1,000 Days Project

Roger Thurow’s next book will tell the story of the vital importance of proper nutrition and health care in the 1,000 days window from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.

The 1,000 days period is the crucial period of development, when malnutrition can have severe life-long impacts on the individual, the family and society as a whole. Nutritional deficiencies that occur during this time are often overlooked, resulting in a hidden hunger. It is a problem of great human and economic dimensions, impacting rich and poor countries alike.

Roger will follow small groups of women and their children in four parts of the world – India, Uganda, Guatemala and the United States – through the 1,000 days period.  He also will examine the innovations, the economics and the politics of malnutrition and hunger.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing support for Thurow’s writing, including his multimedia storytelling via blog posts and video.  The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting also is supporting Thurow’s international reporting and storytelling during the first year of the book project.


Guatemala

Guatemala is classified by the World Bank as a lower-middle income country. Over half the population lives below the national poverty line. UNDP classifies Guatemala as a country with medium human development. The government spends only 6.7% of its GDP on health expenditure (with WHO recommendations at 15%). The country’s health indicators (such as infant mortality rate and U5 mortality) rate at 24 and 30 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively are slightly better than the world’s average. However, Guatemala ranks country number thirty-three on the global hunger index, classifying it as a country with serious hunger issues. It has the fourth highest chronic malnutrition in the world and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. In some indigenous areas almost seventy percent of the population is chronically malnourished according to U.S. International Agency for International Development.

Helpful data:

  • Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (World Bank 2012): $3,120
  • Percent of population living below $2 a day (PRB 2011): 26%
  • Poverty gap at national poverty line (World Bank 2011): 53.7%
  • Infant Mortality Rate (World Bank 2011): 24
  • Under 5 Mortality Rate (World Bank 2011): 30
  • Health expenditure as % of total GDP (World Bank 2011): 6.7%
  • Global Hunger Index Ranking (IFPRI 2012): #33
  • Human Development Ranking (UNDP 2012): #133
     

Additional resources:


India

India is classified by the World Bank as a lower-middle income country. Over three-fourths of the population lives on less than two dollars per day. UNDP classifies India as a country with medium human development. The government spends only 3.9% of its GDP on health expenditure (with WHO recommendations at 15%). The country’s health indicators (such as infant mortality rate and U5 mortality) rate at 47 and 61 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively are worse than the world’s average. India ranks number sixty five on the global hunger index, classifying it as a country with alarming hunger issues. Although the country has recently progressed, over forty percent of children fewer than five years of age are malnourished.

Helpful data:

  • Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (World Bank 2012): $1,530
  • Percent of population living below $2 a day (PRB 2011): 76%
  • Poverty gap at national poverty line (World Bank 2010): 29.8%
  • Infant Mortality Rate per 1,000 live births (World Bank 2011): 47
  • Under 5 Mortality Rate per 1,000 live births (World Bank 2011): 61
  • Health expenditure as % of total GDP (World Bank 2011): 3.9%
  • Global Hunger Index Ranking (IFPRI 2012): #65
  • Human Development Ranking (UNDP 2012): #136
     

Additional resources:


Uganda

Uganda is classified by the World Bank as a low-income country. Almost two-thirds of the population lives on less than two dollars a day. UNDP classifies Uganda as a country with low human development. The government spends 9.5% of its GDP on health expenditure (with WHO recommendations at 15%). The country’s health indicators (such as infant mortality rate and U5 mortality) rate at 58 and 90 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively are much worse than the world’s average. Uganda ranks country number forty-two on the global hunger index, classifying it as a country with serious hunger issues.

Helpful data:

  • Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (World Bank 2012): $440
  • Percent of population living below $2 a day (PRB 2011): 65%
  • Poverty gap at national poverty line (World Bank 2011): 24.5%
  • Infant Mortality Rate per 1,000 live births (World Bank 2011): 58
  • Under 5 Mortality Rate per 1,000 live births (World Bank 2011): 90
  • Health expenditure as % of total GDP (World Bank 2011): 9.5%
  • Global Hunger Index Ranking (IFPRI 2012): #42
  • Human Development Ranking (UNDP 2012): #161
     

Additional resources:


United States

The United States is classified by the World Bank as a high income country. UNDP classifies it as a country with very high human development (the third highest in the world). The government spends 17.9% of its GDP on health expenditure (with WHO recommendations at 15%). The country’s health indicators (such as infant mortality rate and U5 mortality) rate at 6.4 and 7.5 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively are much better than the world’s average. The United States is not ranked on the global hunger index, classifying it as a country without hunger

Helpful data:

  • Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (World Bank 2012): $50,120
  • Infant Mortality Rate per 1,000 live births (World Bank 2011): 6.4
  • Under 5 Mortality Rate per 1,000 live births (World Bank 2011): 7.5
  • Health expenditure as % of total GDP (World Bank 2011): 17.9%
  • Global Hunger Index Ranking (IFPRI 2012): not ranked
  • Human Development Ranking (UNDP 2012): #3
     

Additional resources:


 

Archive


| By Roger Thurow

My Moment of Great Disruption

In a 2013 TEDxChange talk, Roger Thurow talks about the smallholder farmers of Africa and the potential for good news in agricultural development.


| By Roger Thurow

Hay Festival 2013: a look at the effects of famine

In the first year classroom of Shemena Godo Primary School, in Boricha, Ethiopia, three dozen children study the alphabet. On a black chalkboard, teacher Chome Muse highlights the letter B and writes the combination with each vowel. Ba, be, bi, bo, bu.

| By Roger Thurow

A Mother's Day parable from Uganda

A mother knows. “This child is brilliant,” Harriet Okaka says about her one-year-old son, Abraham.  She isn’t bragging, just observing.  “I can tell, just by looking at him,” she says, “the way he plays, the way he is.”

| By Roger Thurow

1,000 Days Project

Roger Thurow’s next book will tell the story of the vital importance of proper nutrition and health care in the 1,000 days window from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.

| By Roger Thurow

Imagine this: food aid reform

As word spread earlier this week of the food aid reform section of President Obama’s 2014 budget, I wondered how Jerman Amente would greet the news.


| By Roger Thurow

Give peas a chance

As the ballots were being counted in the recent Kenya election, I saw photos of people displaying the encouraging message: Give Peace a Chance.  So far, that sentiment seems to be holding.


| By Roger Thurow

Forward ever

The young man from the farm was looking smart in an olive green suit, salmon tie and cufflinks.  His black shoes were a bit scuffed, but his English was polished.  “We are moving forward,” he said.  “Forward ever, backward never.”

| By Roger Thurow

Learning to Fish

In the vast assembly room at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, overlooking one of the nation’s premier food banking facilities, Drexton Granberry joyfully came to the end of his speech.  


| By Roger Thurow

A Thanksgiving Tale: The Hungercloth

I often write and speak about the awful oxymoron, "Hungry Farmers." How can the smallholder farmers of Africa suffer through an annual hunger season when every morning they rise with one task: grow food for their families?


Multimedia

Videos


 


Digital Preview of The First 1,000 Days

In his new book, The First 1,000 Days, Council senior fellow Roger Thurow illuminates the 1,000 Days initiative to end early childhood malnutrition through the compelling stories of new mothers in Uganda, India, Guatemala, and Chicago. Get a first-look at photos and stories from the book in this new web interactive.

» Learn more.
» Order your copy of the book.

Books

The First 1,000 Days

Roger Thurow’s book will tell the story of the vital importance of proper nutrition and health care in the 1,000 days window from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.

The 1,000 days period is the crucial period of development, when malnutrition can have severe life-long impacts on the individual, the family and society as a whole. Nutritional deficiencies that occur during this time are often overlooked, resulting in a hidden hunger. It is a problem of great human and economic dimensions, impacting rich and poor countries alike.

Learn more »

The Last Hunger Season

In The Last Hunger Season, the intimate dramas of the farmers' lives unfold amidst growing awareness that to feed the world's growing population, food production must double by 2050. How will the farmers, Africa, and a hungrier world deal with issues of water usage, land ownership, foreign investment, corruption, GMO's, the changing role of women, and the politics of foreign aid?

Learn more »

EnoughEnough

Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, award-winning writers on Africa, development, and agriculture, see famine as the result of bad policies spanning the political spectrum. In this compelling investigative narrative, they explain through vivid human stories how the agricultural revolutions that transformed Asia and Latin America stopped short in Africa, and how our sometimes well-intentioned strategies—alternating with ignorance and neglect—have conspired to keep the world’s poorest people hungry and unable to feed themselves.

Learn more »