IMPROVING FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY OF VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES - AN INTEGRATED NUTRITION SENSITIVE APPROACH
Keywords:Food and nutrition security, community empowerment, integrated multisectoral approach to malnutrition
Background: Food and Nutrition Security is a multilevel and complex construct, needing a holistic developmental approach, including multiple stakeholders. These projects were implemented by local partners, Lasoona and Doaba Foundation addressing food availability, access, use, utilization, and sustainability through a multi-sectoral approach. The aim of the evaluation was to provide a comprehensive assessment of Food and Nutrition Security projects (1086 and 1087) based on OECD DAC evaluation criteria.
Methods: Mixed method approach, quasi-experimental design was used, including desk review, key informant interviews, focus group discussions with target communities, structured interviews of beneficiaries using Household Food Insecurity Assessment Scale (HIFAS) and Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) scale.
Results: According to the HIFAS results, Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) including Kohistan & Sawat were vulnerable with 34% and 15.78 % households facing food insecurity respectively. While in Muzaffargarh, a district of Punjab, 47% households were facing food insecurity. HDDS and IDDS improved considerably in all districts of KP and Punjab.
Conclusion: The evaluated projects were social change projects sowing the seeds of a major social paradigm shift - changing the status of women at household and community level. Awareness of malnutrition and balanced diet through community volunteers, peer educators, social mobilizers and outreach workers played a pivotal role. Access and availability of diversified and nutritious food via kitchen gardens and plantation of trees with the use of organic fertilizers was encouraged.