Measuring the effects of agricultural development interventions on nutrition
“Towards an improved framework for measuring the effects of agricultural development interventions on household and individual nutrition” is the title of a one-year research project by Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in collaboration with the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, IOB and the Netherlands Working Group on Nutrition. The research recently started its implementation phase and is expected to generate policy relevant recommendations for the improved design and evaluation framework of nutrition sensitive agricultural interventions.
In order to design effective measures to reduce malnutrition, it is important to understand the influence of intra-household dynamics throughout impact pathways of agriculture to nutrition, which includes aspects such as production, sales, purchases, resource allocation and food allocation within households. Although many pathways and their indicators have been developed, we still do not sufficiently understand the underlying mechanisms that lead to positive impacts on improved household and individual food consumption specially within the households.
Much emphasis has been given to the impact pathway from farm production to farm income, assuming that income is used for better food consumption – which is not necessarily proven in all cases – while less emphasis is given to the second pathway between household production and household food consumption, through consumption of homegrown food. Even less is known about intra-household dynamics and how these influence production diversity and result in a diverse consumption. Intra-household dynamics mediate the relation between the production and consumption side, for example in relation to the choices people make in the household of what to produce, what to sell, what food to purchase, and where, how to prepare the food and who eats what and when. These decisions and outcomes of these decisions are important to understand, as they influence both production and consumption activities of all household members and the linkages between the two.
This research project will review the literature and data to advance our understanding of these relations between household food production and household and individual food consumption, and how intra household dynamics play a key role. The result of the research will generate policy relevant recommendations for the improved design and evaluation framework of nutrition sensitive agricultural interventions.
Institutions or organizations with an interest to contribute to this knowledge agenda on agriculture-nutrition pathways, or would require further information, are invited to contact