Watch the re-play of the live event

Please take this survey to let us know if this webinar was helpful to you.


The webinar was aired in both English and French via simultaneous interpretation. You can choose which language to listen in.

What have we learned about helping countries tackle child undernutrition? Welcome to a webinar hosted by the World Bank Group’s independent evaluation arm, IEG, as part of the Nutrition for Growth summit.

The session examined the effectiveness of support in countries highly burdened by child undernutrition. It drew from IEG’s major evaluation on World Bank Support to Reducing Child Undernutrition and hosted a discussion with current and former leaders of multi-sector programs in countries and international agencies.

The webinar discussed:

  • What have we learned about interventions across sectors for tackling child undernutrition in countries?
  • What role does institutional strengthening play in combatting undernutrition, at national and subnational levels?
  • How could nutrition interventions better support social norms and behavior change?
  • How can development agencies and partner governments use these lessons to improve nutrition programming?


The session was opened by Alison Evans, Director-General, Evaluation, of the World Bank Group and moderated by Oscar Calvo-Gonzalez, Director at IEG.


Mercedes Vellez is an IEG evaluator and health economist who led the evaluation of the World Bank’s support to reducing child undernutrition.

Jenny Gold is an IEG senior evaluator and health specialist who led the evaluation of the World Bank’s support to reducing child undernutrition.


Dr. Meera Shekar is the World Bank’s Global Lead for Nutrition. Over the last two decades, she has led the repositioning of the nutrition agenda within the World Bank and with partners that led to the new global Scaling-up Nutrition (SUN) initiative and the catalytic financing facility, The Power of Nutrition. She co-leads the N4G financing working group and has authored several publications. Before joining the Bank in 2003, she led UNICEF’s Health, Nutrition and Water and Sanitation teams in Ethiopia, the Philippines and Tanzania. Meera has a PhD in international nutrition, epidemiology and population studies from Cornell University, USA.

Professor Roch Mongbo teaches at the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin, and leads its Social Dynamics and Development Analysis Laboratory (LADyD) as Director. Prof. Mongbo headed Benin’s Food and Nutrition Council, a national institution under the authority of the Head of State, as its Permanent Secretary from 2013 to 2020. He is an agronomist by training and holds a Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Wageningen University, Netherlands.

Dr. Olivia Yambi worked for two decades with UNICEF, including as UNICEF Representative in Kenya (2007-2012) and in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (2003-2007), and as Regional Nutrition Advisor to the UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Region (1997-2003). Prior to joining the UN, Dr. Yambi worked as Director of Planning with the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre. She holds a Ph.D. in International Nutrition with minors in Epidemiology and Agricultural Economics from Cornell University, USA. Dr. Yambi served as Co-Chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) from 2015 until January 2021.

Shawn Baker is Chief Nutritionist for USAID, guiding its investments and engagement with partners to address malnutrition in developing countries. Prior to joining USAID, Mr. Baker was the first director of nutrition at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has over 30 years’ experience in global public health nutrition, including 25 years living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.