SPRING Project Year 4 Annual Report
At the close of the Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project’s fourth year of implementation, the project continued to reach a growing number of people with nutrition interventions in SPRING’s seven country programs. In addition, we further influenced the global health and development communities through thought leadership around multi-sectoral nutrition programing, drawing on both the knowledge of our experts from across sectors and our on-the-ground implementation experience.
Preventing Anemia: SPRING’s Anemia Team supported country-led multi-sectoral anemia programing in Uganda, Ghana, and Sierra Leone, providing technical assistance to help stakeholders better understand the anemia landscape and support the Government of Uganda in developing a multi-sectoral anemia action plan. The Anemia Team also successfully tested its innovative district assessment tool for anemia and collaborated with the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition to launch a community of practice focused on moving the global anemia agenda forward.
Catalyzing Social and Behavior Change: SPRING’s Social and Behavior Change Team finalized its guidance for using community video to improve nutrition and leveraged community radio and viral video to promote resiliency and improved nutrition in the Sahel. In addition, working with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), we convened behavior change experts to develop a strategic agenda for at-scale social and behavior change communication. Similarly, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III (FANTA) project, we convened a high-level technical consultation on optimal dietary practices for adolescent girls and women of reproductive age.
Strengthening Systems for Nutrition: SPRING’s Systems Team worked with national governments and development partners to better understand the funding cycles and decision making that influence nutrition financing. As part of this effort, we conducted training sessions to build capacity of various Ugandan Ministries on nutrition budget analysis and a systems-based approach to nutrition programing in Uganda. The Systems Team also developed tools to help implementing partners place nutrition into the context of its surrounding systems.
Linking Agriculture and Nutrition: SPRING’s Agriculture to Nutrition Team focused on developing methods for operationalizing the pathways from agriculture to nutrition conceptual framework, including growing evidence that supports nutrition-sensitive agricultural outcomes through technical assistance at both global and country levels. Through targeted technical assistance, innovative tools, such as the Nutrition-Sensitive Context Assessment Locator, and knowledge sharing activities, the Agriculture to Nutrition Team is building capacity to apply evidence-based knowledge and practice in nutrition-sensitive agriculture programing.
SPRING’s country programs continue to make tangible improvements in nutrition in different regions of the world. In three of SPRING’s seven countries, we have reached over four million people with nutrition training and services. This included training over 37,000 people and supporting 73 institutions at over 3,000 service sites through the third quarter of project year four.
- The SPRING project in Bangladesh continued to scale up its work to integrate essential nutrition and hygiene actions into government-sponsored projects and build nutrition capacity among frontline health and agriculture extension workers, growing its coverage of the target population from 30 to 50 percent. We established 1,280 new farmer nutrition schools (FNS) in fiscal year (FY) 15, reaching an additional 24,028 women. This progress brings the cumulative number of FNS to 5,141 and the number of participants to 101,245 since the project’s inception.
- In Haiti, SPRING closed out its office in Port-au-Prince after three years of successful implementation. The Haiti team focused on enhancing nutrition systems and building capacity for delivery of quality nutrition services. The project also expanded evidence-based learning for the design, planning, and management of effective nutrition programs, eventually transitioning its activities to other United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded projects so that the nutrition agenda can continue to move forward smoothly.
- SPRING launched its Ghana country office, which focuses on improving delivery of high-impact services and generating increased demand for those services. These activities resulted in the creation of the “1,000-day household” approach, which encompasses a range of social and behavior change communication activities. We also launched the “WASH 1,000” approach, which builds capacity around community-led total sanitation and targets the reduction of aflatoxin levels in ground nuts through improved testing and storage techniques.
- We established an office in the Kyrgyz Republic and launched activities, including a baseline survey, formative research, and other critical analyses and trainings to build the capacity of over 7,000 people to deliver nutrition services and messages. SPRING also trained and mobilized over 2,000 community volunteers who began disseminating key nutrition messages to households and communities throughout target areas.
- SPRING also opened its office in Mali and began activities to increase access to diverse and quality foods and roll out farmer-nutrition school trainings. Those trainings instructed 500 leaders who eventually reached 5,500 people with messages about best practices for optimal nutrition and hygiene. To reach our FY15 training target, we educated 375 participants in essential nutrition and hygiene actions and triggered 15 villages in community-led total sanitation.
- In Nigeria, SPRING continued to support orphans and other vulnerable children, helping USAID-funded projects and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to integrate infant and young child feeding interventions into existing President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-funded programs. With a focus on capacity building, we conducted supportive supervision visits and led nutrition trainings for government counterparts, community volunteers, and primary healthcare center (PHC) workers across the country.
- As the SPRING office reached its fourth full year of implementation in Uganda, the project prepared to shift focus from the district to the national level, working in a coordinated way across sectors to accelerate industrial food fortification and reduce anemia. We also continued to integrate nutrition assessment, counselling, and support into heath facilities; enhance community outreach; and improve referral and follow-up mechanisms in health facilities.
SPRING continues to be a leader in knowledge management for global nutrition. Through the development of technical tools and publications and the coordination of in-person and virtual events, we are supporting USAID to move the global nutrition agenda forward. Over this past year, we have hosted 19 events and shared over 400 nutrition resources from SPRING and others on the project website.
This annual report provides an overview of SPRING’s accomplishments in FY15 through summaries of both core-funded and field-funded activities, detailed financial information, and a description of the current organization of the growing SPRING team. It is our hope that this annual report demonstrates our continued commitment to respond to country needs and make significant progress toward fulfilling the goals of Feed the Future and USAID’s Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy.