Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Report
Title Impact Evaluation: Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains (INVC) in Feed the Future Malawi
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL https://agrilinks.org/sites/default/files/resource/files/Feed the Future Malawi INVC Impact​Evaluation Baseline Report (Eng).pdf
Abstract
Feed the Future is a United States Government initiative that aims to reduce hunger and
poverty by accelerating growth in the agricultural sector, improving food security, addressing
the root causes of under nutrition, and reducing gender inequality. Integrating Nutrition in
Value Chains (INVC) is the flagship Feed the Future Malawi activity committed to improving
food security and nutrition in farming households while reducing rural poverty through an
agriculture-led, integrated economic growth, nutrition, and natural resource management
strategy. The activity targets groundnuts, soybeans and dairy; three primary value chains (VC)
commonly consumed with promising economic and nutritional return on investment.
The goal of the impact evaluation is to determine whether integrating nutrition interventions
alongside agricultural value chain interventions will contribute to a greater reduction in
malnutrition among children under 3 years of age, compared to nutrition improvements
anticipated from stand-alone value chain activities. Baseline values for key evaluation indicators
are presented in Table 1.
Study Methods. Fifty-four Group Action Committees (GACs) were randomly assigned to
treatment (value chain and nutrition) and comparison (value chain only) arms across Lilongwe
and Mchinji districts. Household interviews were completed August-October 2014 for 3,555
households with anthropometric measures recorded for 3,795 children under 3 years of age.
The relative impact of the Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains (INVC) program on nutrition
outcomes at endline in 2017 will be estimated using a difference-in-differences (DID) estimation
strategy.
Balance. The difference in means between treatment and comparison groups was tested using
a regression model for all key indicators and a number of socio-demographic household and
individual variables. Key study indicators are presented in Table 1. Significant differences in
baseline means for these indicators are noted with an asterisk. The treatment and comparison
groups were not balanced in 39 (31 percent) of the 126 variables tested for differences in mean
values. There were no statistically significant differences at baseline for the key anthropometric
measurements, use of health services, poverty, or group affiliation. However, significant
differences between groups were found for food consumption by women of reproductive age,
household food security, nutrition knowledge and household agricultural production and sales.
Household Consumption Expenditures. Mean and median daily per capita expenditures
were comparable across study groups. Just over half of the households were below the national
poverty line and a quarter were below the national food poverty line or counted as extremely
poor. Food expenditures comprised the largest share of total daily expenditure per capita,
46.9 percent and 46.8 percent in treatment and comparison groups, respectively. Aside from
food, the largest share of expenditures was for housing and utilities, comprising 23 percent of daily per capita expenditures. Combined, food and housing make up about 70 percent of total
per capita expenditures.

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