More than 1 out of every 3 children in Indonesia are stunted (World Food Programme)

Promoting sanitation goes hand-in-hand with IMA’s messaging promoting good nutrition. Watch videos from the campaign. 
Photo by Iwan Hasan

Through media and strong relationships, IMA aims to improve nutrition in first 1,000 days of life

Last year, IMA World Health celebrated a major milestone in our quest to provide health, healing and well-being for all. With the launch of a new project to reduce stunting in Indonesia, we opened our first Asia-based field office.

Stunting is widespread and poorly understood in Indonesia, and the Indonesian context is new to IMA.
As with all new undertakings, the biggest challenge was getting things going. Fortunately, IMA’s greatest strength is in our partnerships, and whether we’ve worked in a country for one year or 20, we always start a new project doing what we do best: empowering local partners and mobilizing stakeholders to work together to do what they do best.

Parents and other caregivers, health workers, government and community leaders, local faith communities and organizations, donors and partners—each has a critical role in fostering healthy behaviors and cultural norms. So far, everyone is pitching in.

With funding from the Millennium Challenge Account in Indonesia, our partners at the University of Indonesia spent a year conducting research to determine the best approaches for the MCA’s National Nutrition Communications Campaign. In December 2015, the Government of Indonesia supported the official launch of the mass media awareness campaign, which, with the help of major media partners, spreads critical messages to educate the public about stunting. Then, against the backdrop of heightened public awareness, local program managers rally government officials, health workers, faith leaders and other partners on the ground to drive policy changes, reinforce campaign messages and harmonize efforts toward achieving project goals.

As the campaign gains momentum, IMA is gratified to see our messages gaining attention and stakeholders at every level rising together to meet the challenge. This is the work of true partnership, and we are confident this collective investment of time and teamwork will grow into a healthier future for thousands of children throughout Indonesia.

A mothers’ class in South Sumatra.
Photo by Iwan Hasan

Our partner:

The University of Indonesia

Before launching a national media campaign to promote behavior change, it is imperative to capture data on your target audience’s existing customs, values, and social norms—from their relevant health behaviors to what kind of media they most frequently use. IMA World Health was pleased to have the University of Indonesia’s esteemed Center for Nutrition and Health Studies on board to conduct the project’s formative research to inform the design of the NNCC. Led by Dr. Ahmad Syafiq, the researchers used the Socio-Ecological Model in Health Promotion as a conceptual framework to collect quantitative and qualitative data across 10 provinces and 11 districts. Following the research phase ending in October 2014, their analysis recommended the multimedia campaign focus primarily on complementary feeding and improved sanitation and hygiene.


viewers reached (61% of the television audience)


journalists trained on the importance of reducing stunting

officially launched the project website at

National Nutrition Communications Campaign

$4.1 million | Millennium Challenge Corporation-Indonesia | 2014–2017

More than one-third of Indonesians under age 5 are stunted, a problem with significant long-term implications for overall health, physical and cognitive development, and longevity. While prevailing cultural perceptions attribute a child’s small stature to genetics, the real problem is inadequate nutrition during the first 1,000 days from conception to age 2. Fortunately, adopting basic practices –  such as adequate nutrition for pregnant mothers, exclusive breastfeeding, good hygiene and a nutritious, diversified diet after 6 months of age–can have a big impact.

To dispel myths and promote healthy behaviors, IMA and partners are implementing a national multimedia campaign with a special focus on Landak, Kapuas and Sumatera Selatan districts.

The campaign has three main objectives:  1) Increase awareness and understanding of stunting among parents, community members, government officials, and the general public, 2) Gain commitment from a broad array of stakeholders in the public and private sectors to tackle stunting, and 3) Foster individual and community behavior change related to health and nutrition at all levels.

After a year-long formative research phase, this year the campaign released two public service announcements focused on complementary feeding and sanitation, and it maintains a website ( and social media channels to reinforce key messages. The project also uses health workers and local volunteers to create dialogue within communities through classes and support groups for parents, and by engaging faith leaders. Vice President of Indonesia Jusuf Kalla led the campaign’s launch, drawing the attendance of the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Development Planning, and the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia and reinforcing the strategic importance of partnership across stakeholder groups.