• To improve the capacity of Asia and the Pacific countries to address the nutrition issues they face by developing the Nutrition Critical Appraisal Tool (NCAT).
  • To assist nutrition programs to appraise nutrition programs to improve the health of women and children in Asia and the Pacific
  • To assist nutrition programs to operationalise the elements of the widely endorsed Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Framework for Action.

Undernutrition, the underlying cause of 3.5 million child deaths and 11% of the total global burden of disease, is one of the most critical issues affecting women and children in many countries in Asia and the Pacific. There is now global recognition that the 1,000 Days between conception and two years of age is a critical window of opportunity when good nutrition can have a profound effect on health and development of individuals throughout their lives. Good nutrition in this period improves pregnancy and birth outcomes and in doing so can reduce the burden of intergenerational stunting and adult chronic disease.

However, many countries with a high burden of undernutrition lack the institutional capacity required to reduce this burden, and have limited access to global nutrition evidence.

Based on the 1,000 Days window of opportunity, the NCAT is an online guide for Ministries of Health and their partners designed to assist in the appraisal of nutrition programs and plans and in the operationalisation of the elements of the SUN Framework. Users are guided through a process which links them to relevant global protocols, resources and case studies.

Implications for policy and practice:

This tool will fill a gap in the current nutrition landscape.

Our research has found: 

The NCAT is still in the developmental stage.

Chief investigator:
  • Heather Grieve
Project manager:
  • Kate Mellor
Contact information:
Project dates:

Testing of the NCAT will take place in 2013, before it is made available for wider distribution.

  • Albion Street Centre
  • Boab Health Service
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Deakin University
  • Food and Agriculture Organization
  • Fred Hollows Foundation
  • John Snow International
  • Mahidol University
  • Ministry of Health, Timor-Leste
  • Northern Territory Department of Health
  • Queensland Department of Health
  • South Asia Infant Feeding Research Network
  • Sydney University
  • World Food Programme
  • World Health Organization
  • World Vision Australia.
  • Development of the Nutrition Critical Appraisal Tool - briefing paper
  • Nutrition critical appraisal tool to support governments to prioritise and manage the scaling up of effective interventions - working paper.