Project Factsheet
Tools for » Protecting and Promoting Food Security and Nutrition for Families and Children in Bangladesh
Project ID:00067238Description:MDGF-1994-I-BGD
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Mar 2009
MDGF SP-ChildFoodSec&Nutri
End Date*: 30 Jun 2013
Country: Bangladesh Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The JP was anchored in the country’s development frameworks, and in particular the National Poverty Reduction Strategy, the National Food Policy Plan of Action (2008-2015) and the Country Investment Plan for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition (2011-2015). Designed to serve as a pilot, it also helped to bridge the gap between the National Nutrition Programme (NNP) which ended in 2010, and the National Nutrition Services (NNS) which begun in 2011. As such, the JP was harmonized with the activities planned under the NNS and was also the first integrated model of the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition approach.

The main objective was to contribute to the reduction of acute malnutrition and underweight prevalence among children, pregnant and lactating women, as well as to reduce the proportion of the population with inadequate calorie and nutrient intakes. Monitoring data indicates the programme has successfully reduced under nutrition among children 6-59 months of age, and a reduction in the prevalence of moderate acute under nutrition from 11 percent at the beginning, to 1 percent towards the end. This together with the almost zero prevalence of severe under nutrition at the end of the programme and the low relapse rates vindicates the programme’s strategy.

The homestead gardens and the courtyard sessions were effective methods of communicating strategies for  a more effective use of homestead land for poor households with huge potential for replication to address under nutrition. The end line survey reveals a fourfold increase in the households in programme areas with homestead gardens. Even more importantly, food consumption patterns in the poorest quintile indicate an increase in the consumption of dairy, eggs and meats.

Nutrition education and school gardens provided an effective methodology to introduce nutrition concepts in schools. Children’s enrolment and attendance increased significantly during the programme. In addition there was an increase in reported role of women in decision making related to health and nutrition practices for their children, in relation to the control group. Particularly important as women’s empowerment is considered a critical factor in improving nutrition of children, especially in South Asia.

Additionally, the JP carried out six studies that will contribute to policy dialogue. These are presented under Outcome level achievements.


Outcome 1:

Reduced prevalence of acute malnutrition and underweight in children 6-59 months of age and acute malnutrition in pregnant and lactating women.


Outcome Achievements:

  • The JP identified and treated 693 children with severe acute malnutrition in the communities.
  • Severe acute malnutrition corners were established at the Medical College at the Divisional level and at the Upazila Health centres for treatment of severely acutely malnourished children with complications.  Children without complications were treated as outpatients. The recovery rate was higher than the accepted global standard.
  • More than 9,600 children with moderately acute malnutrition were treated. The recovery rate was higher than the accepted standards.
  • The JP enrolled more than 4,200 under nourished pregnant & lactating women (above the number projected) the programme will maintain the women until the child reaches 6 months.
  • The JP reached more than 25,800 with sessions on prevention of under nutrition for all families with children under five and pregnant women. On average around two thirds of the families confirmed participating in the sessions.
  • Substantive increase in the number of women reporting increased food intake during the last pregnancy during the programme period, and more women in the programme areas reported taking a complete dose of iron-folate in the last pregnancy as compared to the baseline.


Outcome 2:

Food security improved through agriculture, homestead food production and nutrition training.


Outcome Achievements:

  • The programme provided training and material inputs to the selected households on establishing homestead gardens and improving dietary diversity. By the end of the programme, more than 12,500 families had been trained & provided with silos for safe grain storage. The proportion of incomes from the sale of homestead produce increased from 2 to 9 percent (baseline to endline). This increase in income seems to have somewhat reduced the food availability gap, especially for the poorest families.
  • The programme established 1,410 plant nurseries in the areas.


Outcome 3:

Improved learning and nutrition awareness through school feeding and school gardening.


Outcome Achievements:

  • The JP established a nutrition awareness component in 117 schools. 31,000 primary and pre-primary children in the 117 primary schools received micronutrient fortified biscuits every school day. Both attendance and enrolment increased as a result of the activities organized under this outcome.
  • School gardens were established in the 110 Government primary schools.
  • Nutrition education sessions were conducted for children from senior grades. The end line survey confirms increased awareness of the importance of a nutritious diet and 94 percent of the children reported preparing a new recipe at home applying methods learnt at school.


Outcome 4:

Prevention and control of iron deficiency anaemia in children aged 6-23 months.


Outcome Achievements:

  • An estimated 12,680 children received regular Micronutrient Powders from the programme.
  • Mothers were taught to recognize the signs of anaemia, its effect on children’s growth and development, and the means to prevent it.


Outcome 5:

Strengthened food security and nutrition information systems for planning, monitoring and programme evaluations.


Outcome Achievements:

  • This outcome was expected to contribute to the knowledge base on food security and nutrition in the country.
  • A baseline survey, endline survey and an independent final evaluation were carried out to determine the outcomes of the JP interventions.
  • A comprehensive monitoring system was developed to track changes in the communities. In addition to a web-based data to ensure availability and accessibility of the data on all indicators. A qualitative monitoring process was established to review the activities and identify necessary improvements.
  • Existing knowledge were identified and the following studies were designed to address these gaps. Specifically the JP contributed to: 1) An Analytical Exercise of Mapping of Food Security and Nutrition Interventions in Bangladesh; 2) Comparing Measures of Acute Malnutrition in Bangladesh; 3) Nutrition Education in Schools-Programme and Policy Implications; 4) Women’s Empowerment in a Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) programme-A case study; 5) Food Security and Nutrition Assessment in Selected Urban Slums of Bangladesh; 6) Issues in Assessing Multi-Sector Food Security and Nutrition Programmes-Case Study of Two Selected Programmes in Bangladesh.


Best practices:

  • The JP demonstrated a model of multi-sectorial implementation and coordination involving six ministries and the local administration.
  • Determining a joint policy/research agenda (under Outcome 5) was also helpful to coordinating efforts at the national level. Technical focal persons in each of the agencies assisted in ensuring continuity in decision making and providing support to the programme.
  • One of the critical factors of success of joint initiatives is shared recognition of successes. All missions with senior staff of government and donors involved representation from all agencies.


Lessons learned:

  • After a joint programme design, transition of key staff in the agencies led to knowledge gaps. Although transitions in international development are inevitable, careful handover and transition strategies would facilitate continuity.
  • Two of the three agencies worked with the same NGO partners which helped in collaboration, design and implementation at the local levels. Coordination would have been even more effective if all agencies had the same partners.


More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Bangladesh or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

The persons with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Sydur Molla, Programme Analyst; Telephone: 8802-8118600 ext 1804; Email:
  • Helal Uddin, Finance Associate; Telephone: 8802-8118600 ext 1945; Email:; Skype: helal1812
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