(Policy and Science for Health, Agriculture and Nutrition)
Policy and Science for Health, Agriculture and Nutrition
“Poshan,” which means good nutrition in Nepali, involves two interlinked research studies being undertaken in Nepal. The research will link metrics of institutional and individual collaboration at national and district government (multiple line ministry) levels with metrics of program fidelity at local (sub-district) levels.
Research Study #1: PoSHAN Household Survey
This observational cohort study aims to assess annually the health and nutritional well-being of the rural Nepali population in relation to agriculture, nutrition and health program interventions across agro-ecological zones. Led by Johns Hopkins University in collaboration with Tufts University, the Nepali Technical Advisory Group (NTAG), and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Tribhuvan University the study will assess nutritional status of married women, adolescent girls, and children less than 5 years old. Researchers will examine household food security patterns, knowledge, attitudes and practices of key behaviors, community/ward/VDC infrastructure in terms of type, number, services, exposure and uptake of agriculture, nutrition, health and microcredit programs, and contextual factors which could modify or confound the association between program exposures and outcomes of interest such as household socioeconomic status, caste, and education.
Research Study #2: How and Why Large-Scale, Multisectoral Policies and Programs Achieve Their Goals
This operational research study aims to elicit insights from key policymakers and stakeholders on ‘the process’ of implementing interventions along a chain leading from central (government) level down to the ultimate beneficiary (household) level in Nepal. Led by Tufts University in collaboration with the Patan Academy of Medical Sciences and Helen Keller International, the study focuses on generating rigorous empirical evidence to explain how and why large-scale, multisectoral policies and programs in nutrition achieve their goals (or not) in various settings. The study will analyze how a range of policies and programs get translated from the design phase (on paper) to the implementation phase (in practice). The intent is to conduct rigorous operations research that achieves generalizable findings relevant beyond single interventions and single countries.
Related Research Activities
In addition to the above large-scale research studies, the Nutrition Innovation Lab supports the following research studies as a part of the PoSHAN Project in Nepal:
Diet Diversity and Iron Status of Pregnant Women and Their Offspring
Led by: Harvard University School of Public Health
Description: Partners from the Harvard School of Public Health, together with Tribhuvan University’s Institute of Medicine, are working to improve the ability to measure diet and link it to indicators of malnutrition among children and women in a Nepali context, capture shifts in dietary consumption that may be happening in a peri-urban setting in Nepal, and build applied skills and knowledge related to nutrition and nutritional epidemiology at all levels.
Child Nutrition in Nepal: The Effects of Community Development Interventions and Nutrition Education on Health and Nutrition Outcomes
Led by : Heifer International, Nepal
Description: During years 1 and 2 of the Nutrition Innovation Lab, baseline and basic longitudinal data have been collected assessing the success of Heifer International Nepal’s community livestock programming approach on improving nutritional outcomes in intervention groups. Based upon positive results from the initial project, research will continue to build a larger database of longitudinal data, introduce a nutrition curriculum, and understand more clearly how provision of livestock, animal husbandry training, and building of social capital each interact with the improvements in health and nutritional status being observed in the study population.