USAID, NGO Partners Testing Nutritional Impact Assessment Tool

USAID is working with non-governmental organization partners to test a “nutritional impact assessment tool” that “‘would be a way for organizations designing or reviewing agricultural programs to mitigate any risks or potential negative effects on nutrition — in other words a “do no harm” approach,’ said Michael Zeilinger, head of the nutrition division with USAID’s office of health, infectious disease and nutrition,” IRIN reports. “‘As we start to design major agriculture programs around value chains and increasing production (such as Feed the Future and Global Agriculture and Food Security Program), we should really remember that there are some practices in agriculture that may have potential negative effects on nutrition, and this is just to make sure that they’re thought through,’ Zeilinger told IRIN.”

However, Charlotte Dufour, food security, nutrition and livelihoods officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) nutrition and consumer protection division, said measuring the impact of agricultural programs can be complicated, because they can have positive and negative effects within one community, according to IRIN. “‘Maximizing the nutritional impact of agricultural programs requires a good analysis of local livelihoods and causes of malnutrition by population group,’ she said, adding that for now the … tool does not yet provide for such analysis,” the news service writes (9/26).