducted to map out nutrition-sensitive entry points of key value chains (eg, animal-sourced foods), before hotspots of potential food safety hazards will be identified from food samples collected along the chains; (3) the Optifood and Agrifood tools will be used to identify foods that can address food system nutrient gaps and engage key stakeholders to prioritise market interventions to improve nutrition outcomes. Optifood and Agrifood parameters will be informed by publicly available data, plus interviews and focus groups with value chain stakeholders; (4) informed by the previous three approaches and a campaign of participatory 'group model building', a novel system dynamics model will evaluate the impact of alternative market-based solutions on the availability and affordability of nutrient-dense foods over time. Ethics and dissemination The study has received ethical approval in the United Kingdom, Senegal, Indonesia and India. Dissemination comprises peer-reviewed journals, international disciplinary conferences and multistakeholder dissemination workshops.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001671
JournalBMJ Paediatrics Open
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2024


  • Nutrition


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