Diet Quality and Health of the Poor

Nutrition Program in Nepal

Evaluation of the impact of a multisectoral nutrition program in Nepal (Suaahara)

Suaahara is a five-year USAID-funded integrated nutrition program (August 2011-August 2016) in Nepal. It uses a comprehensive, household-based approach to improve access to, and consumption of, nutritious foods in areas with very poor nutrition indicators. Its main objective is to improve the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and children under two years of age directly addressing the vulnerable points of development which result in stunting. The program will focus on improving nutrition; maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) services; family planning services; water, sanitation and hygiene; and home-based gardening. Behavior change communications and continued support for micronutrient supplementation will be key components of Suaahara’s strategy. The program will also work with health facilities to improve nutritional counseling and care services and connect families to reproductive health and MNCH services. One of the distinguishing elements of Suaahara is the integration of various sectors—including agriculture—to achieve improved nutrition for vulnerable populations.

The impact evaluation for Suaahara is designed to address the following overarching evaluation question: What overall project-level impact did the Suaahara program have on child stunting and anemia (among children under five years of age), infant and young child feeding practices (among children 0-24 months of age)?

The evaluation design for Suaahara is based on a district and village level longitudinal study (where baseline and endline are carried out in the same districts and villages) with matching at two levels: 1) matching districts at the time of sampling and design, and 2) matching individual households at the time of impact analysis. The baseline survey for this evaluation will be done in 2012 and it is anticipated that an endline survey will be done in 2015.