Guidelines for Participatory Nutrition Projects

Guidelines for Participatory Nutrition Projects

Guidelines to help development staff working at community level to promote the design and implementation of participatory nutrition projects.

Designed for use by professional staff from different technical and institutional backgrounds, who have had formal technical training or education, and who either work at the community level or are responsible for community development activities. These development workers may be government employees such as agricultural extensionists, primary school teachers or health staff or they may be part of a non-governmental organization. They may be working with one or several communities on a specific technical task or have many varied responsibilities. Whatever their professional situation, it is hoped that these guidelines will help development workers to integrate nutrition concerns in their routine activities effectively.

The guidelines describe the following aspects of participatory nutrition projects:

  • Preparatory stage: establishing initial contacts between development workers, communities and other development agents
  • Participatory appraisal of the food and nutrition situation of the community.
  • Selection and implementation of activities to improve this situation.
  • The monitoring and evaluation process.

These guidelines include short checklists to help summarize issues or outline steps to be taken. Simple diagrams and charts, developed or adapted from actual field experiences, illustrate the specific tasks to be performed in each stage. The constraints most commonly encountered are also listed. These guidelines are designed to be used with flexibility: participatory processes involve continual revision of assessment and decision-making as the project develops. Some of the steps presented in a sequence may have to be carried out simultaneously. Others may not be relevant in a specific local situation or may have already been taken. Participatory projects take time. These guidelines are designed, therefore, for use by development workers who will be working with a community for at least two years. [author]

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