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SPRING Finds Fertile Ground in Africa’s Sahel Region: Community Video to Improve Nutrition

Group watching a video projected on the wall

Building on its successful collaboration with Digital Green in Odisha, India, SPRING is integrating nutrition into community videos produced and screened in 20 villages in the Maradi Region of Niger. Since January 2015, SPRING and Digital Green have been working with three USAID-funded projects to create and disseminate locally produced videos on specific nutrition and resilience themes. Trained community members are screening these videos with their peers and encouraging new or improved behaviors through video screenings and follow-up home visits.

Community video offers an excellent opportunity to respond to key human development needs in nutrition and agriculture. In Niger, SPRING is partnering with REGIS-ER and two Food For Peace projects – LAHIA and Sawki to pilot the SPRING/Digital Green approach. The pilot is designed to test the feasibility, effectiveness and scalability of the approach within the resilience context of the Sahel. Selected video topics are based on nutrition and resilience-related priorities identified by the partners, and the specific content is informed by insights provided by community members and barriers to adoption identified through formative research. The first videos are focused on the role of nutrition in the first 1,000 days, the importance of handwashing and active feeding of complementary foods from a separate bowl. SPRING and Digital Green have trained a local community team to produce the videos, as well as 40 community volunteers and 3 supervisors to screen the videos, facilitate discussions with community members, and monitor resulting changes in behavior. They will disseminate each video for members of four selected community groups (both male and female) in each village. After each video screening, each group organizes at least one additional screening that month, for others in their community. Volunteer community members began disseminating videos in the pilot villages in March 2015 and will continue to disseminate one video each month until the end of the year.

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