The field research under the AgriDiet project was completed in September 2015. The analysis is ongoing and the research findings will continue to be added to this site.

The AgriDiet site will also continue to provide updates on the latest research findings relating to agriculture and nutrition in Ethiopia and Tanzania via ELDIS

Ethiopia Research

Et-map

Welcome to the Ethiopia page of the AgriDiet project. This section contains information on the various Ethiopian activities of the project, including the field research in the local sites in Tigray and Oromia. This part of the website will be updated by the PhD researchers and supervisors conducting their fieldwork in each location.

Information on each locality will be posted once the sites have been selected. Field updates, including progress reports and pictures will be made available throughout the course of the project.

  • Scaling Up Impact on Nutrition: What Will It Take?

    Despite consensus on actions to improve nutrition globally, less is known about how to operationalize the right mix of actions—nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive—equitably, at scale, in different contexts. This review draws on a large scaling-up literature search and 4 case studies of large-scale nutrition programs with proven impact to synthesize critical elements for impact at scale. Nine elements emerged as central: 

    1. having a clear vision or goal for impact; 
    2. intervention characteristics
    3. an enabling organizational context for scaling up
    4. establishing drivers such as catalysts, champions, systemwide ownership, and incentives
    5. choosing contextually relevant strategies and pathways for scaling up
    6. building operational and strategic capacities
    7. ensuring adequacy, stability, and flexibility of financing
    8. ensuring adequate governance structures and systems
    9. embedding mechanisms for monitoring, learning, and accountability. 

    Translating current political commitment to large-scale impact on nutrition will require robust attention to these...

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  • Children’s Diets, Nutrition Knowledge, and Access to Markets

    Chronic undernutrition in Ethiopia is widespread and many children consume highly monotonous diets. To improve feeding practices in Ethiopia, a strong focus in nutrition programing has been placed on improving the nutrition knowledge of caregivers. This paper discusses the impact of caregivers' nutrition knowledge and its complementarity with market access. To test whether the effect of nutrition knowledge on children's dietary diversity depends on market access, survey data from an area with a large variation in transportation costs is used to assess the impact of nutrition knowledge with varying access to markets, but still within similar agro-climatic conditions. 

    Highlights:

    • Undernutrition in Ethiopia is widespread and children consume monotonous diets.
    • Better nutrition knowledge leads to large improvements in dietary diversity.
    • But only in areas with relatively good market...

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  • Agricultural production and children’s diets: Evidence from rural Ethiopia

    Study of the relationship between pre-school children's food consumption and household agricultural production using a large household survey from rural Ethiopia. Finds that increasing household production diversity leads to considerable improvements in children's diet diversity. However, this non-separability of consumption and production does not hold for households that have access to food markets. These findings imply that nutrition-sensitive agricultural interventions that push for market-integration are likely to be more effective in reducing undernutrition than those promoting production...

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  • The impact of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme on the nutritional status of children: 2008-2012

    Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) is a large-scale social protection intervention aimed at improving food security and stabilizing asset levels. The PSNP contains a mix of public works employment and unconditional transfers. It is a well-targeted program; however, several years passed before payment levels reached the intended amounts. The PSNP has been successful in improving household food security. However, children’s nutritional status in the localities where the PSNP operates is poor, with 48 percent of children stunted in 2012. This leads to the question of whether the PSNP could improve child nutrition. In this paper, we examine the impact of the PSNP on children’s nutritional status over the period 2008–2012. Doing so requires paying particular attention to the targeting of the PSNP and how payment levels have evolved over time. Using inverse-probability-weighted regression-adjustment estimators, we find no evidence that the PSNP reduces either chronic undernutrition (height-for-age z-scores, stunting) or acute undernutrition (weight-for-height z-scores, wasting). While we cannot definitively identify the reason for this nonresult, we note that child diet quality is poor. We find no evidence that the PSNP improves child consumption of pulses, oils, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, or animal-source proteins. Most mothers have not had contact with health extension workers nor have they received information on good feeding practices. Water practices, as captured by the likelihood that mothers boil drinking water, are poor. These findings, along with work by other researchers, have informed revisions to the PSNP. Future research will assess whether these revisions have led to improvements in the diets and anthropometric status of preschool children in...

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  • Cows, missing milk markets and nutrition in rural Ethiopia

    In rural economies encumbered by significant market imperfections, farming decisions may partly be motivated by nutritional considerations, in addition to income and risk factors. These imperfections create the potential for farm assets to have direct dietary impacts on nutrition in addition to any indirect effects via income. We test this hypothesis for the dairy sector in rural Ethiopia, a context in which markets are very thin, own-consumption shares are very high, and milk is an important source of animal-based proteins and micronutrients for young...

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  • Understanding, enabling and building effective leadership in nutrition

    Transform Nutrition’s work on leaders in nutrition explores how effective leaders understand the systems which both shape and constrain their action; and are able to translate this understanding into action which spans the boundaries of sectors and disciplinary knowledge.
     
    Researchers within the Transform Nutrition consortium carried out a study of 89 individuals or representatives of organisations who had been identified as national level leaders within the field of nutrition in four countries: India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Ethiopia. Leaders here came from diverse backgrounds but were able to adapt strategically to the political landscape; spanning boundaries between sectors and disciplines and bring others along as their understanding of nutrition’smulti-sectoral nature developed.
     
    As what leaders do is more important that who leaders are, the researchers suggest a number of way in which leadership can be supported and built. A more structured effort is called for to build a cadre of leaders up to the challenge of working effectively to tackle undernutrition as a pressing global...

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  • Accounting for nutritional changes in six success stories: a regression-decomposition approach

    Over the past two decades, many developing countries have made impressive progress in reducing undernutrition. In this paper, the authors explore potential explanations of this success by applying consistent statistical methods to multiple rounds of Demographic Health Surveys for Bangladesh, Nepal, Ethiopia, Odisha, Senegal, and Zambia.

    The research finds that changes in household wealth, mother's education and access to antenatal care are the largest drivers of nutritional improvement, except for Zambia where large increases in bednet usage is the single largest factor. Other factors play a smaller role in explaining nutritional improvements with improvements in sanitation only appearing to be important in South Asia. Overall, the results point to the need for multidimensional nutritional strategies involving a broad range of nutrition-sensitive sectors.

    Hightlights:

    • asset accumulation and parental education are important predictor of nutritional improvement in most countries

    • improved sanitation is more strongly associated with height-for-age in South Asian countries

    • asset accumulation and parental education are important predictor of nutritional improvement in most countries

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  • Championing nutrition: effective leadership for action

    The calls for strong leadership in the fight against global and national malnutrition have multiplied during the past decade. The role of nutrition champions in advocating for nutrition, formulating policies, and coordinating and implementing action in nutrition have increasingly been recognized in such countries as Peru, Brazil, Thailand, and the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Global initiatives such as the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, the African Nutrition Leadership Programme, and the European Nutrition Leadership Platform have invested in building up capacity for leadership among national governments, civil society, and the private sector. The World Public Health Nutrition Association’s guide on competencies needed to build up the workforce in global public health nutrition identified leadership as key. More widely, leadership within the field of public health has been highlighted as key to moving child or maternal health higher up on the global agenda and tackling critical issues such as HIV and AIDS at the national and community levels.

    While evidence within the nutrition and public health arenas points time and again to the role of leadership in successfully crafting nutrition policies and movements, little is actually known about the characteristics of leaders in nutrition: who they are, how they function, with whom they work, and what makes them effective.
     
    This chapter aims to answer some of these questions. It first reviews the literature on leadership within both nutrition and other disciplines. It then draws on interviews conducted with 89 influential decision makers in four countries with high burdens of undernutrition: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, and Kenya. The chapter also highlights a case study on leadership from Zambia and 10 nutrition champions identified as part of a global selection process run by Transform Nutrition in 2015, in order to conveythe depth and breadth of the experience of these leaders.

    This paper is a chapter in Nourishing millions: Stories of change in nutrition. Gillespie, Stuart; Hodge, Judith; Yosef, Sivan; and Pandya-Lorch, Rajul (Eds.) Ch. 18 Pp. 161-172. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute....

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  • Stories of change in nutrition: an overview

    After a period of relative success in generating political momentum to address malnutrition, there is an increasing urgency to focus on implementation and impact on the ground. This requires better documentation of the experiences of policymakers, nutrition leaders, program managers and implementers in making decisions on what to do in real time, such as coordinating and implementing multisectoral nutrition plans in dynamic country contexts.

    The goal of the Stories of Change (SoC) initiative is to foster and support such experiential learning by systematically assessing and analysing drivers of change in six high-burden contexts (Ethiopia, Zambia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Nepal and Odisha, India) that have had some success in accelerating improvements in nutrition. While recognising context-specificity, here the authors unpack the key pre-requisites (commitment, coherence, accountability, data, leadership, capacity and finance) that fuel and sustain progress.

    Highlights of this research:

    • political commitment is essential, but institutional commitment needed for action
    • leadership is transformational, and pivotal in triggering and sustaining change
    • Policy coherence, accountability, data, capacity and finance are other key...

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  • What drives and constrains effective leadership in tackling child undernutrition? Findings from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India and Kenya

    Strong leadership has been highlighted as a common element of success within countries that have made rapid progress in tackling child and maternal undernutrition. Yet little is known of what contributes to nutrition leaders’ success or lack of it in particular policy environments.

    This study of 89 individuals identified as influential within child and maternal undernutrition policy and programming in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya and India sheds light on why particular individuals have been effective in contributing towards positive changes in nutrition policy, and how they operate in the wider policy/political sphere. The authors employ a framework working outwards from individual capabilities, knowledge and motivations, through to wider political economy considerations and the narratives and knowledge structuring individual capacity. The paper argues that only by locating individuals within this wider political economy can we begin to appreciate the range of strategies and avenues for influence (or constraints to that influence) that individual leaders employ and encounter.

    Highlights:

    • interviews with 89 leaders in four countries shed light on the incentives and constraints to effective leadership
    • understanding leadership entails studying the adaptive practice of leaders rather than their personalities
    • leaders studied operate within fluid boundaries set by local political-economies of nutrition
    • successful leaders (high adult development levels) are able to span boundaries and translate between disciplines and sectors
    • supportive action can develop leadership attributes in individuals and their networks in a number of ways identified...

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