The brief 'Participation intensity in a nutrition sensitive agriculture intervention' is an output from IMMANA Fellow Marianne (Vicky) Santoso following her fellowship research project 'Codifying best practices for participatory approaches in agriculture and nutrition research: a toolkit and case study based on lessons learned in East Africa'
Nutrition-sensitive agricultural (NSA) interventions improve children's diets through asset provision as well as behavioral changes and social support from participation in intervention activities. Participation intensity, therefore, is an important program delivery indicator and yet, it is underanalyzed in evaluations of NSA interventions.
The author finds that of the 29 papers on NSA interventions identified in a recent systematic review, none analyzed determinants of participation intensity, and only two analyzed consequences of participation intensity on program impact.
This study therefore explores participation intensity in the Singida Nutrition and Agroecology Project, a participatory, agroecological peer farmer-led education intervention in Tanzania. Participation intensity was measured as the number of months of reported attendance of village-level project meetings or engagement during household visits.
Group-based trajectory modelling found only one latent trajectory which was initially low, increased sharply at month 7, and plateaued between 55-60% after the first year. The flat trajectory in program participation helps to explain why the overall impact of this intervention in month 30 of implementation seemed similar to impact in month 18.
Qualitative analysis of interviews with mentor farmers at baseline revealed that mentor farmers' attitudes and experiences early in the intervention could be a good indicator for the rate of participation in that village throughout the intervention