Synthesis of Impact Evaluations of the World Food Programme's Nutrition Interventions in Humanitarian Settings in the Sahel
In addition to examining the impacts of various components of World Food Programme (WFP) programming on core outcomes, the series of impact evaluations on moderate acute malnutrition programming synthesised in this report contribute evidence on the value of the interrelationship between programmes for preventing and programmes for treating moderate acute malnutrition in emergency and post-emergency contexts. This report is a synthesis of the main findings and lessons from four WFP-funded impact evaluations of nutrition and food security interventions in four countries of the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa: Chad, Mali, Niger and Sudan.
This synthesis report is based on a systematic analysis of the four impact evaluations and identifies several operational and policy-related lessons. Based on these lessons, the recommendations identified in the synthesis relate to improving operational efficiency and coverage, tailoring programme components according to context, increasing inter-agency cooperation and improving monitoring and cost data. The impact evaluations covered in this synthesis reported various effects, depending on the context and the combination of programmes implemented.
- The impact evaluation for Chad found that the prevention programme – blanket supplementary feeding – had a positive effect on the incidence of moderate acute malnutrition during the lean season, particularly for households supported by seasonal work. When looking at the interaction between the prevention programme (blanket supplementary feeding) and the treatment programme (targeted supplementary feeding), the prevention programme had a larger (positive) impact on moderate acute malnutrition incidence amongst households with poorer than average access to the treatment programme.
- The evaluation for Sudan found a significant reduction in the prevalence of children at risk of malnutrition where food-based interventions for preventing moderate acute malnutrition were added to the treatment programme (targeted supplementary feeding).
- The Niger evaluation concluded that continued provision of food assistance for assets in combination with treatment and/or prevention programmes significantly reduced the incidence of moderate acute malnutrition, serving as a nutrition-sensitive form of assistance.
- The impact evaluation in Mali found that access to general food distribution led to increases in households' non-food and food expenditures and in micronutrient availability. The evaluation examined the delivery of a package of multisector nutrition interventions and found that households living close to conflict and receiving at least two forms of assistance – particularly general food distribution and school feeding – showed statistically positive effects on nutrition outcomes, whereas the effects were not significant for households that received only one form of food assistance. Disaggregating by degree of exposure to conflict, the evaluation also uncovered that the effects on children's nutrition outcomes were concentrated mostly in areas that were not in the immediate vicinity of conflict and that this might, in part, be because these households had greater access to aid.