Hamutuk: Multi-Sector Nutrition

Hamutuk is an innovative, multi-sector program bringing more than 20 diverse organisations together to improve nutrition in Timor-Leste. Its management is a partnership in itself: we're working closely with the Australian Embassy Dili, the Partnership for Human Development and M&E House on this one!

Visit Hamutuk's website

A Snapshot

  • Hamutuk means ‘together’ in Tetun (an official language of Timor-Leste)
  • It's a collective of six Timor-Leste government ministries and 13 NGOs and community partners working together to prevent malnutrition
  • We've designed an exciting mobile app to help community-based partners learn about families, share relevant behaviour change communication, reinforce key messages, and evaluate household uptake of nutrition-promoting behaviours
  • We're also developing an online platform to improve coordination and share information across Hamutuk partners, so each partner can manage and report on their key activities, results, and progress
  • We're exploring the integration of machine learning to support micro-targeting of behaviour change messages at the household level, such as what works in changing a behaviour for a household of similar characteristics

Catalpa is supporting the Hamutuk program by enhancing collaboration across sectors and helping partners influence nutrition-promoting behaviours, such as washing hands, keeping girls in school and growing nutritious foods.

We're doing that through a mobile app that community-based partners use to help us learn about households, share digital content, and target messages towards different household circumstances (like a video about breastfeeding if the household has pregnant women). Our online platform will also help share information and enhance coordination of our collective efforts, allowing partners to collaboratively report on and view progress.


Despite improvements, malnutrition remains widespread in Timor-Leste in rural and urban communities and across both richer and poorer households. Nationally, half of all children under five years are stunted (stunting is low height-for-age, a sign of chronic of undernutrition reflecting the cumulative effects of long-term nutritional deprivation). It negatively impacts cognitive development and educational attainment, and Timor-Leste has one of the highest rates in the world.

The causes of stunting are complex and diverse, and preventing it isn't just the responsibility of one sector. Global evidence is very clear that breaking the inter-generational cycle of stunting requires collective action targeting ALL causes, including water quality, personal hygiene, dietary diversity, reproductive health, feeding practices and women's empowerment.

Hamutuk brings together a broad range of partners across all these sectors to improve nutrition in our pilot village of Holarua: a mountainous, often geographically isolated community that already has a large overlap of donor projects.

The pilot project is funded by Australian Aid via innovationXchange.