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Achieving Food and Nutrition Security: Lessons Learned From the Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP), Mulanje, Malawi

Achieving Food and Nutrition Security: Lessons Learned From the Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP), Mulanje, Malawi

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Calls have been made recently for new approaches to the design and implementation of interventions aimed at achieving household food security; approaches that address more than just food availability by integrating actions enhancing food access and utilization as well. But what exactly should be ‘integrated’ and how? This report represents a lessons learned assessment of an integrated agriculture, nutrition, and health intervention implemented in Malawi in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The review contributes to the ongoing international search for best practices
in programming for food security.

The Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP) was designed as a self-reinforcing, synergistic program implemented in an area of extreme food insecurity. Nevertheless, the endline evaluation in 2004 reported that the intervention had achieved most of its aims. Child nutrition was improved (reaching the target set of a 10% reduction in the prevalence of stunting), and most sectoral targets in agriculture, income generating, and infrastructure development were also achieved. At roughly US$59 per household per year, the cost of the package of interventions integrated on the ground compares well with a range of other integrated programs in Malawi and elsewhere in the world. Importantly, many of the gains have been sustained.

Questions raised by the review that should frame debate on future integrated programming models include:
i) Could the same outcomes have been achieved for less cost?
ii) If so, what is the minimum versus desirable menu of interventions that generate the best possible outcomes for least cost?
iii) Would the unit cost of the package introduced increase or fall if taken up at scale across the country?
iv) Should packaged interventions seek to promote absolute change or accelerate relative change (to bring “lagging” regions or communities up to par with the rest of their country)?
v) Can integrated programs be designed to buffer future shocks, not just resolve pre-existing vulnerability to food insecurity, and what would that add to the cost of a package of integrated services and inputs?

This report is available for download at https://wikis.uit.tufts.edu/confluence/display/FIC/Achieving+Food+and+Nutrition+Security.
Calls have been made recently for new approaches to the design and implementation of interventions aimed at achieving household food security; approaches that address more than just food availability by integrating actions enhancing food access and utilization as well. But what exactly should be ‘integrated’ and how? This report represents a lessons learned assessment of an integrated agriculture, nutrition, and health intervention implemented in Malawi in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The review contributes to the ongoing international search for best practices
in programming for food security.

The Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP) was designed as a self-reinforcing, synergistic program implemented in an area of extreme food insecurity. Nevertheless, the endline evaluation in 2004 reported that the intervention had achieved most of its aims. Child nutrition was improved (reaching the target set of a 10% reduction in the prevalence of stunting), and most sectoral targets in agriculture, income generating, and infrastructure development were also achieved. At roughly US$59 per household per year, the cost of the package of interventions integrated on the ground compares well with a range of other integrated programs in Malawi and elsewhere in the world. Importantly, many of the gains have been sustained.

Questions raised by the review that should frame debate on future integrated programming models include:
i) Could the same outcomes have been achieved for less cost?
ii) If so, what is the minimum versus desirable menu of interventions that generate the best possible outcomes for least cost?
iii) Would the unit cost of the package introduced increase or fall if taken up at scale across the country?
iv) Should packaged interventions seek to promote absolute change or accelerate relative change (to bring “lagging” regions or communities up to par with the rest of their country)?
v) Can integrated programs be designed to buffer future shocks, not just resolve pre-existing vulnerability to food insecurity, and what would that add to the cost of a package of integrated services and inputs?

This report is available for download at https://wikis.uit.tufts.edu/confluence/display/FIC/Achieving+Food+and+Nutrition+Security.

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Published by: Feinstein International Center on Aug 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Strengthening the humanity and dignity of people in crisis through knowledge and practice
June 2011
Achieving Food and Nutrition Security:Lessons Learned rom the Integrated Food SecurityProgramme (IFSP), Mulanje, Malawi
Patrick Webb
 
©2011 Feinstein International Center. All Rights Reserved.Fair use o this copyrighted material includes its use or non-commercial educationalpurposes, such as teaching, scholarship, research, criticism, commentary, and newsreporting. Unless otherwise noted, those who wish to reproduce text and image flesrom this publication or such uses may do so without the Feinstein InternationalCenter’s express permission. However, all commercial use o this material and/orreproduction that alters its meaning or intent, without the express permission o theFeinstein International Center, is prohibited.Feinstein International CenterTuts University200 Boston Ave., Suite 4800Medord, MA 02155USAtel: +1 617.627.3423ax: +1 617.627.3428fc.tuts.eduThis report was commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschat ür Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ) GmbH on behal o the Federal Ministry or Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).The Deutsche Gesellschat ür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH was ormed on January1, 2011. It brings together the longstanding expertise o the Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst (DED)GmbH (German development service), the Deutsche Gesellschat ür Technische Zusammenarbeit(GTZ) GmbH (German technical cooperation) and InWEnt – Capacity Building International,Germany. For urther inormation, go towww.giz.de.For correspondence relating to this report contact:Dr. Patrick WebbFriedman School o Nutrition Science and PolicyTuts University, 150 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111, USAEmail: Patrick.webb@tuts.edu
 
Acknowledgements
Great thanks are due to Christa Roth and John Mwanja’ani who madethe mission possible, eective, and productive; their insights addeddepth to the entire activity and resulting report. The author would alsolike to acknowledge Chimwemwe Amyelwishe Pharao Shumbashkaere(CAPS) Msukwa, who generously shared the conclusions that he hasdrawn rom spending many years in the villages targeted by the IFSP inMulanje District. Also Christoph Messinger (GIZ) and Nicolas Lamadé(GIZ), who both worked on the ground during the implementation o the program, and Ines Reinhard (nutrition specialist) (GIZ), who allprovided invaluable comments on earlier drats.Additional input was provided by international experts withexperience o Malawi, or o examples o integrated programmingelsewhere in the world, including Gary Gleason (InternationalNutrition Foundation), Eileen Kennedy, Daniel Maxwell, andWilliam Masters (Tuts University), Jessica Tillahun-Barney (GlobalFood and Nutrition), Judy Canhuati (USAID), Jessica Fanzo andGlen Denning (Columbia University, Earth Institute), JulietteAphane (FAO), Johnathan Mkumbire (Millennium Villages), NeilOrchardson (Technical Secretariat, Ministry o Agriculture and FoodSecurity, Malawi), and Eric Kenek (WFP). Thanks also to the manypeople working or the government o Malawi and proessionals o donor and implementing agencies who opened their doors to theteam and shared invaluable ideas and data. The author is grateul toother GIZ proessionals who also oered comments on earlier dratso the report.
On The Cover
Children play by a water cistern constructed as part o the IFSP in Jiga village in Mulanje District, Malawi. The nearby water pump is inregular use today.Photo credit © Patrick Webb 2010

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