From the 6th-9th of August 2019, Save the Children (SCI) organized the Fourth Annual Review and Planning workshop for Feed the Future Ethiopia Growth through Nutrition Activity at Sodere Resort Hotel in Adama. The workshop brought together team members from SCI, partner organizations and local NGOs and served as a platform for team-building activities.
The meeting aimed to evaluate the lessons learned in the previous years of the project and build upon the discussions to finalize the activity plan for the fourth year of Growth through Nutrition in Ethiopia –specifically it identified the success stories, challenges and overall lessons learned from the research findings and reports presented and discussed. The workshop was opened by Save the Children Ethiopia’s Chief of Party, Dan Abbott, who contemplated the project’s implementation thus far. He commended the progress made and emphasizing the importance of ground-level changes that should diffuse to the community in the coming years.
Presentations on the first day included Behailu Woldegiorgis, M&E Specialist, who covered the thematic areas and highlighted some major challenges observed overall with proposed activities, and presentations by SC Agriculture, SBCC and Wash Advisors on their respective lessons, challenges and plans for Year IV. Extensive discussions were also presented on nutrition, multi-sectoral coordination, and cross cutting elements.
Lioul Berhanu, Health and Nutrition Advisor, presented findings from the recent Joint Supportive Supervision field visit to SNNPR. The visit, which was undertaken by experts in all thematic areas, provided many program recommendations including the need to plan and undertake similar regular JSS visits to ensure households are being reached with integrated livelihood, SBCC, WASH, nutrition-specific and cross-cutting project support.
A presentation on Most-Vulnerable Households was given by Senior Research and M&E advisor Dr. Cherinet Abuye. According to research conducted on 357 vulnerable households in 2017 and 2018, Dr. Cherinet stated that growth can be seen in the consumption of number of food groups by children between 6 and 23 months (with the exception of dairy). On the contrary, dietary diversity for women actually decreased between 2017 and 2018. This may be a result of mothers prioritizing their children’s diet over their own.
A review of a decision-making study by Rahel Gizaw, Tufts Senior Learning Advisor, presented research on the decision-making patterns behind the production, consumption and purchase of healthy foods within SNNPR and Amhara households, where it was reported that households do not yet prioritize healthy diet over other household expenses.
Furthermore, important updates were shared by other members of the team including legal (compliance for success), ethics (development fraud), IT (system and hardware management practices), knowledge management (Microsoft Teams) and budgeting for Year IV.
The workshop was wrapped up by closing remarks by Dan Abbott, who encouraged the team to consider the current political climate and calendar in the coming year’s operations and once again underscored the importance of ensuring dissemination of activities to the ground-level.