9 Apr 2018

No Wasted Lives Research Agenda

An overview of the leading research areas with the highest potential impact towards the effective management of acute malnutrition at scale by 2020

  • Region

    Global

  • Topic

    Severe Acute Malnutrition

  • Priority area

    Childhood & Adolescence

  • Report type

    Evaluations and partner reports

Malnutrition is estimated to contribute to upwards of half of all child deaths and children with acute malnutrition are three to nine times more likely to die than well-nourished children. In recent years, we have witnessed a scale-up of the community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM). This approach is safe, cost-effective, and evidence-based for the management of acute malnutrition. And yet, less than 20% of children with acute malnutrition, both moderate and severe, receive treatment.

The No Wasted Lives Coalition was formed in 2016 to accelerate the scale-up of effective prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition. The Council of Research & Technical Advice on Acute Malnutrition (CORTASAM) is an independent group of experts that provide technical guidance to No Wasted Lives. The goal of the Council is to drive the use of evidence for action, in order to ultimately reach more children with effective treatment and prevention programmes across the continuum of acute malnutrition. This will catalyse progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal to reduce wasting to <5% amongst children under five years of age.

In mid-2017, CORTASAM led the implementation of a global research prioritisation exercise for the treatment of acute malnutrition. Over 300 individuals from 63 countries and 167 organisations participated in this survey. This exercise identified key research areas that were priorities to achieve scale-up of management of acute malnutrition by 2020.

Building on this exercise, CORTASAM identified the leading research areas with the highest potential impact towards the effective management of acute malnutrition at scale by 2020. This included an assessment of the available evidence and ongoing research in these areas to determine outstanding gaps and priority actions to progress this research agenda. Their recommendations are set out in this document.