Maximising the Nutritional Impact of Food Security and Livelihoods Interventions- A manual for field workers

This manual aims to provide practical guidance to field workers in order to maximise the nutritional impact of food security & livelihoods (FSL) interventions. This requires the systematic use of a ‘nutrition lens’ at each step of the project cycle and a close collaboration between sectors. The manual has its roots in ACF International strategy 2010-20151 and the FSL strategic outline for 2011-2015, and embodies the mandate of the organisation to fight hunger and to centre its efforts on under nutrition. It is also in line with the current international movement to put maternal and child nutrition at the forefront of the agenda to address the complex crisis of under nutrition in the perspective of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This manual also gives us the opportunity to dispel the myth that economic growth and agricultural development in particular equals improved nutritional status. Increasing agricultural productivity and/or increasing income do not necessarily translate into improved nutrition. The relationship between growth and nutrition is non-linear and is affected by many other factors such as status of women, health, infrastructures and cultural norms and beliefs, to name a few. This manual, however, is not about integration between the different technical sectors (FSL, Nutrition & Health, Mental Health & Care Practices (MHCP), Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) per se but aims to mainstream nutrition into the standard FSL activities and practices, by increasing collaboration between sectors. It aims to raise awareness of ACF staff and other humanitarian practitioners on the impact they can have on nutrition by implementing nutrition-sensitive interventions and by promoting adequate nutrition practices. The basic elements for this manual were collected from ACF staff, representatives of other Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the United Nations (UN) agencies, and an extensive literature review in March and April 2011.