Measures and indicators for assessing impact of interventions integrating nutrition, health, and early childhood development

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2014 Jan;1308:68-88. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12319. Epub 2013 Dec 26.


When implementing interventions integrating nutrition, health, and early childhood development, evaluation studies of effectiveness that assess the intermediate and ultimate impacts on the four domains of food and nutrition, family care, health, and child development are needed. Such studies should demonstrate impact, both benefits and potential harms, and understand mechanisms through which impact has been achieved. This article reviews and suggests measures and indicators suitable for use in evaluation studies of effectiveness of integrated interventions for children under 5 years of age. Within each of the four domains, multiple constructs and subconstructs were considered. For each construct and subconstruct, we identified measures and indicators, using several search processes, and reviewed them in relation to validity, responsiveness to intervention inputs and activities, equivalence in constructs and items across contexts with appropriate adaptation, and feasibility for use in effectiveness studies. Suggested measures and indicators for each domain, construct, and subconstruct are tabulated and described. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of measures and indicators across domains and constructs, further research establishing validity, and guidance on adaptation of measures to particular contexts.

Keywords: child development; early childhood; family care; health; integrated interventions; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child Development*
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated
  • Early Intervention, Educational
  • Early Medical Intervention
  • Eating
  • Female
  • Food Supply
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Program Evaluation