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Researching a New Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture Indicator: NRVCC Fieldwork

From April to October 2015, SPRING conducted field research to develop data collection guidance for a new Feed the Future nutrition-sensitive agriculture indicator. This annual reporting indicator is intended to track a required if applicable outcome related to consumption of nutrient-rich value chain commodities (NRVCC) by direct beneficiary households. The new indicator captures “Total quantity of targeted nutrient-rich value chain commodities produced by direct beneficiaries that is set aside for home consumption” (Feed the Future Handbook of Indicator Definitions, p. 54). The USAID Bureau for Food Security (BFS) has added this new indicator for use under its Feed the Future activities.

Required if Applicable (RiA) indicators
are outcome indicators at the second-level objective or intermediate result level of the Feed the Future Results Framework (p. 5, Feed the Future Indicator Handbook)

Value Chain: The full range of actors and activities required to bring a product or service from its conception to its end markets. Value chain actors include input suppliers, producers, processors, traders, distributors, wholesalers and retailers that provide services required to get the product to the final consumer.

To identify challenges and constraints in collecting data for this indicator, SPRING conducted fieldwork in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malawi, and Zambia. In addition, SPRING completed a desk review of literature, key informant interviews with subject matter experts and field-based M&E practitioners, and a review of implementing partner project documents.

Through this research, SPRING found that:

  • Data collection and measurement of this indicator are feasible in spite of unique complexities;
  • To obtain the most accurate gross margin and NRVCC data, producers should further strengthen recordkeeping capacities and practices;
  • The NRVCC indicator may be most informative when paired with other nutrition-sensitive agriculture indicators.

Currently, SPRING is finalizing a guidance document to facilitate the data collection and reporting of the NRVCC indicator by Missions and implementing partners, which will be incorporated into the updated Feed the Future Agricultural Indicator Guide.

This photo gallery captures SPRING’s fieldwork, which includes select NRVCCs studied, ways through which NRVCCs are processed for later consumption, focus group discussions with farmers, and observations of survey sessions with sampled farmers.