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Post a reply: Investigation period necessary for researching effect of sharing in MAM/SAM programming: Senegal

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Advising a colleague working in Senegal and their question is this:

In the operating environment whereby there is a widespread program that is distributing PlumpySup to MAM cases to prevent SAM, how big of a factor is sharing in reducing the effectiveness of the intervention (i.e. should we spend limited time/resources on this issue)?

MAM cases are documented and PlumpySup distributed by operating organizations that do outreach. SAM cases are seen at a facility where they can be admitted into either inpatient or outpatient CMAM program.

So if we looked at the cases admitted at the facility (with SAM) and investigated whether they had been receiving the PlumpySup we could learn a bit about how important this issue is in the context where we already have the financial and institutional commitment to mobilize. Questions then are:

How many months of data (from the facilities) would be most useful to look at, knowing that a separate investigation has to take place with the operational partner organizations conducting the MAM part of the strategy?

Second, what would be a useful benchmark for determining the relative importance of the issue? If 10% of admitted cases have been ineffectively treated through the MAM/plumpySup strategy/20%/30% is that a problem?

Or is it best to go the other way, and try to explore the total MAM intervention group and look to see what percentage are appearing on the admissions list at the facility -- which would bring up the same question....what level would be a relative concern? 10%, 15%?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, clarifying questions, comments or even answers!

Eric

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