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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Gender and Nutrition Measurement Tools: Evaluating Their Appropriateness in the Context of Zambia
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Zambia remains one of the countries with the highest levels of malnutrition on the African
continent, despite increasing investment to curb the situation. Similarly, Zambia continues to
perform poorly on gender equality. Evidence from the Zambian Demographic Health Survey
reveals that in comparison to men, women have less education, lower literacy levels, and less
exposure to mass media, which directly affects their position in their households as well as
society (CSO 2015).
Prioritizing improvements to nutrition status and gender equity in agricultural extension policy
actions and project interventions will largely depend on results on the impact of past or ongoing
interventions. Several measurement tools have been developed to monitor the impact of
agricultural interventions on gender outcomes and improved nutrition. The Women
Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) is currently widely used to measure the impact of
agricultural interventions on gender equity. For impact on food access and nutrition,
measurement tools such as Household Dietary Diversity Scores (HDDS), Individual Dietary
Diversity Scores, Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDD-W), Children’s Dietary
Diversity Scores (CDDS), and the Household Hunger Scale (HHS) are widely used.
In this study, we explore the appropriateness of the use of some of these measurement tools in
monitoring impact of agricultural interventions on gender and nutrition outcomes in the Zambian
context. The measurement tools that were field-tested were the HDDS, MDD-W, CDDS, HHS,
and components of the WEAI and Women’s Asset Ownership Index. The study examines the
case of Programme Against Malnutrition’s (PAM) Empowering Women through Agricultural
Support (EWAS) project in Senanga District, in the Western Province. The EWAS project
focuses on women’s empowerment and improving nutrition for the household. Interviews were
carried out with 148 households participating in the project using validated measurement tools to
collect information on the impact of the project. The respondents were women participating in the
project. Out of the 148 interviews, 120 were with women between the ages of 15 to 49. Femaleheaded
households constituted 33.8% of the interviewed households. The mean education level
observed among the respondents was grade seven.
Experiences of the enumerators and respondents on the use of measurement tools during the
interviews were recorded and analyzed.

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