Toolkit Structure

figure1c

The toolkit consists of three main phases which are sequential. Each stage consists of different prerequisite steps to reach the next phase. Each phase consists of several steps which are also sequential. See figure 2 at the end of this chapter.

Phase I: Context analysis

What are the immediate and underlying causes of under-nutrition?

Phase I is about developing an understanding of the context of a given community. The main aim of this phase is to help identify the key issues in the community affecting its nutritional status from a gender, agriculture and WASH perspective. The theory of change elaborated in the previous section informs the focus for this phase. Phase I consists of five steps:

Sound execution of this first step is crucial in order to be able to successfully conduct the other two phases. In other words, it requires keen participation of community members and key stakeholders in the process as, along with collecting data, this phase will also be instrumental in building awareness on the four main fields and their interconnectedness.

Phase II: Collective analysis and solution building

Does the community acknowledge the problems/causes of under-nutrition? Which community-based local solutions can address them?

The main task of phase II is to present phase I findings to communities and stakeholders and to discuss the findings and possible solutions. There are two steps in this phase:

Preliminary analysis of findings will be done with reference to the theory of change. This analysis will be presented to the community and, through participatory exercises, facilitators will engage with the community to discuss main outcomes, and rank them according to local context, opportunities and challenges. Following discussion of findings, community members and facilitators will begin to explore opportunities to address arising issues to arrive at nutrition and gender sensitive agricultural interventions together. The selection will be based on an understanding of the environment in which the communities exist, such as existing national and/or local policies and present levels of collaboration within departments of nutrition, agriculture and WASH that could support or impede any improvements the community wishes to make.

Also in this phase, a consultation will be facilitated between community members and key stakeholders such as officials from government line departments of agriculture, health, women’s affairs etc., and/or local NGOs to ascertain needs, demands and constraints of the communities to collaboratively identify potential solutions. We recommend including stakeholders not only from local government level but also seniors and supervisors at district level.

Phase III: Consultative intervention planning

What are the potential solutions the local context has to offer that could address nutrition issues through the agriculture pathway with due attention to gender relations?

Phase III builds on the first two phases. The main intent of this phase is to build on the dialogue between key stakeholders and the community. The purpose of this consultation process is to: a) identify multi-disciplinary solutions work in a complementary manner (break existing silos); and b) facilitate development of ‘community action plans’ based on demands, challenges and institutional constraints which have surfaced during phases I and II. This phase consists of one step:

In the stakeholder consultation, community members and stakeholders discuss the needs, demands and limitations/constraints of the identified solutions, recognize overlaps, and work out ways in which solutions can be implemented. Subsequently, based on the challenges identified during earlier phases, community action plans are developed.