In response to evidence highlighting the importance of formative research for effective nutrition programming with behavior change,8–12 UNICEF Nigeria assisted the Government in conducting a robust formative study in Kebbi and Adamawa – the first two states where the integrated IYCF and MNP program will commence in 2016. Developing an at-scale nutrition program which attempts to change nutrition-related behaviors is no easy task in Nigeria, where myriad cultural groups and nearly 500 languages co-exist within state borders.13 To increase the likelihood of program success, this European Union funded formative phase was comprehensive and included qualitative and ethnographic data collection in both Kebbi and Adamawa covering multiple, iterative research phases over a nine-month period (Table 1). The study was designed with participatory, open-ended methods for collecting socio-cultural and contextual information in order to create an enabling environment for optimizing IYCF practices and MNP usage.
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