The Impact of a Nutrition-Focused Livelihoods Program on Child Health and Nutrition in Burkina Faso (Midline Survey)
Over 700 million people live on less than US$1.90 per day. Many of these families depend on insecure and fragile livelihoods. Globally nearly half of all deaths in children under five are attributable to undernutrition, translating into the loss of about three million young lives a year. Recent research has shown that holistic livelihoods programs, such as the Graduation Approach can have a wide range of benefits for these poor families, from increasing household consumption and income to improving food security and mental health. The Graduation model provides families with a range of services, including income-generating assets, training, access to savings accounts, consumption support, and coaching visits, and variations of the model have been successfully replicated in several contexts. The aim of this research in Burkina Faso is to rigorously evaluate whether an adapted Graduation program design, which focuses on strengthening the household’s ability to cope with crises, leads to improvements in child nutrition and household food security. This brief summarizes findings from the midline survey, which suggest that the program successfully reduced child malnutrition and increased household consumption, food diversity, and investments in durable goods after one year. Some impacts were present across multiple program groups, while others were only present among households that received the full multi-dimensional set of interventions.