Unintended consequences of programmatic changes to infant and young child feeding practices in Bangladesh

Md Tariqujjaman, Mahfuzur Rahman, Sharmin Khan Luies, Gobinda Karmakar, Tahmeed Ahmed, Haribondhu Sarma*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    BRAC, an international development organization, implemented a home-fortification programme from 2014 to 2018 in Bangladesh. This study aimed to understand the unintended consequences of programmatic changes that occurred during the implementation of the programme on the prevalence of good infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices and other associated factors. We used pooled data from eight cross-sectional surveys and data from a series of qualitative investigations carried out as part of a mixed-methods evaluation approach. A total of 6,479 caregivers of children aged 6 to 23 months participated in the surveys. The prevalence of good IYCF practices increased from baseline (42.1%) to midline (45.3%), but it decreased at the endline survey (31.9%). Qualitative investigations identified several reasons for low IYCF practices at the programme level, such as the withdrawal of community health worker (CHW) incentives for promoting IYCF, providing incentives for the home-fortification of micronutrient powder (MNP) and changing the focus from IYCF promotion to MNP promotion. A multivariable generalized estimating equation model for pooled data revealed that caregivers were 28% (adjusted risk ratio [ARR]: 0.72, 95% CI [0.67, 0.78]) less likely to maintain good IYCF practices during the period when CHWs were not incentivized to promote IYCF compared to the period when CHWs were incentivized to promote it. The prevalence of good IYCF practices decreased from both baseline and midline to the endline survey due to the unintended consequences of the programmatic changes. An integrated intervention strategy to promote the home-fortification of MNP and IYCF could be helpful to avoid unintended negative consequences of programmatic changes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere13077
    JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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