Our Approach to Fighting Global Malnutrition

Our Mission

The Eleanor Crook Foundation works to scale improved solutions to child undernutrition by deploying the power of research, policy analysis, and advocacy, with the ultimate goal of saving children’s lives and enabling them to excel in school, work, and beyond.

Over the past three decades, the world has halved hunger and malnutrition. In spite of this progress, malnutrition remains the number one killer of children under the age of five. Three million children die each year from malnutrition, claiming more child lives than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Although malnutrition threatens millions of lives, there is hope. Proven, cost-effective solutions exist that—if funded and scaled—could alter the global trajectory. Despite this, there has been surprisingly little progress in delivering these interventions sustainably, at scale.

We have to do more

The Eleanor Crook Foundation’s
2020-2025 Strategy

Over the next five years, the Eleanor Crook Foundation will help lead a global effort to scale radically improved solutions to address malnutrition at a much faster pace than we have historically seen by making smart investments in research, policy, and advocacy.
ECF’s strategy recognizes the important synergies across research, policy analysis, and advocacy. Research without consideration of policy or systems change will always fail to achieve the fullest potential impact. Advocacy without evidence is destined to fail from the start. But, when these pillars are brought together, the result can be powerful. The Eleanor Crook Foundation will work to foster synergies across researchers, implementers, government leaders, advocates, and beyond, starting with our own network of partners and grantees.
  1. Systems must change.

    Robust evidence about what works, why, and how, is critical to ending malnutrition. The Eleanor Crook Foundation will support evidence generation towards the implementation of proven and promising malnutrition interventions at scale. Recognizing that evidence alone is insufficient to driving impact, ECF will also support a community of partners poised to translate that evidence into the reform of policies, guidelines, and implementation approaches that will allow for delivery of nutrition programs to be truly sustainable at scale.

  2. Priorities must change.

    Sustainable scale of proven interventions is impossible if global malnutrition does not benefit from prioritization by stakeholders, including those that have the power to make the issue a policy and a funding priority. Changing priorities is an act of advocacy, and the Eleanor Crook Foundation is committed to supporting robust, evidence-based, and creative advocacy to make the case on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable.


This five-year strategy is part of our commitment to invest at least $100 million over the next decade to fight global malnutrition. We will support breakthroughs in research, push for critical reforms, and advocate for significant increases in financing for global malnutrition.

Our Big Wins

ECF’s ‘Big Wins’ are momentous, positive reform goals for malnutrition - on a global, national, or major sub-national scale. These objectives guide the day-to-day efforts and investments at ECF. At any given time, the ECF team is focused on achieving 10-15 Big Wins across our investment portfolio and direct engagement. As of the fall 2020, ECF’s Big Wins fall across the following focus areas:

  1. improvements in wasting treatment coverage in priority countries:ECF supports the long-term scale-up of improved approaches to wasting treatment as well as reform of the global architecture for wasting prevention and treatment, with a particular focus on the effective implementation of the UN Global Action Plan on Wasting and the World Health Organization guideline review on the treatment of wasting.  
  2. Management of At-Risk Mothers and Infants (MAMI) taken to scale in priority countries:Support for at-risk mothers and their babies is critical to preventing and treating malnutrition. ECF is focused on spurring global and country-level action around evidence-generation, policy-change, and scale-up of MAMI programs in priority countries. 
  3. Multiple micronutrient Supplementation (MMS) taken to scale in priority countries.Ensuring pregnant women have access and take the recommended dosage of MMS is critical for maternal and infant health. ECF is committed to research which will generate demand and improve adherence, and ensure prioritization of MMS in national guidelines. 
  4. Increased support for global malnutrition as a policy and funding priority by international donors with a specific focus on the U.S. and the UK.ECF believes that donors must commit increased resources for malnutrition and undertake critical assessments to ensure every dollar invested yields the maximum impact.
  5. Advancing multi-stakeholder partnerships for global malnutrition,including catalyzing at least $500 million in additional philanthropic investment and securing private sector investment in the scale-up of proven malnutrition interventions in high-burden countries.

Progress across these objectives requires smart, strategic investments, determined execution, and a coalition of partners willing to believe alongside us. We hope you’ll join us.

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Image 1 – © John Doe, 2018
Image 2 – © John Doe, 2016
Image 3 – © Jane Doe, 2019

Photo Captions

Header Image – © UNICEF
Image 1 – © WFP/Atanasijevic
Image 2 – © UNICEF/Chnkdji