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

Agridiet Resource Centre

The Agridiet Resource Centre highlights a selection of the latest research on Agriculture and Nutrition in Africa from a broad range of research organisations - not just those involved in the Agridiet project. All the documents shown are freely available to download. This service is provided in partnership with IDS Knowledge Services using open data supplied by Eldis.

To suggest a document for inclusion in the Resource Centre please email eldis@ids.ac.uk or use the online document submission form.

  • 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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  • Association between malaria and malnutrition among children aged under-five years in Adami Tulu District, south-central Ethiopia: a case-control study

    Background: Malaria and malnutrition are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in under-five children in developing countries such as Ethiopia. Malnutrition is the associated cause for about half of the deaths that occur among under-five children in developing countries. However, the relationship between malnutrition and malaria is controversial still, and it has also not been well documented in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to assess whether malnutrition is associated with malaria among under-five children.

    Methods: A case–control study was conducted in Adami Tulu District of East Shewa Zone in Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. Cases were all under-five children who are diagnosed with malaria at health posts and health centres. The diagnosis was made using either rapid diagnostic tests or microscopy. Controls were apparently healthy under-five children recruited from the community where cases resided. The selection of the controls was based on World Health Organization (WHO) cluster sampling method. A total of 428 children were included. Mothers/caretakers of under-five children were interviewed using pre-tested structured questionnaire prepared for this purpose. The nutritional status of the children was assessed using an anthropometric method and analyzed using WHO Anthro software. A multivariate logistic analysis model was used to determine predictors of malaria.

    Results: Four hundred twenty eight under-five children comprising 107 cases and 321 controls were included in this study. Prevalence of wasting was higher among cases (17.8 %) than the controls (9.3 %). Similarly, the prevalence of stunting was 50.5 % and 45.2 % among cases and controls, respectively. Severe wasting [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) =2.9, 95 % CI (1.14, 7.61)] and caretakers who had no education [AOR = 3, 95 % CI (1.27, 7.10)] were independently associated with malarial attack among under-five children.

    Conclusion: Children who were severely wasted and had uneducated caretakers had higher odds of malarial attack. Therefore, special attention should be given for severely wasted children in the prevention and control of...

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  • Spatial variations in child undernutrition in Ethiopia: Implications for intervention strategies (PhD theses)

    Background: Ethiopia is one of the countries with the highest burden of undernutrition, with rates of stunting and underweight as high as 40% and 25%, respectively. National efforts are underway for an accelerated reduction of undernutrition by the year 2030. However, for this to occur, understanding the spatial variations in the distribution of undernutrition on a varying geographic scale, and its determinants will contribute a quite a bit to enhance planning and implementing nutrition intervention programmes.

    Objectives: The aim of this thesis was to evaluate the large- and small-scale spatial variations in the distribution of undernutrition indicators, the underlying processes and the factors responsible for the observed spatial variations.

    Methods: We used nationally available climate and undernutrition data to evaluate the macro-scale spatial pattern of undernutrition and its determinants. We applied a panel study design, and evaluated the effect of growing seasonal rainfall and temperature variability on the macro-scale spatial variations (Paper I). We conducted a repeated cross- sectional survey to assess the performance of the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) developed internationally to measure household food insecurity. The results from this validation work were used to modify the HFIAS items for subsequent papers (Papers III and IV). We conducted a census on six randomly selected kebeles to evaluate the spatial patterns of undernutrition on a smaller scale (Paper III). For Paper IV, we conducted a cross-sectional survey on a representative sample, and employed a Bayesian geo-statistical model to help identify the risk factors for stunting, thereby accounting for the spatial structure (spatial dependency) of the data.

    Results: In Paper I, we demonstrated spatial variations in the distribution of stunting across administrative zones in the country, which could be explained in part by rainfall. However, the models poorly explained the variation in stunting within an administrative zone during the study period. We indicated that a single model for all agro-ecologic zones may not be appropriate. In Paper II, we showed that the internal consistency of the HFIAS' tools, as measured by Cronbach's alpha, was adequate. We observed a lack of reproducibility in HFIAS score among rural households. Therefore, we modified the HFAIS tool, and used it for subsequent surveys in this thesis (Papers III and IV). In Paper III, spatial clustering on a smaller scale (within a kebele) was found for wasting and severe wasting. Spatial clustering on a higher scale (inter-kebele) was found for stunting and severe stunting. Children found within the identified cluster were 1.5 times more at risk of stunting, and nearly five times more at risk of wasting, than children residing outside this cluster. In Paper IV, we found a significant spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of stunting in the district. Using both the local Anselin Moran's I (LISA) and the scan statistics, we identified statistically significant clusters of high value (hotspots) and a most likely significant cluster for stunting in the eastern part of the district. We found that the risk of stunting was higher among boys, children whose mother or guardian had no education and children who lived in a food-insecure household. We showed that including a spatial component (spatial structure of the data) into the Bayesian model improved the model fit compared with the model without this spatial component.

    Conclusion: We demonstrated that stunting and wasting exhibited a spatial heterogeneity, both on a large and small scale, rather than being distributed randomly. We demonstrated that there is a tendency for undernourished cases (stunting and wasting) to occur near each other than to occur homogeneously. We demonstrated a micro-level spatial variation in risk and vulnerability to undernutrition in a district with a high burden of undernutrition. Identifying such areas where a population at risk lives is central in assisting a geographical targeting of intervention. We recommend further study, possibly using a trial design or implementation research approach, to help evaluate the feasibility and benefits of geographically targeting nutritional...

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  • Institutional analysis of nutrition in Tanzania

    This paper provides a summary of the situation of nutrition in Tanzania, and an institutional analysis of the principal actors in nutrition nationally and locally. The paper argues the need to focus on prevention of malnutrition by protecting, promoting and sustaining improved nutrition in children under...

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  • Preventing malnutrition in Tanzania: a focused strategy to improve nutrition in young children

    This brief examines the status of nutrition in Tanzania. Despite improvements between 1999 and 2004/05, data clearly show that the prevalence of child undernutrition remains high in Tanzania and malnutrition begins at an early age. Based on the evidence presented, the brief concludes that a national strategy to prevent malnutrition must focus upon protecting, promoting and sustaining improved nutrition in children under two years of age. Strong advocacy for nutrition and effective coordination of interventions under national leadership are urgently required to raise the profile of nutrition and improve nutritional outcomes in...

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  • The Role of Businesses in Providing Nutrient-Rich Foods for the Poor: A Case Study in Tanzania

    This case study of a Tanzanian food processing business analyses the potential of mid-sized businesses to
    contribute to tackling undernutrition. Particularly among young children and pregnant mothers, undernutrition has lifelong consequences and impedes individuals’ health, wellbeing and life chances. Providing nutrients through food is one way to reduce undernutrition, in conjunction with improvements in health and sanitation.

    This report examines how private companies can contribute to producing and delivering nutrient-rich foods to undernourished populations, as well as the constraints they face in doing so. It offers recommendations to governments, non -profit organisations and other development actors on how to collaborate with businesses
    in this area to catalyse their potential. The study examines the case of Power Foods Limited, a midsize company,
    and the first in Tanzania to produce fortified nutrient-rich foods from traditional crops. It is also the first local
    company to produce ready -to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), used for the treatment of severe acute...

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  • The politics of seed in Africa’s green revolution: alternative narratives and competing pathways

    As calls for a ‘uniquely African green revolution’ gain momentum, a focus on seeds and seed systems is rising up the agricultural policy agenda. Much of the debate stresses the technological or market dimensions, with substantial investments being made in seed improvement and the development of both public and private sector delivery systems. But this misses out the political economy of policy processes behind this agenda: who wins, who loses, and whose interests are being served?

    Drawing on lessons from country case studies from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe, as well as insights from a set of complementary studies of cross-cutting themes, this article assesses the evolution of seed system research and development programmes and processes across the region. By examining how the contrasting politics and different configurations of interests affect the way cereal seed systems operate, it highlights opportunities for reshaping the terms of the debate and opening up alternative pathways to more sustainable and socially just seed...

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  • Climate shocks, food and nutrition security: evidence from the Young Lives cohort study

    Many people living in poor communities in Ethiopia, India (particularly, Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam experience climatic shocks such as droughts and floods, and are often faced with issues of food insecurity. 

    Drawing on survey data from Young Lives, an international study of childhood poverty involving 12,000 children in four countries, this paper examines the effects of environmental shocks on food insecurity and children’s development. The data, from children and their families living in rural and urban locations in Ethiopia, the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Peru, and Vietnam, provide information on the same individuals over time, allowing consideration of how earlier incidences of food insecurity and exposure to environmental shocks shape later outcomes

    After introducing the data and methods, this report considers the reported incidence of environmental shocks in the studied communities, and, the reported incidence of household food insecurity. Following a review of previous Young Lives evidence on how households cope with these events, the report then analyse the effects of environmental shocks on households’ food security and on children’s nutritional outcomes, measured in terms of their height-for-age, or...

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  • Predictors of nutritional status of Ethiopian adolescent girls: a community based cross sectional study

    Malnutrition is a major health issue affecting children, women and adolescents globally and developing countries in particular. Adolescence is a time of enormous physiological, cognitive, and psychosocial change but it remain a neglected, difficult-to-measure and hard-to-reach population. The critical role of adolescent nutrition in the intergenerational cycle of Growth failure has not been well addressed in Ethiopia. Hence, this study assesses level of low BMI-for- age and height-for- age and their associated factors among adolescent girls in northwest Ethiopia.

    Finding of this study indicated that prevalence of adolescents with low BMI-for-age and low height-for-age Z-score <−2 were high. Age, dietary diversity score and community based nutrition service utilization were factors affecting low BMI-for-Age in adolescent girls. Age, food insecurity and Nutrition and health information were factors affecting low height-for- age in adolescent girls. Improving community based nutrition service utilization, food security specially in young adolescents is highly...

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  • Evaluation of the social cash transfer pilot programme, Tigray region, Ethiopia

    In 2011, the Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs (BoLSA), Regional Government of Tigray, with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), introduced the Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme (SCTPP) in two woredas, Abi Adi and Hintalo Wajirat.

    The SCTPP aims to improve the quality of life for vulnerable children, older persons, and persons with disabilities.

    The three objectives of this endline report are:

    • The core objective is to assess the contribution of the SCTPP to improvements in household welfare, broadly defined. In addition, it :
    • Updates and summarizes work on the operational aspects of the SCTPP, including the role of Community Care Coalitions; targeting; and pay processes; and
    • Provides basic descriptive statistics on the well-being, livelihoods, schooling, and health of individuals and households of both SCTPP participants and non participants living in Abi Adi and Hintalo Wajirat.

    Key findings:

    •  BoLSA demonstrated that it could effectively implement an ongoing cash transfer program. The SCTPP effectively communicated with beneficiaries, reached its target group and provided full transfers on a timely and consistent basis.
    • The SCTPP improved household food security and reduced hunger.
    • The SCTPP had modest effects on schooling and asset formation. There were no large or measurable impacts on a range of other...

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