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iNGO Project

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV)

Enhancing Nutrition of Upland Farming Families (ENUFF)

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Despite steady economic growth, Laos remains a low-income food-deficit country with alarming levels of malnutrition. Nationally, this contributes to stunting of 44% in children under five—the highest in Southeast Asia.  The rural uplands of the country are most affected by chronic malnutrition (51.4% of stunting) due to factors including remoteness, cultural practices, and limited access to productive agricultural land.  As a result, these communities have low access to and utilisation of basic health care services and farming extension support, which perpetuates the cycle of inadequate feeding practices, poor sanitation and hygiene behaviours, and environmentally unsustainable shifting cultivation practices. 

To help address this issue, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, in partnership with Agrisud International and CIRAD, are initiating an innovative and scalable new project, “Enhancing Nutrition for Upland Farming Families,” combining aspects of nutrition sensitive agriculture, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, governance, gender, and social inclusion. The project is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, Lao PDR (SDC).

The aim of the project is to improve family and child nutrition in remote and ethnically diverse upland farming communities through nutrition-sensitive agriculture production, sustainable management of natural resources and enhancement of good practices in health and hygiene, including a more conducive and efficient policy and institutional framework.  The project will be implemented in Houaphan and Oudomxay provinces.

Drawing lessons from SNV and its partners’ experience within the Lao cultural and institutional context, as well as global experience in applying Sustainable Nutrition For All (SN4A) approach, ENUFF plans to achieve improved nutrition by working in parallel on four integrated areas: 1) demand creation; 2) behavioural change; 3) increased supply of nutritious foods; and 4) governance.

The project approach works with and through Lao institutions to increase local capacity to trigger demand for nutritious food consumption at the household level; while also supporting smallholder farmers to increase the supply of nutrient-rich foods, and improve farm system management. The approach induces behavioural change through understanding of the broad range of factors playing into improved nutrition, which will be revealed from community mapping exercises.  Understanding that women’s empowerment is a successful pathway to positive nutrition-related outcomes, the ENUFF intervention engages both men and women to review and address intra-household decision-making on food production, consumption, and access to productive assets. Our approach also strongly emphasises communications strategies to reach previously marginalised ethnic minority communities.  The approach aims to strengthen multi-sectoral committees supporting convergent planning at village level, while facilitating community efforts to improve household practices and knowledge on nutrition and sustainable agriculture. To ensure sustainable outcomes, national and local governance capacity will also be strengthened.

By the end of the project, ENUFF plans to deliver the following outcomes in the four target districts in Houaphan and Oudomxay provinces:

Project Start Date Project End Date Current Project Phase Current Phase Start Current Phase End Project Operational Budget
Apr 8th 2016 Apr 1st 2019 0

Project Coordinator Project Partners
Ranjan Shrestha
21 41 4091
There are no partners specified

Provinces and districts of project activity:

Provinces Districts
Houaphan Province
Oudomxay Province

Sectors and sub-sectors of project activity:

Sectors Sub-sectors
Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries - Food Crop Production - Food Security
Health Care - Mother & Child Care - Nutrition - Water Supply & Sanitation
Social Development - Gender and Development

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