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ProPAN 2.0

Date of Design
2004. ProPAN 2.0: 2013
Pan American Health Organization and UNICEF
Contact Institution
Chessa Lutter:
Pathway Component
Caring Capacity & Practices
Health Care


Brief Description: ProPAN is a set of research tools designed for ministries of health, nongovernmental organizations, and bilateral and international organizations working to improve diets and feeding practices to prevent early childhood malnutrition in children under two. ProPAN guides users through a step-by-step process for identifying problems related to young child nutrition, breastfeeding, and complementary feeding within a specific target population. It helps to define the context in which these problems occur, including barriers to and facilitators of improved or “ideal” practices. It helps designers with the processes of formulating, testing, and selecting behavior-change recommendations and nutritional recipes; developing interventions to promote them; and designing a monitoring and evaluation system to measure progress toward goals.

Uses: ProPAN can be used to:

  • Design a new program focused on infant and young child feeding.
  • Build on existing programs (e.g. develop key program messages, identify recipes for demonstrations).
  • Incorporate infant feeding counseling into health providers’ routine care.
  • Train nutrition researchers in quantitative and qualitative methods.

Tool Components: ProPAN includes:

  1. A field manual with step-by-step guidelines on how to apply quantitative and qualitative research methods
  2. An Epi InfoTM-based software program for data entry and analysis of quantitative data
  3. A software user’s guide 


Number of Staff Required: The four-month estimate assumes the modules will be conducted in their entirety by a 13-person team. The office-based team should consist of a coordinator, administrator, data analyst, data entry person, and session facilitator. These positions may be part- or full-time depending on the project needs. The field staff should consist of eight-person teams including two supervisors and six field workers.

Time: It is estimated that a minimum of four months is required to conduct Module I (assessment) and Module II (testing recommendations and recipes). Modules III and IV will take an estimated three weeks.

Cost of Assessment: The cost will vary based on a number of factors. The ProPAN field guide provides a list of budget line items to consider when drafting a budget. The tool includes a sample budget for a five-day training with a total cost of $11,950. Note that a complete four-month ProPAN assessment with field work would cost significantly more.

Training: In some cases, the central team will have experience in applying the methods described in ProPAN. In others, it will be necessary to hire a trainer from outside the implementing organization to train personnel in the research methodologies. The ProPAN website at provides further information on how to identify qualified personnel to ensure the research team has the expertise necessary to implement the ProPAN content selected for the research.

Geographic Targeting: ProPAN can be applied at district, community, province, or national level. The ProPAN field guide provides guidance on sampling techniques.

Type of Data Collection: ProPan includes quantitative methods (such as caregiver surveys, 24-hour dietary recall and anthropometry, and market survey), and qualitative methods (such as opportunistic observations, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups).

Degree of Technical Difficulty: ProPAN requires staff with previous experience. It also requires software and data analysis training.

Complements other Resources: ProPAN provides outputs for use in the Optifood software program. ProPAN collects data that could be used in various assessments.