BASICS (Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival)
BASICS is USAID’s global child health project. Its two-pronged approach blends expert technical assistance to countries in scaling up life-saving interventions for newborns and children and global leadership in identifying, evaluating and applying approaches that deepen the impact of child survival programs. Now in its 3rd 5-year cycle (2004-2009), BASICS is implemented by the Partnership for Child Health Care, Inc., comprised of AED, JSI and MSH, and supported by The Manoff Group, PATH and Save the Children USA.
Global Reach, Local Approach
Program activities are designed to meet the unique needs of each country and region. Manoff staff lead integrated nutrition programs, which include infant and young child feeding (IYCF), nutrition for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), maternal nutrition, vitamin A and other micronutrient supplementation, and food security. Selected country activities include:
- Madagascar: Assessing Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) promotion, and support to the introduction of Community Therapeutic Care (CTC) / Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM).
- Rwanda: TIPs on IYCF practices to develop counseling tools. Drafting guidelines for nutritional care and support for infants and children living with HIV/AIDS. Developing feeding counseling tools for HIV+ mothers.
- Malawi: Introducing mother-father support groups to promote better IYCF practices, breastfeeding, support for HIV-infected mothers, and maternal and child health. Implementation of CTC/CMAM in 4 Districts.
- East Timor: Improving ENA promotion through health services. Held IYCF workshop that resulted in the MOH making nutrition a priority area.
Exploring IYCF Practices in Rwanda
The Manoff Group conducted formative research and designed counseling tools on infant and young child feeding (IYCF) for use by community health workers in Rwanda, in response to a request by the Rwandan MOH. Local staff were trained in Trials of Improved Practices (TIPs), which were conducted with 96 families with children under 2.
Results demonstrated that virtually all caregivers can make longer term changes in the way they feed their young children: 86% of participating caregivers tried and adopted new feeding recommendations. The resulting counseling materials feature eye-catching drawings done by a local artist accompanied by messages tailored to each age and feeding situation.
Effective Knowledge Management
A Manoff Group communications specialist manages Strategic Experience Transfer for BASICS, imparting the experiences of BASICS in-country programs to other USAID Missions, NGOs, partners, donors and USAID-supported bilateral projects. This involves participation in information-sharing events and dissemination of reports and implementation materials, primarily through the project website, which the specialist oversees and maintains. The site is designed to provide easy, searchable access to publications, tools and other resources for a wide range of audiences worldwide.