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Agriculture and Nutrition Resource Review

The Agriculture and Nutrition Resource Review is a monthly selection of materials to keep you updated on research and developments related to strengthening linkages between agriculture and nutrition. Resources from this month’s review are featured below. To see materials from earlier editions, or to view resources from across SPRING's technical areas, visit the Resource Review.

Interested in a broader perspective? You can find interesting resources from across SPRING’s technical areas in the Resource Review

Research Articles
Recent findings from academic and peer-reviewed journals

M'Kaibi, F., Steyn, N., Ochola, S., and Du Plessis, L. Food Science & Nutrition (2016).

Despite strides made to reduce global hunger, vulnerable people on a global scale are still hungry. The availability of cheap cereal foods has coincided with a reduction in dietary diversity. A dearth of data on the relationship between biodiversity, dietary diversity, and food security with nutritional status of children in Kenya, and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, prompted this study to contextualize the associations between these factors.

Rural21 (2016). Vol. 50. No. 1.

The concept of “nutrition-sensitive agriculture” designates a role for agriculture in providing food security – access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food for all people at all times. However, chronic hunger continues, suggesting agriculture in its current state does not adequately fulfil this role. This journal issue searches for remedies to this situation, shows how closely agriculture, nutrition and health are linked, and takes a look at the various entry-points for improving nutrition through agriculture.

Cole, D.C., Levin, C., Loechl, C., Thiele, G., Grant, F., Girard, A.W., Sindi, K. and Low, J. Evaluation and Program Planning (2016). Vol. 56. 11-22.

In response to persistently poor maternal, newborn and child health indicators in low income countries, governments, non-governmental organizations and international donors have intensified the call for multi-sectoral interventions. These interventions require a new level of coordination between diverging goals, stakeholders, and evaluation. This paper aims to outline the multiple steps involved in planning a multi-sectoral program. It describes the authors’ approach to monitoring and evaluation, and it reflects on experiences in implementing the program and its evaluation.

Vir, S.C. Maternal & Child Nutrition (2016). Vol. 12. S1. 72-90.

Reducing stunting in South Asia requires the coordination of nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions, especially measures that lead to improved nutritional status for mothers. This paper suggests a range of potential program options to target adolescent women and mothers with the end goal of improving their nutritional status and that of children in the region.

Reports, Tools, and Other Related Materials
A diverse collection of programmatic materials and news

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, May 2016

In his new book, journalist Roger Thurow tells stories of mothers and babies worldwide to explore the effort to end childhood malnutrition. Thurow highlights the importance of proper nutrition during the 1,000 days in influencing an individual’s ability to grow, learn, and work, as well as the ways that it determines a society’s long-term health and prosperity. The book explores these themes through four families in Uganda, India, Guatemala, and the United States.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, May 2016

The Diagnostic Tool can assist program planners in identifying and mapping the scope and nature of linkages between agriculture and social protection interventions in their countries, including supportive and constraining factors. It can help in understanding how these linkages (or lack of them) affect livelihoods. This will provide a basis for identifying options for strengthening coordination as necessary within specific contexts.

Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA III) Project & The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, April 2016

The Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDD-W) indicator acts as a tool for assessment, target-setting, and advocacy. MDD-W is a dichotomous indicator of whether or not women 15-49 years of age have consumed at least five out of ten defined food groups the previous day or night. The proportion of women 15–49 years of age who reach this minimum in a population can be used as a proxy indicator for higher micronutrient adequacy, one important dimension of diet quality. MDD-W can be generated from population-based surveys.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, April 2016

The Voices of the Hungry project (VoH) aims to estimate prevalence of food insecurity consistently across national populations. These estimates are based on conditions and behaviors reported by adults through the Food Insecurity Experience Scale Survey Module (FIES-SM). The data collected are used to compute access to food and are adjusted to comparable international scales of food insecurity. The main purpose of the report is to allow food security analysts to evaluate the statistical soundness and adequacy of the methods described.

Feed the Future Knowledge-Driven Agricultural Development Project, March 2016

Nearly 200 performance and impact evaluations of Feed the Future programs were reviewed using the lens of the Feed the Future Learning Agenda to produce this report. Six themes and corresponding questions were addressed in the areas of agricultural productivity; improved research and development; expanded markets, value chains, and increased investment; improved nutrition and dietary quality; improved gender integration and women’s empowerment; and improved resilience of vulnerable populations. The purpose of this synthesis is to reveal trends, rather than serve as a final analysis, an attempt to comprehensively answer the Learning Agenda questions, or guidance to promote specific development approaches.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

SPRING, May 2016

The 2013 Lancet nutrition series argues that in order to achieve global targets for reducing undernutrition, there needs to be a multi-sectoral approach to include scaled-up, proven nutrition-specific interventions, as well as nutrition-sensitive interventions such as from the agriculture sector. This need for cross-sector collaboration was further outlined in the publication of the USAID 2014-2025 Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy, which states that “coordination along with collaborative planning and programming across sectors at national, regional, and local levels are necessary to accelerate and sustain nutrition improvements.” Participants in this webinar learned about different Mission-level approaches to promoting multi-sectoral coordination and collaboration to support nutrition outcomes and the lessons learned throughout the process.

Soybean Innovation Lab, May 2016

Soy milk and soy yogurt have the potential to contribute to improved nutrition for thousands of people while generating economic opportunities. This webinar focused on developing sustainable and successful soy dairy processing enterprises around the world. Presentations covered the benefits of soy for human nutrition, soy processing and the Soy Cow system, and soy dairy entrepreneurship.