The South Asia Region Development Marketplace (SAR DM) on Nutrition is a partnership between the World Bank, GTZ, Micronutrient Initiative, UNICEF, WFP, GAIN, and PepsiCo. The goal of the SAR DM on Nutrition is to identify and fund innovative ideas that deliver improved nutrition to infants and young children during their first two years of life and to pregnant women. This DM will create a platform for engaging civil society and grassroots organizations to share their experiences and innovative ideas with the broader development community on how to improve nutrition through community based interventions in South Asia.


The Development Marketplace invited proposals from all South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) under the theme: “Family and Community Approaches to Improve Infant and Young Child Nutrition.” Proposals had to clearly demonstrate how families, communities and possibly others can, among others:

  • Empower girls and women to address gender issues and other socio-cultural determinants of malnutrition, especially at the household level and in feeding and child care practices;
  •  Increase access to and/or use of micronutrient-rich foods or supplements;
  •  Develop sustainable ways of changing household behaviors to address malnutrition within the household resource constraints (e.g. exclusive breastfeeding, supplementary feeding of infants and young children, enhancing stimulation and parenting practices, etc.); and
  •  Demonstrate and measure the impact of community-based interventions including through growth monitoring and promotion, child development and care, as well as by providing a safer hygienic environment by improving the quality of the physical and social environment for infants and young children, e.g. access and use of clean water and sanitation, healthy environment for safe preparation of weaning foods, etc.


Twenty-one civil society organizations from across South Asia were selected through a highly competitive process from a pool of 1000 applicants and 60 finalists.  The 60 finalists were invited to showcase their ideas at the SAR DM competition held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in August 2009.  The winning organizations received grants of up to US$ 40,000 from an $840,000 award pool. The implementation of DM grants began in Fall 2009 and was completed in Summer 2011.