Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health; Women and Child Health


Public–private partnerships are an effective way to address the global double burden of malnutrition. While public–private partnerships operate in multiple forms, their leadership usually falls to governments, public health agencies, or nongovernmental organizations, with the private sector taking a subordinate role. The rapid ascent of social media and mass communications worldwide has provided a disruptive technology for new nutrition intervention programs. A new model, provisionally called private–public engagement, takes advantage of social media, mass media, and integrated social marketing to reach parents, families, and communities directly. These new private–public engagement initiatives need to be managed in ways suggested for public–private partnerships by the World Health Organization, especially if the private sector is in the lead. Once the rationale for engagement is defined, there is a need to mobilize resources, establish in-country partnerships and codes of conduct, and provide a plan for monitoring, evaluation, and accountability. Provided here is an example consistent with the private–public engagement approach, ie, the United for Healthier Kids program, which has been aimed at families with children aged less than 12 years. Materials to inspire behavioral change and promote healthier diets and lifestyle were disseminated in a number of countries through both digital and physical channels, often in partnership with local or regional governments. A description of this program, along with strategies to promote transparency and communication among stakeholders, serves to provide guidance for the development of future effective private–public engagements.


Author copy

Publication (Name of Journal)

Nutrition Reviews

Included in

Pediatrics Commons