Orientation participant looking at a SPRING infographic

SPRING/Sierra Leone Supports Early Use of Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture in Project Planning through Orientation with EAIN Managers

On February 2, 2017, SPRING/Sierra Leone led a nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) orientation workshop for managerial staff from consortium organizations of the newly awarded Sierra Leone Entrepreneurial Agriculture for Improved Nutrition (EAIN) activity. The activity, whose objectives include improving agriculture development and commodity chain competitiveness in the Feed the Future zone of influence, invited SPRING to conduct an orientation during the project’s first year workplanning phase to provide background and guidance in nutrition-sensitive agriculture concepts and opportunities. Agriculture activities and projects are positioned to directly impact nutrition outcomes, but to optimize this opportunity it is important that decision-makers incorporate nutrition-sensitive objectives and indicators into activities from the initial planning stages, rather than as an add-on to activities later in the project.

SPRING’s half-day orientation with EAIN focused on guiding consortium members in understanding how nutrition-sensitive strategies can complement their existing expertise, rather than be additional activities. Facilitators guided the participants through interactive activities to visualize the linkages between agriculture and nutrition outcomes, recognize areas of nutrition-sensitivity in existing practices, identify ways to expand existing nutrition-sensitive practices, and incorporate new nutrition-sensitive practices into the activity’s planned agricultural improvement interventions and indicators.

Participants included senior management from consortium members, including EAIN chief-of-party Nik Van Wees, and staff from Catholic Relief Services, Helen Keller International, Feed the Future, ACDI/VOCA, FreshSalone, and West Africa Rice Group. SPRING will conduct a follow-up workshop with consortium members on February 15, 2017 to share findings from an ongoing study to determine entry points for nutrition in Feed the Future value chains. This activity will provide EAIN members with potential actions that they can use in their workplanning.