Cluster Randomized, Parallel-group, Prospective, Follow-up Effectiveness Study in Kenyan Children 6-35 Months

Primary Investigator

  • Fabian Rohner, President, GroundWork

Study Period

March 2018 - October 2020

Study Description

Malnutrition is a public health problem in Kenya, with 26% of children under-five years of age stunted, and 26% of pre-school children, 26% of women of reproductive age and 42% of pregnant women being anaemic, respectively. Agriculture is the main source of income, food and nutrients for the majority of rural families in Sub-Saharan Africa including Kenya. Most farmers are smallholders and are vulnerable to poor nutrition. Thus far, programmes have mostly focused on increasing yields and household income, but not on improving nutritional status. One Acre Fund (1AF) has over the past 10 years successfully introduced an agriculture programme to smallholder farmers in Western Kenya focusing on improving harvest. 1AF is therefore well placed to transform an existing and successful agriculture programme into the world's largest 'nutrition network' for farmers, and it is the hope that a partnership between Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and 1AF will create a strong voice for nutrition within the agriculture sector. The project aims to use an integrated programme by introducing nutrition-sensitive (improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): e.g. soap for hand washing) and nutrition-specific (e.g. micronutrient supplements) components to 1AF's agricultural programme.

The impact of such an integrated programme will be assessed in a cluster-randomized intervention study in children 6-35 months at recruitment comparing one group receiving the integrated intervention to another group receiving the agricultural intervention (already in place).

Study Arms

  • Experimental: Intervention (agriculture-focused package + nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions=integrated package)
  • Control (agriculture-focused package)

Primary Outcomes

  • Stunting and length/height-for-age z-score. Change in length-for-age z-score (LAZ) over the course of the two years programme activity.

Study Interventions

  • Water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH)
  • Other
  • Micronutrient powders (MNP)

Research Gaps

  • Effectiveness

    How well do different food compositions and interventions prevent or treat undernutrition, when implemented "on the ground"?

  • Innovation

    What novel food-based products and programming methods effectively prevent and treat undernutrition?

Study Population

1974