National Institute of Nutrition Organizational and Capacity Strengthening, a two-year activity funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), provides qualified technical assistance to the Government of Laos’ newly formed National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), host of the Lao-American Nutrition Institute (LANI).

Despite strong economic growth, Laos has one of the highest rates of child undernutrition in Southeast Asia, with one-third of children being stunted. Food taboos influencing maternal and child health, delayed initiation of breastfeeding, early introduction of complementary foods, and limited dietary diversity impact the country’s nutritional profile. Although improvements in nutrition have been made, gaps and challenges remain.


USAID works to strengthen and improve NIN’s foundational documents and materials, particularly the Institute’s terms of reference, which includes the scope, organizational chart, budget and position descriptions required to complete the formal establishment of the Institute and enable it to undertake its mission. USAID also facilitates and coordinates face-to-face dialogue between high-ranking Lao officials and the Nutrition Center of Excellence in Vietnam, allowing decision makers to understand and operationalize lessons learned from their regional peers as they finalize NIN’s establishment.


  • Terms of reference finalized, including organizational structure, financial and procurement policies, human resources structure including job descriptions for all required positions.
  • Exchange visits to Vietnam’s Nutrition Center of Excellence with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs, with other regional exchanges as needed.
  • Five-year strategic plan adopted, including a Capacity Development Plan.

PARTNER:  USAID partners with RTI International to provide a qualified technical consultant to the Government of Laos to support the establishment of NIN and LANI and ensure that they will be able to operate, plan and finance their own organizations.