Effectiveness of a community-based nutrition programme to improve child growth in rural Ethiopia: a cluster randomized trial

Yunhee Kang, Sungtae Kim, Sisay Sinamo, Parul Christian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Few trials have shown that promoting complementary feeding among young children is effective in improving child linear growth in resource-challenged settings. We designed a community-based participatory nutrition promotion (CPNP) programme adapting a Positive Deviance/Hearth approach that engaged mothers in 2-week nutrition sessions using the principles of ‘learning by doing’ around child feeding. We aimed to test the effectiveness of the CPNP for improving child growth in rural Ethiopia. A cluster randomized trial was implemented by adding the CPNP to the existing government nutrition programmes (six clusters) vs. government programmes only (six clusters). A total of 1790 children aged 6 to 12 months (876 in the intervention and 914 in the control areas) were enrolled and assessed on anthropometry every 3 months for a year. Multi-level mixed-effect regression analysis of longitudinal outcome data (n = 1475) examined the programme impact on growth, adjusting for clustering and enrollment characteristics. Compared with children 6 to 24 months of age in the control area, those in the intervention area had a greater increase in z scores for length-for-age [difference (diff): 0.021 z score/month, 95% CI: 0.008, 0.034] and weight-for-length (diff: 0.042 z score/month, 95% CI: 0.024, 0.059). At the end of the 12-month follow-up, children in the intervention area showed an 8.1% (P = 0.02) and 6.3% (P = 0.046) lower prevalence of stunting and underweight, respectively, after controlling for differences in the prevalence at enrollment, compared with the control group. A novel CPNP programme was effective in improving child growth and reducing undernutrition in this setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12349
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Ethiopia
  • childhood stunting
  • cluster randomized trial
  • community-based participatory nutrition promotion
  • complementary feeding practices
  • effectiveness evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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