What is nutrition-sensitive agriculture?
Agriculture is nutrition-sensitive when it addresses the underlying causes of malnutrition.
Nutrition-sensitive agriculture supports
Adequate caregiving resources
Access to health services and a hygienic environment
Identifying gaps and charting a way forward
Beginning in 2012, SPRING convened a series of regional workshops and conducted a landscape analysis to explore the approaches used in nutrition investments under the Obama Administration’s Feed the Future Initiative. The findings from the landscape analysis highlighted gaps in efforts to collaborate across sectors to improve nutrition. We are filling those gaps through:
Global Evidence and Guidance
SPRING's work explores why integration is necessary for better results in nutrition and identifies how to better link agriculture and nutrition programming. To help Feed the Future programs meet their nutritional goals, we developed a framework we call the agriculture-to-nutrition pathways, which shows the ways agriculture improves nutritional outcomes. The resources below share what we've learned so far.
USAID’s Nutrition-Sensitive Indicators
SPRING is helping define how to measure nutrition-sensitive agriculture. Recognizing that increased household consumption of nutritious crops may not happen automatically with increased production, we conducted research regarding data collection for a new Feed the Future indicator focused on intended consumption of nutrient-rich value chain commodities (NRVCC). USAID released revised data collection guidance incorporating SPRING's work on the NRVCC indicator in its most recent indicator handbook. For more information about SPRING’s field work and findings, you can watch our webinar on the topic.
Design and Monitoring Tools
We are developing a suite of tools that will equip international development practitioners with the latest evidence and guidance to design and monitor programs that link agriculture and nutrition. Our early experience underscores the importance of a thorough understanding of local contexts in designing effective nutrition-sensitive agriculture programs. As a result, we developed the Agriculture and Nutrition Context Assessment Tool to use whether creating new programs or amending existing projects.
Agriculture and Nutrition Context Assessment Tool
Conceptual Pathways between Agriculture and Nutrition
Adapted for Feed the Future by Anna Herforth, Jody Harris, and SPRING, from Gillespie, Harris, and Kadiyala (2012) and Kadiyala et al. (2014). Learn more about the pathways.
Currently under development:
- Designing Behavior-centered Practices. Making agriculture work for nutrition is fundamentally about changing people’s behaviors. The Accelerating Change in Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture online training course will help implementers address questions such as: What are nutrition-sensitive agriculture practices? How do we select and prioritize those practices for our context and target populations? How do we increase the use of those practices?
- Monitoring Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture. Knowing that what gets measured gets done, SPRING’s Tool for Selecting Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Outcomes and Indicators will support implementing partners in better tracking progress on how well their agricultural interventions are contributing to nutrition. It helps implementers answer: What outcomes should we be aiming for based on our context and capacity? And how can we set and measure targets for nutrition-sensitive agriculture activities?
Learning from Field Experience
Since 2012, SPRING has been working with USAID and its Feed the Future implementing partners to document experiences working along the agriculture-to-nutrition pathways. Our reports provide a snapshot of how development partners are implementing and measuring nutrition-sensitive agriculture practices in different contexts, and the various successes and lessons learned along the way.
Reports | April 2015
Training Materials | March 2015
Reports | September 2014
Briefs | June 2015
Reports | January 2015
Reports | September 2014
Field Notes | June 2014
Field Notes | April 2014
Field Notes | April 2014
Field Notes | March 2014
SPRING is also implementing a range of components of nutrition-sensitive agriculture and collecting lessons learned in our country programs in Bangladesh, Ghana, Kyrgyz Republic, Senegal, and through community media work we are conducting in partnership with Digital Green in India and Burkina Faso and Niger.
We regularly share results, lessons learned, and other experience implementing nutrition-sensitive agriculture though:
A monthly selection of materials to keep you updated on research and developments related to strengthening linkages between agriculture and nutrition.
SPRING hosts and contributes to a wide range of events that focus on nutrition within global development efforts. These events expand learning and foster experience and evidence exchange to inform nutrition policy and improve programming.
Become part of our community of agriculture and nutrition practitioners and researchers to receive updates on new resources and learning events.