When chicken dealer Yassid Wedaje participated in a training by Grant under Grant (a Growth through Nutrition initiative) last year, he had no idea it would impact his family. He has since implemented better nutritional habits in his own home, seeing the improvement in his children.
IR1. Increasing access to diverse, safe and quality foods
The project aims to promote access to nutritious and productive varieties of vegetables, fruits, legumes, bio-fortified crops and small livestock. Support areas include better use of inputs and cultivation practices, increased market availability of diverse foods, and addressing concerns of food safety and post-harvest losses. Emphasis will be placed on diversification of crop production and animal husbandry while food safety activities will focus on the prevention and control of potential health hazards. Food quality will address inputs and cultivation practices that influence a product’s value to the consumer and post-harvest handling will focus on reduction of losses.
The project will scale-up livelihoods and economic strengthening activities for Most Vulnerable Households (MVHHs) building on ENGINE’s successful work. In collaboration with partners, production activities will be developed and implemented through GoE systems while also capitalizing on the private sector. Activities will link with SBCC to increase the consumption of promoted foods and the adoption of improved hygiene and handling practices (see IR2).
Project activities aim to improve the nutritional status of women and children through increased dietary diversity and ensuring that a minimum acceptable diet for children is met at the household level. Specific implementation objectives under IR1 include:
- Adoption of sustainable approaches for production of diverse crops and livestock
- Adoption of innovative technologies for preparation, processing, preservation, and storage of safe, nutrient dense foods
- Strengthening government systems and private sector linkages
Key Progress in Project Year II
The project trained 15,407 development agents (DAs), model farmers, teachers and most vulnerable households (MVHHs) on agriculture productivity with an emphasis on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA).
To ensure dietary diversity of women and children, Growth through Nutrition provided a package of livelihood support (seeds of selected vegetables and fruits seedlings, basic hand tools for cultivation of homestead gardening, and productive animals) to 13,179 MVHHs and organized MVHHs into 540 village saving and credit groups, which also serve as a platform for SBCC (IR2) activities. The project also completed food safety assessment and piloting post-harvest handling (PHH) technologies.
Key Progress in Project Year III
The project trained 12,310 individuals (10,022 farmers and 2,288 government staff) with short term trainings focused on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) as well as Training Of Trainers for 128 zonal- and woreda-based Agricultural Extension Workers with an improved knowledge level from 56% to 78% according to pre- and post-training test results. The knowledge was cascaded to 2,042 Development Agents.
Additionally the project trained five model farmers per project kebele on skill-based NSA, totaling 2,793 model farmers. Training was also provided for 49 school teachers and woreda education office staff. Growth through Nutriryion provided seeds of vegetables and legumes, fruit seedlings, chicks of a dual purpose and adaptable poultry breed and farm tools to 25 model Farmer’s Training Centers.
Key Progress in Project Year IV
A significant mark of progress in year IV was promoting sustainable approaches of diverse crop production. To transfer knowledge and skill to the government staff, the project provided sustainable crop diversification training to 43 Agricultural Extension Workers.
Another focus for the year was diffusion of better nutrition-sensitive agriculture. The project scaled up this activity through the use of model farmers who promote these practices in their woredas. Growth through Nutrition provided Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) Training of Trainers to 43 Agricultural Extension Workers, which was cascaded to over 2,600 Development Agents who trained 3800 model farmers while maintaining COVID-19 infection prevention mechanisms. The method was effective – reaching for example, in the Tigray region 169 non-targeted neighboring farmers.
Through coaching and mentoring, the project supported an additional 1,891 farmers with on-farm guidance on NSA practices. Furthermore, a major issue effecting livelihoods and nutrition is the quality of inputs (i.e. seeds and breeds). To overcome this, the project trained model farmers to capacitate them to start seed distribution businesses in year III, in year IV, 21 model farmers were selected to establish fruit nurseries. Farmer Training Centers (FTCs) continued to play a significant role in promoting improved seeds as well as nutrition behaviors. Growth through Nutrition activity provided inputs (vegetable and fruit seeds and farm tools) to 26 FTCs and organized field days for agronomic trainings and cooking demonstrations.
The project also promoted nutrition sensitive agriculture practices and post harvest technologies which were adopted through schools and field days. 213 participants were reached across 5 field days introducing technologies such as solar drier, zero energy cooling chamber, improved potato harvester, and fermented cottage cheese (Metata Ayib).
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.
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.
On the 11th of March, 2020 - Save the Children U.S finalized an internal mid-term evaluation of the project activity's overall performance using a quantitative research study and program review.
Following Growth through Nutrition's provision of agricultural inputs for 28,000 vulnerable households, the project conducted a Post Distribution Monitoring (PDM) Assessment among Year III beneficiaries who received agricultural inputs to understand the effectiveness of livelihood support, appropriateness of the targeting and distribution process, and bottlenecks or shortcomings related to agricultural input distribution. This report details the assessment findings.
Assessment on Modalities of Livestock Support Fund Provision as In-kind or Cash to Support Most Vulnerable Households in Two Pilot Districts
Conducted in the Enarji Enawuga (in Amhara - East Gojjam) and Liben Chiquala (in East Oromia – East Shewa) districts - the assessment evaluated in-kind provision and cash transfer for agricultural inputs (livestock) to determine which modality is best.
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
This success story highlights how the Were Babu Magna Farmer's Training Center took advantage of resources provided by Growth through Nutrition to enhance their pond irrigation system and distribute inputs to the local community and other Farmer's Training Centers. The center has also played a vital role in the area diffusing nutrition-sensitive practices through training and cooking demonstration.
In a powerful testament to the force of knowledge and empowerment, mother-of-six, Workinesh Teka, details how with support from Growth through Nutrition, she transformed her family from a nutritionally vulnerable household to a thriving family unit, and how her children now consume a diversified diet of vegetables and animal products. She learned negotiation skills, and in doing so, built a stronger relationship with her husband, keeping the family from breaking apart.
Burke Amsalu is a mother of four children who struggled to find sustainable income as a local-spirit vendor and laborer in the Horo Guduru Welega Zone. While pregnant with one of her children, she frequently visited the nearby clinic to improve hygiene and nutrition practices for her household.