Malnutrition is a significant challenge facing children worldwide, and it has been increasing in the past decades: today, one third of the world’s population (2.1 billion) is either undernourished or overweight/obese. While best practices for addressing nutritional challenges among children and adolescents abound, the rising rates of malnourished children internationally indicate that treatment efforts are still lacking.
Addressing the challenge of malnutrition is not merely a matter of enabling access to resources, but it is about understanding the root causes that are inextricably linked to behaviors influenced by family, community, lifestyle, and complex environments. It depends on understanding the relationship of malnutrition to other areas of health and to social and educational interventions.
Definition of Opportunity
In 2017, Gisela Solymos, co-founder and former CEO of CREN, Center for Nutritional Recovery and Education, Nitesh Chawla and his team from the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science & Applications, and Walter Link and his team from the Global Academy Foundation have integrated efforts to develop the concept of a Knowledge Hub (KH) that provides a framework for capturing data, knowledge, and experiences to help drive positive outcomes in child health and malnutrition.
The action-oriented hub is intended to support entities working in the field to more accurately capture the reality of the contexts in which they are developing interventions and to obtain a real-time assessment of their efforts. For this purpose, the hub will:
gather different types of knowledge from diverse fields related to the health and development of children, their families, and their communities;
conduct research and experiments relevant to these topics and their concrete application;
publish papers, books and audio-visual materials for diverse types of media;
convene dialogues between relevant stakeholders to advance knowledge and understanding and generate concrete action steps;
offer learning and training opportunities in diverse forms, including in-person and virtual programs and audio-visual offerings;
share its knowledge with governments, NGOs, global leaders, and other key players in the field.
We look forward to working with a team of Notre Dame students to advance our project’s ideation and organizational strategy through research into the following:
What are the best practices of organizations focused on innovative work with child malnutrition in developing countries? What are the innovations and how have they been deployed? What interventions and strategies do they use to share these ideas and make them operational?
Do they use technology such as electronic medical records, mobile apps, etc.? How do they use it?
What is their "business model"? (describe how they work)
Definition of Sucess
The generation of a professional presentation of the best organizational practices related to addressing malnutrition, and in turn, supporting and exploring the Knowledge Hub’s unique potential contributions to the field.