Program Review of Nutrition Interventions: Checklist for District Health Services



To collect information about priority nutrition activities to strengthen the nutrition components of primary health care programs at the district level.


This checklist is a tool to collect information about priority nutrition activities and to plan activities to strengthen the nutrition component in programs. Information is obtained by using existing data, visiting a limited number of health facilities and communities, observing and interviewing health staff, reviewing patient records and inspecting supplies and equipment. Information from the district level is collected on district health services, resources, nutrition policies and guidelines. At the planning level, the information is used to determine what activities are needed to improve quality; what is the availability of essential commodities; what is the capacity for program management; who is responsible for implementation; what is the timetable; and resources required and their availability. Emphasis is placed on integrating key nutrition activities into all services.

The checklist includes the following annexes for reference: Essential Nutrition Actions in Health Services, Ten Steps for Baby Friendly Hospitals, Nutrition Job Aids Health Contacts, and Guidelines on Counseling.

Developed by:

Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival (BASICS) a global child survival project funded by USAID.

Intended Users:

The checklist is intended for health managers, program planners, and health workers from governments, NGOs, national and international agencies and donors who are interested in integrating nutrition interventions into maternal and child health programs.


BASICS based the checklist on experience in Benin, Ghana, Eritrea, Madagascar, Senegal and Zambia. Use of the checklist provides useful information for planning actions that health managers can take to improve the quality and coverage of a group of priority nutrition interventions.


The checklist fills an important gap in the practical tools available to improve key nutrition services. It encompasses many issues that might not otherwise be considered. In most cases, the utilization of this tool does not require an outside facilitator.


The organization may need to invest a significant amount of its resources depending on the number of health facilities visited and health staff interviewed. This checklist is not designed to replace quantitative studies or in-depth qualitative research necessary to develop feeding recommendations.

Recommendations for Users:

There are guidelines on how to use the checklist with several recommendations for users, some of which include the use of locally adapted feeding guidelines based on the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) Counsel the Mother section of the chart book to assess the content of counseling (WHO/UNICEF 1995). It is also recommended to use national or international (WHO/UNICEF) protocols that are summarized in the job aids in the annexes.

Reports and Publications:



Available in English and French.