This study tests the hypothesis that integrated agriculture, nutrition and hygiene interventions can reduce undernutrition when children benefit in their crucial first 1000 days. We conduct an impact evaluation of a Homestead Food Production (HFP) program implemented by Helen Keller International in Bangladesh. The HFP program trains women’s groups in vegetable and fruit gardening, poultry rearing, hygiene, child care and nutrition. Furthermore, we assess the program impact pathways to discern how any impact is achieved.
The study design is a cluster-randomized controlled field trial in two sub-districts of Habiganj District, Sylhet Division, Bangladesh, including 2700 young women in 96 settlements. After the baseline survey in 2015, settlements were randomized into 48 intervention and 48 control settlements. Women in the intervention settlements received training and support in Homestead Food Production over three years. A surveillance system collected data on pregnancies, births, child development, nutrition and infections as well as pathway indicators. In 2019, we conducted the endline survey to assess the nutritional status of the women and their children below 3 years of age and compare between intervention and control.
The main outcomes of interest are stunting (primary outcome: length-for-age), wasting, anaemia, micronutrient deficiencies, early child development, infection prevalence and dietary intake in children under age 3, intra-uterine growth retardation, as well as underweight and micronutrient deficiencies in the women. To better understand how well and through which pathways the program is working, we collected data on the implementation of the various project components and on pathway indicators including food production, income, food security, health service use, women’s empowerment, feeding and hygiene practices.
More detail here: https://iph.charite.de/en/research/climate_change_and_health/faarm/