Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, is a $3.5 billion commitment to support country-driven approaches to address the root causes of poverty, hunger and undernutrition. A whole-of-government initiative led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Feed the Future leverages the strengths of multilateral institutions, civil society and the private sector. Globally we aim to assist 18 million vulnerable women, hildren, and family members – mostly smallholder farmers – escape hunger and poverty. Together, we will increase agricultural productivity, decrease poverty, drive economic growth, and reduce undernutrition to improve millions of lives.
Over the next five years in Uganda, Feed the Future aims to help an estimated 709,000 vulnerable Ugandan women, children and family members—mostly mallholder farmers—escape hunger and poverty. More than 450,000 children will be reached with services to improve their nutrition and prevent stunting and child mortality. Significant numbers of additional rural populations will achieve improved income and nutritional status from strategic policy engagement and institutional investments.
To meet its objectives, Feed the Future Uganda is making core investments in three key areas:
2. Agriculture. The maize, coffee and bean belt are in Southwest and Central Uganda. The choice to focus on these value chains represents considerations regarding Ugandan government priorities, division of donor labor, and the highest impact interventions for the expected scale of Feed the Future resources.
3. Connecting Nutrition to Agriculture
USAID will build on previous strategic investments in nutrition and take them to scale in the areas and populations of greatest need to support the GOU and private sector to reduce chronic undernutrition in the country with a primary focus on prevention. Through these interventions an estimated 709,000 vulnerable Ugandan women, children, and family members—mostly smallholder farmers—will receive targeted assistance to escape hunger and poverty. More than 450,000 children will be reached with services to improve their nutrition and prevent stunting and child mortality. The core investments in nutrition will focus on community and facility based prevention and treatment, targeted nutrition service delivery, the enabling environment for nutrition and capacity building.
Community and Facility-Base Prevention and Treatment
By emphasizing prevention, FTF programs will help to reduce not only chronic undernutrition, but should also reduce the number of severely/acutely malnourished children as well, resulting in fewer children outside HIV and emergency situations needing treatment for severe acute malnutrition. For the treatment of acute malnutrition, Uganda has adopted a national protocol for the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM). Through a ommunity and facility based approach to treating under nutrition, therapeutic and/or supplementary food is provided to severe or moderately malnourished children, with medical support, nutrition education, and at-home follow up through community based volunteers. FTF and PEPFAR’s partnership on the production, distribution, and management of RUTF support the larger national IMAM protocols.
Capacity building at the national and district level is critical. Nutrition has only recently become a priority in the health sector, and without strong nutrition champions and policies centrally, nutrition priorities will not be realized. USAID will continue to train health workers in new IMAM guidelines for use in health facilities and will expand technical assistance and capacity building at the national level beyond the health sector to include Agriculture and other ministries who can contribute to a national action plan on nutrition.
Some key outputs of nutrition activities are: nutrition officers placed in a majority of districts; active Food and Nutrition Councils organized in districts; mandatory fortification of major manufactured foods; therapeutic food reconstituted from locally available foods developed and distributed to district and regional hospitals; and community behavior changes to prevent undernutrition.
Through an interactive approach across Mission teams and in collaboration with other donors and the GOU, the USG FTF effort will go beyond the status quo of performance monitoring. At the basic level, data will be collected by implementing partners and reported to USAID/Uganda through quarterly reports while quality will be assessed via Data Quality Assessment visits to the field.
To build an evidence base to adjust ongoing projects and inform future programs, we will design rigorous impact evaluations for select FTF programs. We have already identified such an opportunity with our Community Connector program, which fully integrates agriculture and nutrition activities at the household level. Discussions have been held with partners within the MIT Poverty Action Lab consortium on the use of Randomized Control Trial (RCT) experiments. We will use the results of these impact evaluations to test the hypotheses of our FTF strategy and make mid-stream adjustments to programs if necessary, or scale up programs that are working well. Using the earning component of FTF programs like Community Connector is in line with the Mission’s continuing CLA component. We will also partner with other donors to disseminate and promote lessons learned. USAID/Uganda, through unbiased and independent impact evaluations, will identify interventions that work; we will be an active contributor to the greater discourse in testable development hypotheses and our programs will benefit from our increased understanding
CAPACITY BUILDING/SUPPORT TO DATA COLLECTION
A key component of our Feed the Future program will be capacity building of the Government of Uganda in the collection, analysis, and use of agriculture and nutrition data for planning, monitoring, and evaluation. We will work with all relevant government agencies and ministries including the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Health. We will work in partnership with the National Planning authority as they attempt to convene the multisectoral Food and Nutrition Council as a cohesive and functional unit. We will seek to build local academic institutions’ capacity in nutrition through improved pre-service and in-service training, and enhanced research capacity. In addition to training in data collection and assistance in improving data systems, we will build analytical capacity in the Ministry of Agriculture by establishing a Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS) node.
NUTRITION COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH AND SUPPORT PROGRAM (CRSP)
We will use the Nutrition CRSP to assist us with specific research questions that tell us about the impact of our nutrition-related FTF programs. We have already had preliminary discussions with a Nutrition CRSP team. The Nutrition CRSP is intended to investigate effective ways of translating research results into widespread development practice. The CRSP anticipates the development of a well-balanced research strategy that is both innovative and problem solving, responds to the food and nutrition scientific needs, and to the capacity development requirements of Uganda. USAID/Uganda, through the CRSP, will be better positioned to build more effective strategies and programs, while establishing a research capacity within the Mission and the country as a whole. As programs continue to be developed and procured in the coming months, the CRSP will assist in collecting the relevant local and international knowledge base needed to better implement, evaluate, and learn from our programs. Within individual programs, the CRSP will be an active participant in identifying and rigorously measure testable hypotheses related to food security.
Prevalence of households with moderate or severe hunger;Prevalence of children 6-23 months receiving a minimum acceptable diet; Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding of children under 6 months; Number of health facilities with established capacity to manage acute under nutrition; Prevalence of anemia among children 6-59 months; Prevalence of Poverty: Percent of people living on less than $1.25/day; Expenditures of rural households;Prevalence of stunted children under five; Change in average score on Household Hunger index; Percent of children 6-23 months who received a Minimum Acceptable Diet.
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