World Vision International
publication • Wednesday, March 4th 2015

The Grandmother Guide

Involving Grandmothers to Promote Child Nutrition, Health and Development: A guide for programme planners and managers

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The Grandmother Guide was authored by Dr. Judi Aubel, founder of The Grandmother Project and developer of the "grandmother-inclusive approach" or "change through culture approach", an original methodology for working with communities and promoting change in community norms and practices dealing with the well-being of women and children. It is available in English (download above) or in French.

Click here to see a video and learn more about the Grandmother Project's work.

Grandmothers play a critical role in family and community life in societies all around the world, especially in caring for young children and advising and educating younger women on all aspects of family well-being. In many non-western societies, grandmothers have a particularly strong influence within the family context on the practices of younger women as well as on the decisions made by fathers and other men. Empowering grandmothers; enhancing communication between grandmothers, younger women and men; and strengthening the role of grandmother groups can also contribute to increased understanding and social cohesion within families and communities, as well as improved family and community health and well-being.

The Grandmother Guide is intended for NGO and government programme managers who design, implement and evaluate community programmes that impact children, such as child nutrition, health, agriculture and broader development programmes. The Guide's purpose is to help programme managers increase their knowledge, skills and commitment to:

  • respect and build on culturally designated roles of family members
  • include grandmothers as key actors in programmes on child health, nutrition and development
  • strengthen communication between generations within families and communities
  • promote participatory communication methods that strengthen community capacity to analyse situations and take action.