Nutrient Gap Analysis

This operation-oriented research has two components. The first component focuses on the questions: What are the nutrient gaps in changing food systems to meet household needs? And what are best-bet options for addressing these? A set of tools is being developed into an integrated package that 1) Determines food and nutrient availability at the household and village/foodshed level, 2) Estimates the minimum cost of nutritional food basket purchased at the village level and compares that costs to household income, and 3) Provides food and nutrient consumption patterns (as well as the source of food – production or purchase) at the household level. The tools allow a nutrient gap analysis as well as evaluation of changes in food systems over time across different agro-ecological and socio-economic settings. Outputs of the model will be integrated into a spatial planning tool in collaboration and can also be integrated with trade-off models.

The second component integrates food-based nutrition approaches with health system and improving care approaches to identify remaining barriers to improved nutrition. Based on the UNICEF framework outlining the multiple determinants of undernutrition, an analytical model has been developed linking interventions and impact pathway indicators in health, agriculture, water and sanitation, education, community, and gender to nutritional outcomes. Data from 12 MVP sites were analyzed according to this model.

Taking the two components together, the model allows a holistic nutrition gap analysis across diverse settings in sub-Saharan Africa. A first part of the results was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and presented in several international conferences and stakeholder meetings. The model is further being upgraded by integrating real-time data from the m-health application Childcount+ and plans to integrate also real-time data from ICT4Ag applications.