Gender Sensitive Initiatives to Reduce Malnutrition

Gender Sensitive Initiatives to Reduce Malnutrition

A Joint Action by the Food & Nutrition Security & Enhanced Resilience Programme (FaNS-GIZ)& Department of Women & Child Development to Improve Dietary Diversity among Women and Children in Madhya Pradesh (India)

 “It has been the tradition for women and girls to eat last. This is how it has always been. No one dares to question the tradition”.(Pregnant woman, District Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh)

India is home to one-third of world’s undernourished children and more than half of women suffers from anemia and malnutrition. According to the Global Hunger Index (GHI), which is calculated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), India has been dubbed as “a country with serious hunger levels”. The Special Initiative ONE WORLD – No Hunger (SEWoH) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) addresses hunger and malnutrition, an issue that is of uppermost significance in the Post-2015 Development Agenda in the context of Germany’s G7 presidency ( The Deutsche Gesellschaft for InternationaleZusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) implements the Food and Nutrition Security, Enhanced Resilience Programme (FaNS) on behalf of Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ) in 11 countries including India According to the NFHS-4, Madhya Pradesh currently has 42.8% (41.3% Chhatarpur, 55.0% Sheopur) of children under 5 being underweight, 42% (42.7% Chhatarpur, 52.1% Sheopur) are stunted, 25.8% (18.9% Chhatarpur, 28.1% Sheopur) are wasted and 9.2% (7.2% Chhatarpur, 9.0% Sheopur) are severely wasted. Madhya Pradesh is home to the largest number of scheduled tribes who are especially vulnerable and marginalized.

Promoting Gender Equality: The GIZ Food & Nutrition Security & Enhanced ResilienceProgramme (FaNS) in Indiaaims to improve dietary diversity among women of reproductive age and children (6-23 months) by strengthening the national system for the distribution of subsidized food (The Targeted Public Distribution System, TPDS), training Anganwadi workers (AWW, rural women health/nutrition workers) on nutrition diversity and empowering women with knowledge and practices on nutrition.

The awareness campaigns at the district and state level sensitize beneficiaries and decisionmakers about the importance of a nutritious and diversified diet to bring about sustainable changes concerning the availability, intake and preparation of high quality food. So far, our implementing partner Welthungerhilfe and their local NGOshave trained over 3000 AWWs on 4 Participatory Learning & Action (PLA) modules to improve their capacities and understanding on nutrition intake, diet diversity, pregnancy care, Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices and availability of nutritious food through kitchen gardens.

Within this framework, GIZ FaNS in collaboration with Department of Women & Child Development (DWCD), Bhopal is developing an online virtual learning platform for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)Supervisors and Anganwadi workers in Madhya Pradesh. This will ensure a standardized form of high quality training for 97,135 Anganwadi workers and 3,575 women supervisors across the state.

To promote nutrition and diet diversity at the local level, we had identified local food cuisines. Every recipe shows its nutritive value and the product was developed in the local language Hindi and is online available at the knowledge portal of DWCD.

To promote nutrition literacy and good nutritional practices at household level in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh a nutrition calendar has been designed. The calendar highlights the importance of dietary diversity and how it can be achieved using locally available seasonal food. The calendar can be accessed at:

Gender as a quality feature of our work:

Through our gender sensitive initiatives, we could reach the last mile inaccessible tribal women who had the least knowledge on availability and accessibility of nutrition services. Throughlot of initiatives in joint collaboration with DWCDfor promoting Food & Nutrition Diversity through Kitchen Garden and Poshan Thali Campaign (Nutritious Plate), we have been recognized as an organization dedicated to improve the nutritional status of tribal and poor women among our Government partners in the state and district level.  Through our community monitoring activities of TPDS like improving awareness on National Food Security Act,2013 (ensuring food as a right for its citizens); improving the quality of subsidized food-grains for beneficiaries.

Considering the lower existing educational level of our AWWs, the virtual learning platform has been designed as an easy, interactive manner with visual effects for stimulating the interest and learning of AWW on complex nutritional topics, which has been well recognized by our Government partners.

Gender and Result Based Monitoring(RBM): FaNS India has won funding under the GIZ Health Sector Network- Innovation Fund 2017to develop a Global Monitoring Software platform to capture the processes and impacts of nutrition interventions on the beneficiaries.

i-Monitor is a windows based data and process management software to report process level data like reach or coverage of interventions to stakeholders and beneficiaries and also to capture result based indicators like Dietary Diversity scores, household consumption of nutrition food etc.). The software will act as a knowledge management tool for entering, compiling and synthesizing gender disaggregated data from different nutritional intervention projects currently being undertaken by GIZ in a systematic manner. The tool could be useful for GIZ projects to steer programmes based on real time evidence but also for local governmental partners who often lack precise data on beneficiaries from the ground.

Dr Archana Sarkar
Advisor, Research, Monitoring & Evaluation
Food and Nutrition Security, Enhanced Resilience (FaNS)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

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