Measuring Infant and Young Child Complementary Feeding Practices: Indicators, Current Practice, and Research Gaps.
Sommaire de l'article
The publication of the WHO Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) indicators in 2008 equipped the nutrition and broader development community with an invaluable tool for measuring, documenting, and advocating for faster progress in improving these practices in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The indicators, with 5 of them focusing on complementary feeding (CF) practices, were originally designed for population level assessment, targeting, monitoring, and evaluation. This chapter takes stock of where we are with the existing CF indicators: it reviews how the indicators have been used, what we have learned, and what their strengths and limitations are, and it suggests a way forward. We find that the indicators have been used extensively for population level assessments and country comparisons, and to track progress. They have also been adopted by researchers in program impact evaluations and in research seeking to understand the determinants and consequences of poor CF practices for child growth and development outcomes. In addition to generating a wealth of knowledge and unveiling the severity of the global problem of poor CF practices in LMICs, the indicators have been an invaluable tool to raise awareness and call for urgent action on improving CF practices at scale. The indicators have strengths and limitations, which are summarized in this chapter. Although enormous progress has been achieved since the indicators were released in 2008, we feel it is time to reflect and revisit the CF indicators, improve them, develop new ones, and promote their appropriate use. Better indicators are critically important to stimulate action and investments in improving CF practices at scale.