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Are there good guidelines to design impact evaluation of multisector nutrition programmes?

This question was posted the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) forum area and has 3 replies.

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Anonymous 21842

Short term Technical assistant to SETSAN

Normal user

21 Jun 2018, 08:47

We are planning to conduct an impact evaluation of a multisector EU funded programme to reduce chronic malnutrition and food insecurity in Mozambique. The programme includes a wide range of actions: agriculture, fish production, SBCC, home gardening, market support, among others. Looking for practical guidance to support the design of our evaluation.

Jody Harris

Normal user

3 Jul 2018, 15:27

Here’s a few good ones:

The practical challenges of working across evaluators and implementers, and some methodological reflections, specifically targeted at nutrition-sensitive evaluations:

A review of ag-nutrition research with a practical focus, in particular advising evaluators to stay away from measuring impact on child stunting in all but the most complete multisectoral interventions, and instead to focus on slightly upstream indicators such as child diets or illness:

A good start? Best, Jody

Heather Danton

Normal user

3 Jul 2018, 18:40

A practical tool that might help remind you of key indicators - and how to gather the data needed to inform them - across multiple sectors is the IndiKit. This is set up to inform evaluations in both humanitarian relief and development settings.

Bill Kinsey

African Studies Center, Leiden University

Normal user

4 Jul 2018, 12:41

Have to disagree with Jody...and IFPRI. Assessing impact implies assessing final outcomes, i.e nutritional status. There are 100s, perhaps 1000s, of studies evaluating different specific indicators that report positively on things like, for example, dietary diversity, adherence to recommendations, cropping patterns, practice adoption, etc. Programmes then pat themselves on the back for improving nutritional status...when there is not a shred of evidence that what they do has any impact whatsoever on nutrition. Such evaluations operate under a huge web of causal assumptions that do not survive critical examination. My 30 years of documenting children's nutritional status in neighbouring Zimbabwe tells me that there is no alternative to doing direct measurements--i.e., anthropometrics. And ideally done frequently enough to capture seasonality, food supply cycles, etc, as well as geographical differences. This approach implies somewhat higher costs, good staff training, and monitoring of field operations.

In your evaluation, above all, tell the EU that achieving food security does not guarantee improved nutrition...certainly not in southern Africa.

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