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IYCF-E policy and programme review template

Author: Save the Children and the Nutrition Technical Rapid Response Team (Tech RRT) with the support of the members of the IFE Core Group
Year: 2020
Resource type: Field tool


1.1 Background

Breastfeeding is the most cost-effective intervention to improve child survival. It is estimated that the scaling up of breastfeeding to a near universal level could prevent 823,000 annual deaths, or 13% of all deaths of children younger than 24 months. In addition, breastfeeding prevents almost 20,000 annual deaths from breast cancer.7

Suboptimal breastfeeding results in an increased risk for mortality in the first two years of life. Nonbreastfed infants are 14 times more likely to die from pneumonia and 10 times more likely to die of diarrhoea than breastfed children.8

Complementary feeding interventions have the potential to improve the nutritional status of children in low- and middle-income countries. Provision of appropriate complementary foods, with or without nutritional education, and maternal nutritional counselling alone, lead to significant increases in weight and height in children 6–24 months of age; these interventions can also significantly reduce the risk of stunting.9

There is a need to support infant and young child feeding (IYCF) in all humanitarian settings. Increased risks such as poor sanitation, disease outbreaks, donation of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS) including infant formula, overcrowding, stress, and trauma, mean that support for appropriate feeding is critical for child survival and the protection of infants and young children. IYCF in emergencies (IYCF-E) must be included as one of the first activities of a response and there is opportunity to integrate IYCF-E with other sectors. However, despite the evidence that appropriate and timely support of IYCF-E saves lives, it is rarely prioritised or adequately supported.

1.2 Guidance and tools

Different guidance and tools have been developed to support the assessment, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of infant and young child feeding during emergencies. The following are some of the recent IYCF/IYCF-E tools:

1.    Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) Capacity Mapping and Assessment Toolkit developed by UNICEF, Save the Children and Global Nutrition Cluster, 2020: The toolkit was developed to support country clusters and/or national nutrition in emergency mechanisms in identifying progress made in relation to IYCF-E and outstanding gaps.

2.    Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies IYCF-E checklist developed by the Global Nutrition Cluster Technical Alliance (previously GTAM), 2020: a tool designed to help each nutrition country cluster review and reflect on the service delivery aspect of the nutrition in emergency response. The checklist is to be used at least once a year by the nutrition cluster coordination country team – or any in-country nutrition in emergency mechanism – to self-assess the quality of the service delivery aspect of the nutrition response before, during and/or after a crisis.

3.    IYCF-E Individual Capacity Assessment Tool for Health and Nutrition Service Providers developed by Save the Children and the Technical Rapid Response Team (Tech RRT), November 2020: The tool was developed to help organisations understand what individual technical capacity exists and what types of capacity development activities are needed to provide high quality IYCF services during emergencies.

Whenever possible, it is recommended to conduct the IYCF-E capacity assessment at individual level as well as organisational level using the most relevant guidance. The capacity assessment/mapping can be done during the preparedness, response, and recovery stages. The findings should be included in a report that will be produced after the capacity assessment/mapping is carried out.

The purpose of the capacity assessment/mapping is to understand the capacity of government, partners, organisations and/or individuals to deliver quality IYCF services during emergency situations.

This Capacity assessment/mapping template was developed to help summarise and present important information and findings generated during the IYCF/IYCF-E capacity assessment/mapping, into a coherent, short, factual report.

Please Note: This document is not a strict guideline to be followed, it is a template with suggestions and instructions that can be adapted according to the needs, objectives, and the audience of the report.

1.3 When IYCF policy/programme review is recommended

IYCF-E capacity assessment/mapping is one of the six core priority assessment areas10 of the OG-IFE. An IYCF-E policy/programme review is recommended as part of the preparedness efforts at the national and subnational levels. It can also be done during and after an emergency response as a rapid exercise to guide response planning and/or evaluation. 


Original link to resource here.


7 Victora C. G., Aluisio J. D., Barros A. J. D., Franca G. V. A., Horten S., Krasevec J., … The Lancet Breastfeeding’s Series Group (2016). Breastfeeding in the 21st century: Epidemiology, mechanism, and lifelong effect. Lancet, 2016(387), 475–490- PubMed:

8 Black R. E., Allen L. H., Bhutta Z. A., et al. Maternal and child undernutrition: global and regional exposures and health consequences. The Lancet. 2008;371(9608):243–260. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(07)61690-0. - DOI – PubMed: 6736(07)61690-0/fulltext

9 World Health Organization (2017). Interventions for improving complementary feeding practices: complementary_feeding/en/

10 The other priority assessment areas are Human resources capacity, Coordination capacity, Information management capacity, Service delivery capacity and Financial capacity.


IYCF-E-Cap-Assess-Map-Report-Template_Dec2020.pdf (PDF, 2.7mb)

IYCF-E-Cap-Assess-Map-Report-Template_Arabic.pdf (PDF, 3.7mb)

IYCF-E-Cap-Assess-Map-Report-Template_French.pdf (PDF, 903kb)

IYCF-E-Cap-Assess-Map-Report-Template_Spanish.pdf (PDF, 887kb)


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Save the Children and the Nutrition Technical Rapid Response Team (Tech RRT) with the support of the members of the IFE Core Group (2020). IYCF-E policy and programme review template.



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