ComPAS: Combined Protocol for Acute Malnutrition Study health

Simplifying the way acute malnutrition is treated to save lives & improve coverage through cost savings

The current malnutrition treatment is inaccessible for 4 out of 5 acutely malnourished children globally. A new combined approach is simpler, less expensive, & offers more comprehensive treatment, with the potential to reach more children at scale.
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ComPAS: Combined Protocol for Acute Malnutrition Study is at the Scale stage

empowerment

Urban Housing

Jordan

Rapid urbanization in many parts of the world has led to a great deal of challenges ensuring the availability of adequate housing. In the Middle East, this is coupled by...

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empowerment

Voluntary and Spontaneous Returns

Jordan

As people displaced by the Syria crisis begin returning to their homes, new approaches will be needed to deal with the unprecedented scale of returns.

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other

Defining and driving innovative finance

Global humanitarian budgets are not keeping pace with our clients’ needs and aspirations. Airbel is designing and testing new approaches to raising finance, and impactful new ways to use funds...

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other

Financing Refugee Crisis Response

Together with the Centre for Global Disaster Protection, Airbel is working to assess the potential to use risk-based financing approaches to respond to refugee influxes.

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This project graduated following the Generate Solutions phase

empowerment

Information Flows

Jordan

Displaced people live in challenging circumstances where accurate information can become difficult to obtain. Strengthening information flows can aid in decision-making and make their circumstances easier to manage.

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empowerment

Placement Algorithm

United States

Airbel is piloting and scaling an innovative machine learning algorithm developed by the Stanford University Immigration Policy Lab that matches refugees in areas where they are likely to thrive when...

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

economic-wellbeing

Trade Accelerator

Focused support for Jordanian businesses to foster rapid growth and help them tap into the European market and hire refugees to do so.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

health

Virtual Baby

This portable game would let children earn points for raising a happy baby, teaching them about sexual health and nutrition.

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This project became inactive following the Generate Solutions phase

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empowerment

Ask Laila

A hotline, SMS, and web-based service to help resettled refugees get quick answers from a trusted local source - in their own language.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

empowerment

Games for Diversity and Inclusion

Airbel worked closely with colleagues in the Asia Region to prototype approaches to increasing diversity and inclusivity in our workplaces through mechanisms with wide appeal, that can be easily integrated...

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This project graduated following the Prototype phase

health

Medicine Bank

Jordan

People with low income in Jordan often struggle to access the medicine they need. This solution is aimed at making supply chains more efficient to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals....

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health

Mental Health

Jordan

Supporting the mental health needs of displaced people will be crucial to helping them lay the groundwork for future success.

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health

Micronutrient Condiment

Two billion people are affected by micronutrient deficiencies worldwide. One third of them are children. We aim to introduce an affordable product inspired by existing porridge preparation practices for sale...

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education

Pop-Up Learning Tanzania

With more students out of school around the world due to COVID-19 than ever before, we need solutions that ensure the hardest-to-reach children receive quality education. The IRC is delivering...

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health

Sprout

Niger

Over 16 million children under the age of 3 are afflicted by severe acute malnutrition. To pinpoint the most impactful prevention methods, Sprout is experimenting with 3 distinct approaches.

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This project graduated following the Prototype phase

education

Spark

Tanzania

Spark creates alternative learning spaces outside of refugee camp schools to practice play-based learning and social-emotional skills with primary school children.

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This project became inactive following the Prototype phase

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empowerment

IRC Connect

United States

In partnership with Twilio.org, Airbel is developing an SMS-based system to streamline communication between caseworkers and newly-settled refugees as they adapt to their new lives in the United States.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

education

Coach Erevu

Tanzania

Coach Erevu is a virtual teacher coaching program designed to empower teachers to learn and practice social-emotional learning activities that they can use in their classrooms.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

health

Low-Literacy Malnutrition Tools

South Sudan

In hard-to-reach areas local community health workers are key to treating malnourished children. Commonly used tools for diagnosing and treating malnutrition have been adapted to meet the needs of workers...

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

education

Pop-Up Learning Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Pop-Up Learning is a computer-assisted learning program, aimed to mobilize quickly and efficiently on the onset of crisis.

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other

Resettlement Revolving Fund

In this new model for refugee resettlement finance, a self-sustaining fund provides countries with finance for refugee resettlement, and is replenished as refugees fuel economic growth.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

other

SCAN

The Systematic Cost Analysis (SCAN) tool simplifies the process of conducting cost analyses, helping humanitarian and development actors make use of limited resources in a transparent and effective way.

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education

Tunakujenga

Tanzania

Tunakujenga is a family learning program designed to empower caregivers to engage in nurturing and playful parenting to support their children’s social and emotional development.

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This project graduated following the Pilot phase

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education

EmpaTeach

Tanzania

EmpaTeach is a project that aims to reduce corporal punishment in low resource settings by helping teachers learn positive discipline methods, change destructive thought patterns, and plan ahead for positive...

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safety

Modern Man

Liberia

Modern Man is a mobile messaging campaign that engages men with an aspirational and positive masculine identity to prevent intimate partner violence. It sends SMS messages to men who have...

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safety

Becoming One

Uganda

Becoming One is a counseling program designed to bring couples closer and prevent intimate partner violence. The program is delivered in partnership with local faith leaders, who guide couples through...

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health

ComPAS: Combined Protocol for Acute Malnutrition Study

The current malnutrition treatment is inaccessible for 4 out of 5 acutely malnourished children globally. A new combined approach is simpler, less expensive, & offers more comprehensive treatment, with the...

Find out more

economic-wellbeing

Match

Jordan

Working to counter the high rates of unemployment that follow mass displacement, the Match project in Jordan is testing a set of new innovations for placing vulnerable populations and refugees...

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education

Ahlan Simsim

In this historic effort, IRC and Sesame Workshop have partnered to help children whose lives have been uprooted by the war in Syria to build brighter futures.

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Globally, approximately 50 million children suffer from acute malnutrition at any given time, including nearly 18 million children the IRC estimates living in conflict and crisis-affected contexts. A cure exists – a simple package of peanut-based paste, delivered through daily doses over a few months – but the system to deliver it is broken, making treatment inaccessible for 4 out of 5 children globally. The IRC, in partnership with Action Against Hunger and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, have developed a new approach that offers the promise of simpler, less expensive, and more comprehensive treatment.

Acute malnutrition is a continuum condition meaning a child’s condition improves or deteriorates continuously along a single spectrum. Under the current system, malnutrition is divided into two categories based on severity and treated with two different products in health facilities that are often too distant for families to access. This divided protocol impacts what kind of treatment children can access, where treatment is available to them, and far too often, whether they can access treatment at all.

This simplified protocol treats all acutely malnourished children with the same food product and in the same place, adjusting dosage based on severity. This approach was found to be as effective at recovering children as the traditional treatment method, and offers significant cost savings. It is also simpler for health workers and ensures children are treated before they deteriorate into the more dangerous form of severe malnutrition.

This is one in a suite of solutions the IRC is proposing to create a future in which every malnourished child is treated. Current interventions are overly complex and institutionalized. Our approach empowers families and community health workers to deliver a simplified protocol for treatment with an easy-to-use toolkit. This is a package of care that can be adapted to different contexts, rolled out quickly during times of emergency, and scaled across humanitarian crises.

March 2020 | U.N. recommends simplified approach

U.N. recommends a package of care including simplified protocol and empowering community health workers for nutrition programs affected by COVID-19.

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August 2019 | Begin operational pilot in Chad

Pilot begins in Chad as part of the large-scale, multi-country pilot endorsed by UNICEF, WFP, and ECHO started in December 2018.

December 2018 | Begin operational pilot in Mali

UNICEF, WFP, and ECHO endorse the combined protocol for further exploration and unite to fund and organize a large-scale, multi-country pilot (beginning in Mali) of the combined, simplified protocol. Preliminary results demonstrate safety, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness of these approaches.

August 2018 | End of randomized control trial in Kenya and South Sudan

Results from Kenya and South Sudan demonstrated that the combined protocol is not only successful at recovering children with both SAM and MAM to full health, but reduces the burden on families as well costs to providers.

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July 2018 | Complete stakeholder perspectives study

Study showed that stakeholders in Niger, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan were strongly supportive of providing treatment for both forms of malnutrition at the same location. However stakeholders also raised concerns around the proposed diagnostic criterion prioritizing mid-upper arm circumference over weight-for-height z‐score and supply pipeline issues potentially affecting the availability of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods. More research is needed on the clinical efficacy and operational implications of the Combined Protocol.

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March 2018 | Complete operational pilot in Somalia

The simplified protocol achieved a child recovery rate of 98% for children with severe acute malnutrition.

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March 2018 | Begin stakeholder perspectives study

To further understand requirements for adaptation and adoption of the combined protocol in different contexts, the IRC conducts a policy analysis on the use of the protocol in five different food-crisis affected contexts.

January 2018 | Begin operational pilot in Somalia

The IRC begins a prospective cohort study to test an adapted protocol for treating Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in Somalia using Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) dosage based on the treatment protocol implemented in the ComPAS research trial in Kenya and South Sudan.

May 2017 | Start of randomized control trial in Kenya and South Sudan

Working closely with partners Action Against Hunger and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the IRC implements a randomized controlled research study in Kenya and South Sudan to test a combined protocol to treat children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM).

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October 2015 | ComPAS receives funding from CIFF (Children’s Investment Fund Foundation)

May 2015 | End secondary data analysis of Stage 1 of ComPAS

Analysis found that a simplified, combined protocol could enable a more holistic continuum of care, potentially contributing to increased coverage for children suffering from acute malnutrition. This study analyzed data from Chad, Kenya, Yemen, Pakistan, and South Sudan.

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October 2014 | Begin secondary data analysis of Stage 1 of ComPAS

Working with an expert task force of scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, and University of Tampere/University of Copenhagen, the IRC conducts secondary data analysis of 10,000 acutely malnourished children to propose a new optimized dosage of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) to treat Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM).

October 2014 | ComPAS receives initial funding from OFDA (Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance)

The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.