This toolkit is envisaged as a step-by-step guide to provide a solid foundation for developing appropriate, local solutions to address under-nutrition in a gender sensitive way through agriculture. With each step, communities will come closer to understanding the relationship between gender relations and food and nutrition insecurity. We recommend that the tool be used to collect information primarily at the community level at the lowest level of government revenue structure (say, block or village level) and further include discussions with a range of officials – governmental and non-governmental – from higher levels from district to provincial and national levels. The basic idea is to triangulate the information horizontally (among different groups in a community) and vertically among different governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. This will be done through consultations at various levels.
The main objective of this toolkit is to analyse a community‚Äôs nutrition situation, together with its members, to make them aware of under-nutrition causes in children, women and men in relation to gender, agriculture, and WASH; and to jointly identify appropriate agriculture-based interventions to improve their nutritional status. In addition, it is envisaged that the toolkit activities will help communities to articulate their demands for improvement in the way different government programmes are targeted and implemented.
Specific toolkit objectives are to:
- build common understanding among community members regarding current perceptions, knowledge, awareness, habits and practices at household and community level, in relation to nutrition, agriculture, gender and WASH;
- create awareness about nutrition to enable communities to appreciate the relevance of under-nutrition and acknowledge related issues;
- create safe spaces and opportunities for community members and key stakeholders to voice their demands, both separately, as well as jointly – in meetings with key stakeholders/functionaries in the community;
- understand the institutional context in terms of what opportunities and/or challenges exist that support or hinder communities to articulate their demands, and enable development and implementation of appropriate solutions;
- facilitate intra-community dialogue on nutrition, agriculture, gender and WASH in order to identify locally specific solutions that can be predominantly implemented by the communities;
- create conditions to introduce new practices that break through existing silos, and to capitalize on identified opportunities to address under-nutrition in an integrated manner.