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Rules for implementation of IYCF support groups

This question was posted the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area and has 5 replies.

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Forum Moderator, ENN

Forum moderator

9 Mar 2017, 16:04

A question from Abdoulaye Diarra:

Good evening;
I need a document outlining how to establish IYCF support groups (what types and approximately how many meetings before the establishment; what population size can be covered per support group; how many people should be in 1 support group ....) especially adapted to the case of Mali.
Thank you.


Peer Mother

Normal user

10 Mar 2017, 01:35

Good day! I am Claire Mogol from the Philippines. We have a support group ARUGAAN (English: Nurturing/ To Nurture) and the head of Arugaan Mother Support Group, Ines Avellana Fernandez is the South East Asia Representative to the IBFAN. You may send her an email to and copy furnish regarding IYCF support groups as Arugaan Daycare Center is a place where IYCF is practiced.

On the medical side, our doctors are conducting Combatting Severe Acute Malnutrition Seminars in hospitals. I hope this leads helps you.
Ines Fernandez is tackling malnutrition among infants and young children by empowering and mobilizing the most vital and direct stakeholders of this problem—mothers. In the face of aggressive advertising by baby food companies, Ines realized that informed mothers can be the most credible and effective messengers about nutrition to other mothers. Through her organization, Arugaan (a Filipino word that means to “nurture fully”), Ines is empowering young and old mothers alike to understand the benefits of breastfeeding and nutritious baby food preparation with locally available ingredients. The trained mothers that make up Arugaan’s team serve as experts in lactation and nutritious food preparation to communities and trigger the creation of mother-to-mother support groups to spread best practices. Ines’ team works simultaneously with health professionals and day care providers to adopt and support these practices as a say to reinforce a new pathway to improved child and maternal nutrition. Building from her work in mainly urban areas, Ines is now focused on increasing nutrition outcomes and resilience among mothers in rural communities, particularly those most vulnerable to frequent natural disasters. By extending the presence of mother-to-mother support groups in these areas, Ines is helping mothers adopt breastfeeding and local food preparation as way not only to reduce the cases of malnutrition, but also increase their own resilience. The mothers become empowered to create their own locally available baby food and breastfeed. In doing so, they avoid the traps that come from the use of formulas and processed foods both in terms of their expense and risk of supply disruption during disasters. Ines also helps the mother-to-mother groups become advocates for spreading what actions to take during disasters to keep themselves and their babies alive and well. Through the network of mother-to-mother groups and her team’s work with health professionals, Ines is creating a more mother-baby friendly environment in homes, communities and in the healthcare system while reducing the cases of malnourishment and even mortality caused by inadequate infant and child feeding practices.

Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera

Head of Nutrition/Action Against Hunger UK

Normal user

10 Mar 2017, 15:21

Dear Abdoulaye,

If you have the resources and that your project is at least funded for 2 years, you might want to consider looking at implementing a Care Group program.
You'll find all the information you need (guidelines, criteria and a lot of curricula) on the care group website:

SODABI Basilia

Unicef Togo

Normal user

8 Apr 2021, 18:25

My greetings to you.

Please can you share with me any articles on evaluating IYCF support groups? Also on the practices or stages of setting up support groups on IYCF?

Alessandro Iellamo

Emergency Nutrition Adviser

Technical expert

9 Apr 2021, 07:03

Thanks a lot for the question, I am sharing few links to interesting papers that have shown the positive impact of IYCF support groups

I am also sharing some reference materials, that may help you ...but always remember the need to adapt to your context and the needs of your communities;jsessionid=6A2653E7156909A5CD6A05DE8A39E6F6?sequence=2

SODABI Basilia

Unicef Togo

Normal user

27 Apr 2021, 21:49

Thank you very much for the feedback

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