India is home to an enormous number of malnourished people. Malnutrition—in all its forms, from undernutrition and anemia to overweight and noncommunicable diseases like diabetes—affects India’s children, adolescents, and adults. Recognizing the need to address the massive nutritional challenge, India has made several important policy decisions related to nutrition. The use of data and evidence in nutrition policymaking and program design has also increased. Many current nutrition policies and programs include in their designs the latest recommendations on global and national nutrition interventions. More recently, the Government of India launched a National Nutrition Mission (or POSHAN Abhiyaan) with the vision to ensure a malnutrition-free India by 2022.
The availability of accurate and updated data on nutrition in India continues to be a challenge for decision-makers and program implementers, as nutritional surveys are conducted infrequently. Although there are a variety of online and face-to-face avenues for stakeholders to share knowledge about nutrition in India, these often operate in isolation and are limited by lack of resources. There is, therefore, a real need for mechanisms that can support evidence-informed dialogue and decisions in an inclusive way. POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition in India), a multi-year initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led by the International Food Policy Research Institute, is a positive step in addressing this need. POSHAN commenced its activities in September 2011 and aims to reduce the evidence gap in Indian nutrition by supporting efforts to generate, synthesize, and mobilize diverse types of nutrition data and evidence to support policy decisions.
Currently in its second phase, POSHAN works closely with the Government of India and other key stakeholders in engaging the Indian nutrition policy community with data and analytics to promote evidence-informed policies and programs to address the problem of malnutrition in India. To know more about POSHAN, please download our brochure.