Six Key Resources to Check Out From SPRING’s Agriculture-Nutrition Team
When I joined the Agriculture and Nutrition team on USAID’s multi-sectoral nutrition project, Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations Globally (SPRING), I was excited for the opportunity to improve the health and livelihoods of people across the globe. However, when friends asked me about what I do for work, I found it hard to explain. Why? Because the linkages between agriculture and nutrition are complex and not always so obvious, especially when it comes to designing programs.
Luckily, through the 2,600+ resources curated, developed and made publicly available over the past six years, SPRING has developed practical guidance that has made it easier to understand these linkages, for me AND for program designers, planners and implementers around the world. These resources make the connection between agriculture and nutrition accessible and actionable. Reflecting on a truly impressive body of work, the following six products stand out to me as most useful for helping practitioners and program designers to put nutrition-sensitive agriculture into action.
In four short briefs, SPRING illustrated the agriculture-to-nutrition pathways and paved the way for SPRING’s work from 2013-2018. The conceptual frameworks of the pathways and principles for improving nutrition through agriculture are described in Brief 1; each subsequent brief explores a different route between agriculture and nutrition: food production, income generation and women’s empowerment.
SPRING’s Context Assessment Tool emerged from repeated requests by USAID staff and implementers for guidance on how to do better assessments of local context to support effective multisectoral project design. The guide, updated in 2018, provides an outline for the basic steps of context assessment, and the companion tool includes a database of over 50 tools to support context assessment.
We know that reducing undernutrition requires a commitment from multiple sectors, but how do we achieve multisectoral collaboration to meet global nutrition goals? After providing technical assistance to Feed the Future USAID Missions and their implementing partners in Guatemala, Bangladesh and Rwanda, SPRING published this three-country assessment to add to the evidence base on approaches to multi-sectoral collaboration for nutrition.
4. Accelerating Behavior Change in Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture (Online Training)
SPRING’s Accelerating Behavior Change online learning platform trains users to apply proven approaches from the science of behavior change to first identify context-appropriate nutrition-sensitive agricultural practices and then facilitate increased use of those practices.The interactive 1-2 day online course guides the user through narrated slides, quizzes, exercises, handouts, videos and links to helpful resources.
Reflecting on the workshops and technical assistance SPRING provided over the life of the project, the Agriculture-Nutrition Team assembled a training resource package compiling our very best training for nutrition-sensitive agriculture work, including presentations, activities, handouts and session guides. The package’s seven sessions comprise the building blocks for creating a nutrition-sensitive agriculture presentation or training program that reaches program leaders, managers, implementing partner staff and other decision-makers.
6. Five Ways to Improve Nutrition Through Agriculture (Infographic)
We know that agriculture plays an important role in providing nutritious foods and sustainable livelihoods. SPRING’s work has revealed several opportunities for agriculture to contribute to improved nutrition, especially for those most at risk. In this infographic, SPRING offers an at-a-glance illustration of five ways that USAID and its implementing partners can more effectively contribute to better nutrition in current and new agricultural activities.
Though SPRING is drawing to a close, www.spring-nutrition.org will live on so that others like me can learn about nutrition-sensitive agriculture and access these great resources in the years to come. I look forward to seeing how the agriculture-nutrition community continues to grow, uses SPRING’s work and adapts the resources into their own!
To see all the resources and more, check out our agriculture-nutrition story here.