IR2. Promoting Optimal Nutrition, WASH, and Agriculture Behaviors

The goal is to improve maternal, adolescent and child nutrition by increasing the adoption of optimal nutrition, WASH, and agriculture behaviors using social and behavior change communication (SBCC). This approach addresses gaps and promotes alignment and consistency of SBCC activities across the country.

IR2 integrates programming related to nutrition-sensitive agriculture (IR1), nutrition-specific interventions through the health sector (IR3), and WASH (IR4). The targets are women and their family members, caretakers, and the most vulnerable households with children under two. The SBCC focus on women emphasizes equal distribution of responsibilities and decision-making in households for optimal family health and growth.

The following focus areas are identified under IR2:

  • Evidence-based SBCC approaches to improve nutrition, WASH, and agriculture-related behaviors
  • Frontline agriculture and health workers’ skills related to SBCC
  • Promotion and support of SBCC at community and household levels

Key Progress in Project Year II 

During the Project Year II, Growth through Nutrition availed key materials for all partners on an online SBCC Resource Bank as part of the knowledge management website. Reports on adolescent nutrition formative research and the maternal nutrition trial of improved practices (TIPs) research were finalized and SBCC strategy was formulated. The project started Enhanced Community Conversations (ECCs) via both LNGOs and MVHH saving group platforms to improve the adoption of maternal, infant, young child nutrition (MIYCN) practices, reaching a total of 13,155 individuals. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church – Development Association (EOTC-DICAC) also provided training for 247 clergies on laws and regulations related to fasting for pregnant and lactating women, and children under two in Amhara region.

Key Progress in Project Year III

Growth through Nutrition developed annotated descriptions for the set of seven new adolescent nutrition SBCC print materials for health clubs, teachers’ guide, and TOT module updated to the Growth through Nutrition’s online SBCC Resource Bank

Developed adolescent radio spot program for in-school girls:  In Year III, Growth through Nutrition supported twelve educational radio stations in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, and SNNP Regions to produce and transmit 166 radio adolescent spot programs for in-school gitls and developed a set of new SBCC print materials for use with adolescents both in- and out-of-school. A rapid assessment was conducted in Quarter III to identify additional content to be transmitted as well as to verify the reach and quality of transmission. In depth interviews were conducted with radio program producers, teachers, and directors while focus group discussions were made with students in five selected schools from project Regions. 

Additionally, the project conducted a rapid assessment in Tigray and Amhara Regions and Ethiopian Orothodox Tewahedo Church head office in Addis Ababa to identify strengths and limitations of the current approach and recommend a more suitable approach to address harmful fasting norms. 

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Transforming Food Systems Lessons Learned from Global and Local Experience - Summary Notes

On December 1, 2020 - Tufts University, in collaboration with Save the Children International  conducted a webinar  and discussed the core elements of food systems, external drivers, and poliitical economy issues that facilitate or impede important changes in food systems. It also covered critical gaps in knowledge regarding the tradeoffs embedded in the SDGs, as well as policies that could bring about dramatic changes in food systems.  the major lessons and paths forward in regards to improving food systems transformations to meet nutritional needs in a sustainable manner.

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Success Story - the husband and wife team working to change their nutrition future

Since Birke Abera's husband Yohanis received awareness about child feeding practices, he has gone out of his way to support his wife where he can and they have learned to discuss and agree on their family's activities. Empowered by this new knowledge, the duo has transformed the fate of their family from being nutritionally vulnerable to capable of providing a healthy and nutritious to their son consistently.

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Success Story - Setting an Example for Health Extension Workers Everywhere

In Debark Woreda of North Gondar, Bizuwork Zewdu, a Health Extension Worker, is just one of many who have felt the impact of Grant under Grant, a growth through nutrition initiative. Bizuwork engages actively in securing a better future for her community's nutrition, working with mothers to demonstrate best practices in Deber HEalth post, where she works. 

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Looking Back to Look Forward: Lessons Learned from ENGINE and Growth through Nutrition

The paper below is a summary of key research findings, lessons learned and program/policy recommendations from operation research studies conducted under the Growth through Nutrition and its predecessor ENGINE project. It also highlights some of the ways the project learning, research dissemination and capacity building activities have had a positive outcome of turning “research into action” and summarizes the way forward.

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Report Summary - Social Behavior Change Communication, Virtual Facilitator Study

The attached document is a summary of the report on a quasi-experimental study Tufts University conducted to evaluate the added value of virtual facilitator as an SBCC approaches to improve IYCF, women diet diversity, women empowerment and WASH practices of Enhance Community Conversation participants in selected project intervention woredas in Amhara  (Basoliben Woreda) and Oromia  (Becho and Girar Jarso

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Success Story - Empowered Health Extension Worker Atsede transforms a health facility

When Atsede Seifu first joined the Tekeze Health Post in Welkait Wereda as a Health Extention Worker, she was highly affected by “that intensive sadness and worry of seeing children suffer from malnutrition despite the availability of different food items in their hands or at home.” With this motivation, she set about implementing quality improvement models supported by Growth through Nutrition following her on-the-job training - improving the organized records of the facility's services.

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