Human Development Through the Lens of Child Health: Addressing the Global Challenges of Child Malnutrition

Grants to Support Faculty Fellows' Research
Grant Year

Malnutrition is a significant challenge facing the children, worldwide. Malnutrition contributes to stunted growth (155 million children worldwide), obesity (41 million children), and wasting (52 million children). It is a grand challenge problem facing aspects of human development and global health. We envision that innovation in technology can help drive the impact. Addressing the challenges of malnutrition is not just about enabling access to resources and facilities, it is about understanding the true root causes that may stem from community, family, lifestyle, behavior, and environment. We posit that this requires a multi-faceted approach that incorporates primary data (EMR, family, community, and psycho-demographic data); secondary data (population health statistics); and deep knowledge derived from data and narratives present in practitioners’ interactions with children and families, including NGOs’ knowledge of the field (vulnerabilities and solutions). This proposal takes the first step in innovating technology towards the ultimate vision of integrating these facets of data and knowledge as a “knowledge hub.” In partnership with CREN, Brazil, we propose to develop a prototype by first doing research on modeling a child’s personalized risk for malnutrition across each of the clinical, nutritional, psychological, and familial data elements collected by CREN. We also propose to develop a framework for a universal Electronic Medical Record (EMR) through design thinking and user assessment sessions with collaborators in Brazil (field visits). The purpose is to develop a prototype with CREN in Brazil, explore external funding opportunities, and develop it to scale globally. The proposed work will require partnership between iCeNSA and Kellogg.