The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is an independent non-profit foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. GAIN was developed at the UN 2002 Special Session of the General Assembly on Children
GAIN works with diverse partners – governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and businesses worldwide. As of 2015, GAIN reached an estimated 900 million people including 330 million women, adolescent girls and children 6–59 months: 51% of these were in Africa, 44% in Asia and 5% in the rest of the world.
GAIN’s collective impact approach in the nutrition sector has been recognised by the Stanford Social Innovation Review as a model of collaboration that achieves large scale progress in the face of the urgent and complex problems of our time. The Harvard Business Review has also recognized GAIN’s innovation in pushing businesses to develop nutritious food products for the base of the pyramid.
GAIN supports market-based nutrition solutions in nutrition interventions areas including: large scale food fortification; maternal, infant and young child nutrition; and agriculture and nutrition.
Large Scale Food fortification. Fortification of staple foods and condiments is a proven, cost-effective and simple nutrition intervention to tackle micronutrient malnutrition, or the lack of the essential micronutrients people need to grow and live healthy lives. GAIN works with governments to fortify everyday staple foods and condiments such as flour, salt and oil with vitamins and minerals, like iron, vitamin A, iodine and folic acid, that help prevent disease and encourage good health.
Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition. GAIN works to break the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition and stunting, by focusing on the first 1,000 days, from conception to 24 months, and supporting improved complementary feeding practices – within the context of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding to two years of age and beyond. The program in 2014-15 reached over 580,000 women and children, with a cumulative reach since its inception of over 19 million.
Agriculture and Nutrition. GAIN uses the agriculture value chain to identify opportunities for nutrition intervention at each stage – from food production to storage, processing to distribution, retail, marketing and food preparation. The marketplace is seen as a pivotal entry point for improving dietary diversity.
Business Partnerships and Alliances. GAIN tries to build stakeholder partnerships with governments, civil society and the private sector. The work with businesses take place at the global level and at the local level. In developing countries, GAIN works with the small and medium sized enterprises that play a crucial role in the local food systems.
Monitoring Learning and Research. Through this unit, the organization seeks to strengthen the impact of its programs through better design and implementation, based on the review, generation, translation, and use of evidence for decision making. The unit also identifies and addresses priority evidence gaps related to programming areas, with the ultimate goal of informing GAIN’s strategy, supporting advocacy and contributing to the global evidence base.