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CMAM Toolkit: Rapid start-up resources for emergency nutrition personnel

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Introduction to the Toolkit

The CMAM Toolkit has been designed as a collection of tools needed by program managers to begin implementation of CMAM programs, either at the onset of a crisis or during a protracted crisis, as a new emergency nutrition activity.  The toolkit was envisioned not as a re-creation of existing tools and resources that are currently available, but as an easy-to-use compilation of these tools and resources that will allow managers to rapidly access needed inputs and begin implementation as soon as possible, without needing to spend a lot of time searching for certain tools.

The toolkit is not meant to be used as a replacement of national protocols.  When starting up any emergency nutrition program, the first resource for program managers is the Ministry of Health.  Where countries have in place national protocols for the treatment of acute malnutrition, these protocols must be utilized, and any CMAM toolkit tools should be adapted to the national protocols.  Where a country has adopted standardized CMAM forms and reporting formats, these forms and formats should be used.  However, the toolkit provides samples of admission cards and reporting forms for those contexts in which national protocols or standardized forms do not yet exist. 

In addition to tools to be used for the start-up of CMAM activities, the CMAM toolkit contains tools to assist in the integration of Infant & Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) activities into a CMAM program.  The toolkit is not a start-up kit for IYCF-E programming, but contains a list of resources, though not comprehensive, that may be utilized when designing an IYCF-E program.  The inclusion of the IYCF integration tools in the CMAM toolkit serves as a reminder that activities aimed at the prevention of acute malnutrition can and should play a fundamental role in any curative program. 

The tools contained in the CMAM toolkit are not prescriptive.  Not all components may be required by every program, and adaptations to fit specific contexts are encouraged.  While every effort was made in the development of this toolkit to address most needs of emergency nutrition programs, the toolkit may not be wholly comprehensive.  Program managers may find other resources and tools very helpful, and we encourage you to use these tools as well as to recommend their inclusion in future editions of the CMAM toolkit.    As CMAM programming continues to evolve and as operational research yields best practices of CMAM programs, updated versions of the CMAM toolkit will be developed.     Your input as experienced managers of emergency nutrition programs will be invaluable to ensuring this toolkit remains practical and useful.

The Toolkit

Click on a heading to access the tools and use the download button at the top of the page as shown here:    

To download all documents in the CMAM Toolkit at one time, please use the following link: CMAM Toolkit (English) - Zip Folder 

Tool 1: Determining the Need for Intervention

A basic guide for program managers in determining the need for nutrition interventions including basic information needed, key questions to ask, and important resources for additional guidance

Tool 2: Planning by Program Type

Key information to consider and include in planning of CMAM and other emergency nutrition programs, including justification, target groups, location selection, essential supplies needed, staffing requirements, etc.

Tool 3: Caseload Estimation

Easy-to-use calculation tool to estimate the number of beneficiaries to be covered in nutrition programs, using catchment population, malnutrition rates, and length and coverage of the program

Tool 4: Supply Needs Estimation

Estimates the quantities of supplies needed based on caseload calculation, including RUTF/RUSF, clinical supplies, and routine medications, both annually and quarterly


Guidance and tools for measuring mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), weight, height and oedema status of children and pregnant and/or lactating women


Guidance and tools for conducting rapid nutrition assessments in emergencies


Key forms, formats and templates for admissions, registrations, follow-up, child/mother assessments and reports for use where no national standardized forms exist

Monitoring & Evaluation

Guidance and standard processes for setting and monitoring key nutrition program indicators


Administrative tools for emergency nutrition program sites


Standard CMAM program protocols, including entrance/exit criteria, ration distribution, treatment algorithms, medication dosages, and guidance for other standard program activities for use where no national standardized protocols exist


Formats and templates for routine reporting on nutrition program progress, including weekly/monthly admissions/discharges, LoW and GoW calculations, database samples, etc.


Sample job descriptions and responsibilities for key nutrition program staff


Routine checklists for nutrition program supervision


Tools for planning the transportation, warehousing, inventory and management of nutrition program supplies

Key Resources

A compilation of additional resources important for the start-up and management of emergency nutrition programs 

E-Learning Session

Accompanying The CMAM Toolkit is an interactive online tutorial that, in less than 30 minutes, provides a comprehensive introduction to The Toolkit, walks you through programming tools, shows you how to estimate caseloads and supplies, and helps you locate and adapt tools needed for rapid implementation.
You don't need to be a nutritionist to learn more about available resources for emergency nutrition programming.
Take the course TODAY!
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