EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF POULTRY INTERVENTIONS ON MATERNAL AND CHILD NUTRITION OUTCOMES IN THE LUANGWA VALLEY, ZAMBIA
Dumas, Sarah Elise
Worldwide, approximately 156 million children under five are stunted because of chronic undernutrition. Animal source foods (ASF) can improve children’s dietary quality, micronutrient intake, and nutrition outcomes, but ASF are often inaccessible and unaffordable for the most vulnerable children. Livestock interventions can increase the accessibility of ASF in remote, low-income communities, but evidence that they effectively improve child nutrition remains inconclusive. We therefore aimed to examine the association between household livestock ownership and child nutrition outcomes and evaluate the impact of two targeted poultry interventions in rural communities in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. First, we utilized multiple data sources to assess the impact of interventions addressing health and management constraints in the existing “village chicken” production system. Our analyses revealed that the interventions resulted in improved flock sizes and profits, but had no impact on household consumption of chickens or eggs, because farmers preferred to sell chickens. Then, in a large cross-sectional survey, we similarly found that owning livestock managed in traditional systems was not associated with improved dietary or nutrition outcomes among children. Building off these studies, we implemented a novel, market-based intervention supporting egg production centers (EPCs) in 24 communities. Using mixed methods, we found that, despite programmatic challenges, the EPCs could be adequately productive and profitable, widely acceptable to participants, and practical to implement in most rural communities in the Luangwa Valley. Finally, in an impact evaluation, we found that the EPC program successfully increased the acquisition and consumption of eggs by households, women, and young children in participating communities. In this dissertation, we took a comprehensive and stepwise approach, utilizing conceptual frameworks and program impact pathways to identify and test underlying assumptions and intermediate outcomes on the hypothesized pathway from livestock to child nutrition. We suggest that the novel EPC program could function as one component of an integrated nutrition intervention to enhance access to, and consumption of, high-quality ASF in vulnerable households. Our results contribute to the growing evidence that livestock can enhance child nutrition and point to a new approach for livestock interventions and evaluations that focuses on impact at the community-level.
Nutrition; animal source foods; child nutrition; livestock; poultry; stunting; Veterinary science; dietary diversity; Epidemiology
Travis, Alexander J.
Grohn, Yrjo Tapio; Stoltzfus, Rebecca Joyce; Young, Sera Lewise
Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Ph. D., Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution 4.0 International
dissertation or thesis
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 4.0 International