Over the past twenty years, Helen Keller International (HKI) has implemented its Homestead Food Production (HFP) program to increase household production of micronutrient-rich foods and improve the quality of diets among vulnerable households across Asia and, more recently, Africa. As part of the program, village model farms -which support diversified, year-round production of micronutrient-rich crops, and improved breeds of poultry and small animals-are established to demonstrate gardening and small animal-raising techniques to program participants. Program participants in turn are established to demonstrate gardening and small animal-raising techniques to program participants. Program participants in turn are provided with small inputs such as seeds, seedlings, and small tools to establish home gardens using techniques they learn at the village model farms. In addition, the program uses a behavior change communication (BCC) strategy to increase participant's health and nutrition-related knowledge and practices.
In 2010, HKI introduced an enhanced-HFP (E-HFP) model in the Gourma province of Burkina Faso with support from the USAID. The project used a randomized cluster design to assess the impact of HKI's package of interventions on 1,200 beneficiary and 800 control children aged 3-12 months at baseline. Given the encouraging results of IFPRI's first evaluation of that project, HKI is working to continue to improve and evaluate its E-HFP program in Burkina Faso. Based on the recommendations from the initial evaluation in Burkina Faso, this research aims to assess both the long-term impact of the E-HFP program as well as the impact of including additional interventions, using the E-HFP platform to deliver these interventions.
The primary research questions that will be addresses will be:
- What is the relative impact of a long-term E-HFP program compared to a short-term E-HFP program on household food security and child nutritional status?
- What is the impact of including additional messages and the promotion of practices related to water, sanitation, hygiene, and malaria prevention (including bednet utilization) in the BCC strategy, in addition to the standard E-HFP model?
- What is the impact of distributing preventive lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) to children between the ages of 6-24 months in addition to participation in the E-HFP program + additional messages and the promotion of practices related to water, sanitation, hygiene, and malaria prevention (including bednet utilization)?
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02236468