Dynamics of Peer Counselling, Mothers and Family Social Networks for infant and young child feeding

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Poor nutritional status of children is a major public health problem throughout the developing world and is the underlying cause for 35% of child deaths and 11% of the total global disease burden. (Black 2008) Inappropriate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) is an important predictor of poor growth, illness and death in infants and young children (Black 2008). Developing effective and sustainable interventions to improve IYCF will be integral components of efforts to reach the child survival and malnutrition Millennium Development Goals of developing countries. Our aim is to understand the influence of dynamics of social networks on the infant feeding decisions of women and their families in urban and rural and the extent to which the social networks of peer counsellors, who are promoting appropriate IYCF, impact on their effectiveness in changing feeding behaviours in developing economies (i.e., Bangladesh).


Professor Liaquat Hossain, Dr Shahadat Uddin

Research Location

Civil Engineering

Program Type



Our specific aims are:

(i)To describe the social networks of women with children under one year of age in rural and urban settings;
(ii)To identify the role of social networks and their impact on decisions about IYCF;
(iii)To assess characteristics of the women’s social networks & feeding patterns & growth of their infants;
(iv)To describe the social networks of peer counselors in rural and urban settings in Bangladesh;
(v)To assess relationships between social networks & effectiveness in changing feeding behaviours; and,
(vi)To use this information to propose modifications to existing peer counseling programs to harness the women’s’ social networks to improve the efficiency of these behaviour change interventions.

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nutritional status of children, social networks, peer counseling programs, behaviour change, infant and young child feeding, IYCF

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1354

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