What is the Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition?

Saskia Rotshuizen
By on November 17, 2016

The Inclusive Business Accelerator is partnering with the Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition (AIM) to develop a bootcamp on behaviour change for nutrition at the BoP (sign up here). AIM brings together more than 30 partners from the North and South – representing businesses, governments, NGOs and knowledge institutes – to develop innovative solutions to tackle malnutrition.

According to the FAO (2015) close to 2 billion people survive on diets that lack the vital vitamins and nutrients needed to grow properly, live healthy lives, and raise a healthy family. In most cases, this is due to high prices and limited availability on the market.

In 2009 GAIN started the Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition (AIM). AIM’s goal is to reduce malnutrition in Africa and Asia via nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive practices. By leveraging market based approaches AIM is committed to making a significant contribution to the global targets for improving maternal, infant and young child nutrition. The AIM coalition leads seven projects in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa. To learn more about the AIM coalition, you can listen to the conversation with Charlotte Perdersen who coordinated this coalition for three years. In this podcast she shares lessons learned from her experience with AIM and provides recommendations on how to build a strong multi-stakeholder partnership.

So, what does an AIM project look like?

One of the innovative projects within the AIM coalition is the SPAR Rural Hubs project. In South Africa, produce is moved over hundreds of kilometers from rural farmers to urban-based distribution centers. Part of this produce is then moved back to an expanding network of rural retailers. Such distribution models are very difficult to enter for smallholder farmers.

The SPAR Rural Hubs initiative focuses on improving rural community access to fresh produce from smallholder farmers by setting up a new distribution network. ‘Fresh Assembly Points’ (FAPs), strategically located near farmers, rural retailers and consumers, provide logical alternatives for the produce to travel a shorter distance from farmer to FAP to retailer. This reduces cost and preserves freshness longer. Click here to listen to the conversation with Kenneth Carden, Project Manager contracted by SPAR South Africa and learn more about this project.

Behaviour change is a critical component in many of AIM’s projects. A well-designed behaviour change campaign can dramatically enhance the success rates and acceptance of your project. Sign up here for the free bootcamp.