Community-driven and digital technology-enabled agriculture intervention for nutrition: a cluster randomised control trial in Odisha, India (UPAVAN)

Lead institution
Collaborating institutions                                                                                                   
Value: $2,989,696
Principal Investigator: Dr. Suneetha Kadiyala  
Country: India 
 
Project summary

There is an increasing scientific consensus that interventions to address immediate determinants of undernutrition (‘nutrition-specific’ interventions) are necessary but not sufficient: acceleration of progress in maternal and child nutrition will entail coupling these interventions with nutrition-sensitive programs that tackle the underlying causes of undernutrition. ‘Making agriculture work for nutrition’ is now a top policy priority but the evidence-base is weak, largely due to poorly designed studies that are unable to discern causal effects. Digital Green (www.digitalgreen.org), an international NGO, has developed a novel and successful method to improve agricultural practices in rural communities using locally made videos and facilitated discussion of the videos in women’s groups. However, it is not known if this intervention can translate into improved nutritional outcomes.

We will test the effect of three variants of this intervention – (1) an agriculture extension intervention consisting of fortnightly nutrition-sensitive agriculture videos delivered through women’s groups (2)  monthly nutrition-sensitive agriculture videos PLUS monthly nutrition-specific videos, and (3) monthly nutrition-sensitive agriculture and nutrition-specific videos, PLUS monthly women’s group meetings using enhanced participatory approaches. All intervention arms will include fortnightly home visits to reinforce the video messages, facilitated discussions at the time of video screenings, and basic training to government frontline workers on maternal, infant and young child nutrition. The interventions will be compared to a control arm, comprising standard government services and nutrition training to frontline workers, in a cluster randomised controlled trial in Odisha, India. Our main outcomes are maternal nutritional status (body mass index) and child dietary diversity, but we will also monitor the effect on key hypothesised impact pathways, including improved agricultural diversity, increased household income, and women’s empowerment. The study started in December 2015 to and will run until May 2020.

Resources:

Contact information

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - Dr.Suneetha Kadiyala: suneetha.kadiyala@lshtm.ac.uk