Food and Nutrition Security

2023 Participant Based Survey: Titukulane Project – PaBS Outcome Report

Despite decades of robust government and donor investments in livelihoods, food security, nutrition, and resilience, over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. Previous activities have not sufficiently reduced the number of chronically food and nutrition insecure households nor effectively enhanced the capacity of local and government structures to implement resilience focused policies and actions. To address these issues, the Government of Malawi developed a National Resilience Strategy 2018-2030 (NRS) to guide investments in agriculture, reduce impacts and improve recovery from shocks, promote household resilience, strengthen the management of Malawi’s natural resources, and facilitate effective coordination between government institutions, civil society organizations and development partners. CARE and consortium partners designed the Titukulane Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA) which means “let us work together for development” in the local Chichewa language—to support pilot implementation of NRS in Zomba and mangochi districts. The Titukulane RFSA, implemented by CARE International in Malawi (CIM), aims to achieve sustainable, equitable, and resilient food and nutrition security for ultra-poor and chronically vulnerable households. Specifically, Titukulane is designed to increase households’ abilities to deal with shocks without experiencing food insecurity following a three-purpose approach:

1. Increased diversified, sustainable, and equitable incomes for ultra-poor, chronically vulnerable households, women, and youth.
2. Improved nutritional status among children under 5 years of age, adolescent girls, and women of reproductive age.
3. Increased institutional and local capacities to reduce risk and increase resilience among poor and very poor households in alignment with the Malawi NRS.

To meet these three purposes, the Titukulane RFSA provides households with a package of interventions, including: Care Groups with Nutritional Cash Transfers (NCT), Farmer Field Business Schools and crop marketing support, Village Savings and Loan Associations, Adolescent nutrition, Irrigation farming, Youth vocational training including start-up capital and Gender dialogues. Read More...

HATUTAN II Baseline McGovern Dole Food for Education

In this report, we present findings from the baseline assessment of the HATUTAN II (Hahán ne’ebé Atu fó Tulun ho Nutrisaun no Edukasaun or Food to Support Nutrition and Education) program. This program is a five year (2022 – 2027), US$26.5 million initiative that will work in partnership with the Government of Timor-Leste and development stakeholders to address two strategic objectives: improved literacy of school-aged children and increased use of health, nutrition, and dietary practices. The program will operate in 378 schools and communities within four of Timor-Leste’s most deprived municipalities, Ainaro, Ermera, Manatuto, and Oe-cusse, to support an estimated 171,232 target beneficiaries including school-aged children, teacher, school administrators, and community members. Key activities will include support for the government-run School Feeding Program (SFP) and trainings targeting teachers, school administrators, and community members.

The baseline assessment finds that grade 2 students’ literacy abilities are very weak and many students remain unable to read words. The average overall score on the literacy assessment was only 10.9% for intervention students, and only 18.2% of intervention students demonstrated the ability to read and understand the meaning of a grade-level passage. Scores were highest—though still low in absolute terms—for letter recognition, at 21.8% for intervention students. Furthermore, many grade 2 students have no literacy abilities, with 21.8% of intervention students scoring 0% overall on the literacy assessment.

We find moderate use of engaging teaching practices in most intervention municipalities, with relatively more frequent use of these practices in Ermera and less frequent use in Oe-cusse. However, across all municipalities, substantial potential remains to continue improving the use of engaging teaching practices, as well as reducing the use of traditional, unengaging teaching practices including copying from the board and repeating after the teacher. Furthermore, corporal punishment was still observed to be used by some teachers in intervention schools and is likely underreported in our data due to social desirability bias. Read More...

Qualitative Monitoring Improvement Initiative Pilot for the SHOUHARDO III Program in Bangladesh

Strengthening Household Abilities to Respond to Development Opportunities (SHOUHARDO) III was a five-year multisectoral and integrated program implemented by CARE Bangladesh between 2015 and 2020 and funded by USAID and the Government of Bangladesh. The objective of the program was to improve the lives and livelihoods of 549,000 people living in poor and extreme poor communities in eight districts in the Deep Haor and Remote Char region of northern Bangladesh. The program focused on community-based asset development and women’s empowerment, building the capacity of local government and community-service organizations, increasing resilience to frequent shocks and stressors, and improving nutrition and health outcomes for mothers and children under two-years of age. SHOUHARDO III was extended for two years (2020 to 2022) and a second extension phase (SHOUHARDO III Plus) was funded for an additional two years (2022 to 2024). During this period the program will focus on engaging with and linking local service providers with the government and the private sector. Read More...

OUTCOME MAPPING ASSESSMENT REPORT RESILIECE IN PASTORAL AREAS (RIPA – NORTH)

Gender transformation is a major cross-cutting approach of the Mercy Corps-led RIPA-North program which aims to build resilience in the lowlands of Ethiopia. A key pillar of this approach is to address restrictive gender and social norms which limit female participation in market opportunities, exclude women from having an active voice in community institutions, and undermine nutrition improvements. The approach, led by CARE International, is a process of Social Analysis and Action (SAA) in which participants in RIPA-North community and market platforms engage in dialogue with their communities to identify and ultimately address the restrictive norms.
RIPA-North’s ‘Gender Outcome Mapping' Study, conducted in February 2023, aimed to assess how communities themselves measure theirprogress towards gender equality. The findings indicate very positive signs of progress, with almost 75% of women reporting 'high' or 'medium' levels of change for all eight main categories of gender norm that pose a challenge for women's participation and gender equity. Read More...

Ghana: Inequalities in Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is a global health challenge, especially among low- and middle-income countries. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2.1 targets to: “End hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and vulnerable people, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round by 2030.” In Ghana, the situation worsened in 2022. The number of individuals in food crisis surged from 560,000 in 2021 to 823,000 in 2022, marking a 47% increase in individuals suffering from lack of food access, availability, and utilization. As per the Food and Agricultural Organization, in terms of the prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in Ghana, 12.9 million people, or 39.4% of the total population, were affected in 2022. Read More...

SHOUHARDO III Performance and Impact evaluation

This report evaluates the performance of the SHOUHARDO III project, which targets poor households in the char and haor (wetland) areas of Bangladesh and aims to address food and income insecurity, maternal and child health and nutrition, women’s and youth empowerment, as well as improve access to public services while building resilience capacities. This evaluation employs three methodologies: qualitative inquiry, pre-post comparison, and impact evaluation. The impact evaluation matches communities treated by SHOUHARDO III with untreated communities ex-post, using baseline stunting rates from the 2014 DHS dataset. The evaluation finds that the SHOUHARDO III project engaged more than 40% of households surveyed within target villages and successfully targeted poor and female-headed households. The analysis of baseline and endline statuses (pre-post analysis) of households in the SHOUHARDO III-targeted areas demonstrates that households from these areas improved across several indicators, including poverty levels, the nutritional status of women and children, women’s empowerment, and gender equity. From a qualitative standpoint, participants from areas where SHOUHARDO III appeared well-implemented offers insights into the potential of the interventions. The qualitative evaluation found mechanisms of change in several areas that can be built upon and enhanced. Qualitative findings show that the program succeeded in promoting multi-sectoral change at household and community levels. They also show that SHOUHARDO III effectively targeted services to the most food-insecure, Poor and Extremely Poor members of communities, and its multi-generational and gender-inclusive approach to its interventions facilitated community acceptance. From the impact evaluation, it is likely that we can credit SHOUHARDO III with improvements in women’s dietary diversity, women and children’s minimum acceptable diet, antenatal care access, and the increase in participation across several sectors. In addition, households in SHOUHARDO III villages experienced statistically significant differences in one resilience indicator, and households in program villages that experienced major shocks were better able to maintain their food consumption than similar households in comparison villages. However, the impact evaluation does not find meaningful differences between households in targeted communities and households in non-targeted communities in terms of women’s mobility and decision-making, children’s nutritional status (including child stunting and underweight status), children’s diarrhea, exclusive breastfeeding, household hunger, and improved use of health and nutrition services overall. Improvements in mostmeasured conditions in the SHOUHARDO III program areas appear to have been matched by similar improvements in non-program areas, suggesting broader forces may account for them. Ultimately understanding differences between program areas and non-program areas can help inform decisions about future chapters of the SHOUHARDO III program and other development food security programs to ensure the most effective programs for vulnerable populations. Understanding the dynamics and mechanisms of change and responses of participants to interventions can also inform future work. Salient findings are also important to highlight for action. The research team concludes this report with recommendations. Read More...

LIVELIHOODS FOR RESILIENCE ACTIVITY ENDLINE INTERMEDIATE RESULTS (IR) ASSESSMENT

The Feed the Future Ethiopia-Livelihoods for Resilience Activity (L4R) is a 6.5-year USAID project led by CARE, with the goal of improving food security for 97,900 chronically foodinsecure households in multiple Ethiopian regions. It aims to achieve resilient livelihoods through four main objectives. Zerihun Associates was contracted to and conduct an Endline Assessment using mixed methods, and managed data collection of the endline, ensuring quality through rigorous processes. Despite challenges, Zerihun Associates successfully gathered data from 1802 out of 1849 sampled households. However, the study faced limitations due to external factors, seasonal variations, and methodological inconsistencies, potentially impacting findings' comparability. Using both cross-sectional and panel data, the study reveals a mix of success and challenges.
Income
Devaluation of the birr during the project period, combined with rising inflation and cost of inputs, negatively impacted household’s net inflation-adjust income over time. While in unadjusted terms net incomes increased 154%, when adjusted for inflation, net incomes experienced a 19% decline among cross-sectional households from baseline to endline. At endline, there was an increase in the proportion of households earning income from crop and livestock production and transfers and other sources, but a decline in households earning income from off-farm and wage employment, compared to baseline. There was a slight increase in the average number of income sources per
household between baseline and endline (1.5 and 1.7 sources respectively).
Household Assets
The longitudinal analysis of household assets among both cross-sectional and panel data reveals a generally upward trend in overall household asset values and, particularly, in livestock assets over the period from the baseline to the endline. When adjusted for inflation, the overall asset value showed a 43% increase in the cross-sectional data and a 25% increase in the panel data. Livestock assets consistently played a pivotal role in this growth. This rise is particularly notable given the challenging economic conditions, including conflicts.
On-Farm livelihoods
The cross-sectional analysis on household livelihood activities, specifically focusing on Value Chain (VC) engagement, reveals a complex pattern of participation over time. Initially, there was a promising uptick in households engaged in at least one prioritized VC, increasing from 49.5% at baseline to 71.0% in Year 3. This was followed by a decline, reaching 45.9% by the endline. However, there was a slight increase in households engaged in two or more prioritized value chains between baseline and endline, increasing from 38% to 40%. Read More...

Promoción del desarrollo económico rural en mujeres y jóvenes de la region Lempa (PROLEMPA)

El proyecto evaluado “Promoción del Desarrollo Económico Rural de la Mujer y la Juventud de la Región Lempa de Honduras – PROLEMPA, fue financiado por Asuntos Mundiales de Canadá – AMC; e implementado por un consorcio conformado por CARE Internacional (líder), CESO-SACO, SAJE Montreal Center, SOCODEVI y TechnoServe. Tuvo una duración de 5.5 años, de julio de 2017 a abril de 2023. El presupuesto asignado para la intervención fue $13.019.834; y se llevó a cabo en el Corredor Seco de Honduras, de manera específica en los departamentos de Intibucá, La Paz y Lempira, con cobertura de 25 municipios en total.

La evaluación final de PROLEMPA se realizó con base en los criterios de evaluación relevancia, eficiencia, efectividad, impacto y sostenibilidad; el análisis de los enfoques de género y empoderamiento de mujeres, y sostenibilidad ambiental; y la identificación de aprendizajes y buenas prácticas, dando respuesta a las preguntas de evaluación que guiaron el análisis, interpretación y emisión de juicios de valor. Se utilizó una metodología mixta (cualitativa y cuantitativa) con un abordaje participativo que ubicó a las personas en el centro del análisis y la reflexión sobre la gestión y agencia de su desarrollo. Se utilizaron fuentes primarias (productores y productoras de café, liderazgo de las organizaciones de productores, representantes de empresas exportadoras de café, Redes Municipales De Mujeres, Red Regional De Mujeres Lencas, representantes de Oficinas Municipales De La Mujer, Oficinas Municipales De Juventud, emprendedores y emprendedoras, empresas y actores del sector turismo, equipos técnicos de las organizaciones socias del consorcio y socias locales, entre otras. Read More...

HATUTAN Endline Evaluation

In this report, we present findings from the endline evaluation of the HATUTAN (Hahán ne’ebé Atu fó Tulun ho Nutrisaun no Edukasaun or Food to Support Nutrition and Education) program. Running between 2018 and 2023, the program worked in partnership with the Government of Timor-Leste and development stakeholders to address two strategic objectives: improved literacy of school-aged children and increased use of health, nutrition, and dietary practices. The program operated in 443 schools and communities within four of Timor-Leste’s most deprived municipalities, Ainaro, Ermera, Liquica, and Manatuto, supporting an estimated 105,967 target beneficiaries including school-aged children, teacher, school administrators, and community members. Key activities included support for the government-run School Feeding Program (SFP) and trainings targeting teachers, school administrators, and community members. Read More...

Uganda: Food insecurity a pressing concern

The Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) was a 38-month long project (January 2020 to February 2023) with an aim to improve food security, maternal and child nutrition, and household incomes for smallholder farmers in 11 districts of Uganda. The project has three major outcomes: increased production of diversified food by both men and women smallholder farmers, enhanced market accessibility for these farmers, and improved nutrition and family planning services through gender responsive community-based approaches. As a result, here was a significant 16.3% increase in adoption and production of diverse food crops and animal products, as well as 23.8% increase in the adoption of climate-smart technologies among the project participants. Read More...

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