Grant under Grant is a Growth through Nutrition initiative to develop the sustained capacity of local governments to address and claim ownership of the maternal and child nutrition needs in their respective woredas. Launched in project Year IV, Grant under Grant is a fixed-amount award pilot program that has committed over nine million Birr under three grants in three woredas that largely focus on system strengthening of local governments to initiate and sustain innovative means for the production and consumption of nutritionally dense foods.
Different from other Growth through Nutrition activities which directly fund nutrition and livelihood programs, through Grant under Grant, funds are provided directly to woredas in order that they may finance activities and provide direct assistance and technical support to officials to manage the program and funds. This technical assistance is designed to build the capacity of local governments to continue to manage funding and implementation of future, similar activities.
In July 2020, the regional, woreda and kebele officials in the three pilot woredas (Ebinat and Debark in Amhara and Neader Adiet in Tigray), along with Growth through Nutrition team members, commemorated the conclusion of the pilot implementation in a close-out ceremony.
In addition to improved technical skills developed in proposal writing and project implementation, it was also noted that key nutrition actors and targets in the woredas (Health Extension Workers, Development Army, Model Farmers and Most Vulnerable Households) gained greater awareness of the importance of both consumption and production of nutritionally-dense agricultural products. Furthermore, health facilities were able to play a larger role in community mobilization on account of the Grant under Grant initiative.
That said, while the supply of inputs such as drip irrigation kits, seeds, livestock, and farm-tools was successful, further work remains to be done in nutrition system strengthening and report writing skill development at the woreda level, despite improvements made with the help of regional Growth through Nutrition team members. The Grant under Grant pilot closeout was closely followed by an assessment, which highlighted key successes such as increased consumption of goat-milk and eggs and encouraged the use of model households to promote nutrition behaviors and a hands-on approach to capacity building.
Due to the overall success of the program, Growth through Nutrition will scale up Grant under Grant activities to reach eight woredas, more importantly, the pilot woredas are expected to make use of their developed skills and capacity to continue providing innovative local solutions to address future, local nutrition gaps.