IR2. Promoting Optimal Nutrition, WASH, and Agriculture Behaviors

The goal is to improve maternal, adolescent and child nutrition by increasing the adoption of optimal nutrition, WASH, and agriculture behaviors using social and behavior change communication (SBCC). This approach addresses gaps and promotes alignment and consistency of SBCC activities across the country.

IR2 integrates programming related to nutrition-sensitive agriculture (IR1), nutrition-specific interventions through the health sector (IR3), and WASH (IR4). The targets are women and their family members, caretakers, and the most vulnerable households with children under two. The SBCC focus on women emphasizes equal distribution of responsibilities and decision-making in households for optimal family health and growth.

The following focus areas are identified under IR2:

  • Evidence-based SBCC approaches to improve nutrition, WASH, and agriculture-related behaviors
  • Frontline agriculture and health workers’ skills related to SBCC
  • Promotion and support of SBCC at community and household levels

Key Progress in Project Year II 

During the Project Year II, Growth through Nutrition availed key materials for all partners on an online SBCC Resource Bank as part of the knowledge management website. Reports on adolescent nutrition formative research and the maternal nutrition trial of improved practices (TIPs) research were finalized and SBCC strategy was formulated. The project started Enhanced Community Conversations (ECCs) via both LNGOs and MVHH saving group platforms to improve the adoption of maternal, infant, young child nutrition (MIYCN) practices, reaching a total of 13,155 individuals. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church – Development Association (EOTC-DICAC) also provided training for 247 clergies on laws and regulations related to fasting for pregnant and lactating women, and children under two in Amhara region.

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Implications of COVID-19 on Nutrition: Lessons Learned from COVID-19, Practical and Innovative Approaches (Webinar)

The novel Coronavirus is imposing unprecedented health, nutrition, social, and economic risks to the global population. Although the number of COVID-19 cases is still rather low as compared to many other countries,  Ethiopia is also being affected with spread of the virus sharply increasing. If this spread continues, it has the potential to reverse some of the nutritional gains that the country has achieved in the last few years.

Report Summary - Social Behavior Change Communication, Virtual Facilitator Study

The attached document is a summary of the report on a quasi-experimental study Tufts University conducted to evaluate the added value of virtual facilitator as an SBCC approaches to improve IYCF, women diet diversity, women empowerment and WASH practices of Enhance Community Conversation participants in selected project intervention woredas in Amhara  (Basoliben Woreda) and Oromia  (Becho and Girar Jarso

Success Story - Empowered Health Extension Worker Atsede transforms a health facility

When Atsede Seifu first joined the Tekeze Health Post in Welkait Wereda as a Health Extention Worker, she was highly affected by “that intensive sadness and worry of seeing children suffer from malnutrition despite the availability of different food items in their hands or at home.” With this motivation, she set about implementing quality improvement models supported by Growth through Nutrition following her on-the-job training - improving the organized records of the facility's services.

Success Story - A Family Saved from Dismantling

In a powerful testament to the force of knowledge and empowerment, mother-of-six, Workinesh Teka, details how with support from Growth through Nutrition, she transformed her family from a nutritionally vulnerable household to a thriving family unit, and how her children now consume a diversified diet of vegetables and animal products. She learned negotiation skills, and in doing so, built a stronger relationship with her husband, keeping the family from breaking apart. 

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