Social and behavior change strategies implemented in the context of nutrition sensitive agriculture: A scoping exercise to identify current practice, gaps and resource needs Open Access

Piol, Garang Buk Buk (Spring 2021)

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Introduction: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates 690 million people remain undernourished in 2019 (FAO, 2020). Globally, one out of three children under 5 years-of-age is not getting adequate nutrition for optimum growth and development (Food Insecurity Information Network, 2020). In 2019, 2.6 million Kenyans faced acute food insecurity. Turkana region in northwest Kenya is one of the worst affected regions, with Turkana South and North placed under phase 5 of Integrated Food Security Phase Classification with Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) WHZ ≥ 30%. Although there was improvement in 2020, this region is still in critical stage 4 of Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC 2020). Food security and nutrition are incredibly complex problems affecting diverse populations across the globe and as such, it require interdisciplinary understanding and approach. 

Objectives: This study aims to identify approaches used to improve food security and nutrition, identify challenges to implementation, lessons learned, best practices, and clarify needs for nutrition social and behavior change. It will identify the unique features which characterize social and behavioral change in regards to nutrition interventions used in the context of agriculture programs in Kenya’s Turkana region.

Methods: A qualitative implementation research study was conducted. The implementing partner was selected based on the Nutrition-sensitive agriculture project it was implementing. Different data abstraction tools were used to obtained secondary data from  formative research, baseline Survey, periodic reports and communication tools. Equally two project staff from implementing organization were interviewed. Data analysis started with identification of key thematic areas in abstracted data from the project documents. The key behaviors and behavioral determinants are presented in Microsoft excel against the project activities. The COM-B model is used during analysis to categorize and code key targets of SBC approaches. 

Results: A situational analysis using baseline survey and formative research was conducted. There is no record on how identified behavioral determinants and barrier were used. A community based approach, Care Group methodology was adapted. Six lessons for a total of 139 Care group trainings through the year 2017 were reported, which is the most recent reporting available for this review. Job trainings for 834 Care Group Volunteers/Community Health Volunteers on intensive case finding, referrals and follow-up of children under five CU5 after discharge from either stabilization centers MOH sponsored community outreaches recorded. Collaboration between MoH, department of Agriculture, Save the Children, and communities was reported. 

Conclusion: The Project has incorporated SBC best practices such as a Care Group methodology which is unique community based approach which engage community at household level, use of pictorial characters to depicted healthy and unhealth child, formative research and baseline survey, and collaborating with other partners on the ground but little is known how these approaches were developed and implemented.

Key: Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture, Care Group, Implementing Organization,

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Context of Problem

Problem Statement


The objectives of this study include:

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Food Security and Nutrition Background

State of food security

Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture

Food Security and Nutrition Background in Turkana

Chapter 3: Methodology

Study Design

Participants Selection and Recruitment

Data Collection and Tools

Ethical Considerations

Data Analysis

Chapter 4. Results


Baseline Survey

Formative Research


Donor and Stakeholders involvement


SBC best practices exhibited by the project

Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations







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