Project Factsheet
Tools for » MDGs beyond averages: Promoting Food Security and Nutrition for Indigenous Children in Brazil
Project ID:00067250Description:MDGF-2032-I-BRA Children
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Mar 2009
MDGF SP-ChildFoodSec&Nutri
End Date*: 30 Jun 2013
Country: Brazil Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The Joint Programme aims to contribute to the overall improvement of the food security and nutritional status of children and women in indigenous municipalities of Benjamin Constant, São Paulo de Olivença and Tabatinga, the Alto Rio Solimões (Amazonas) and Dourados (Mato Grosso do Sul). Both regions are characterized by concentration of indigenous peoples, and special challenges in terms of access to rights for Indigenous women and children, in particular access to health care and adequate food.

The Joint Programme’s strategy aims to increased access to services and strengthen public policies in line with cultural aspects of the target population. All proposed activities sought to increase in the provision of food security, nutrition and health through the empowerment of indigenous peoples. Project activities also include strengthening the institutional capacity of public authorities and indigenous organizations to support the establishment of intersectoral networks and social participation.

Outcome 1, improved food security and nutritional status of children and women in the region of Alto Solimões (Amazonas) and the municipality of Dourados (Mato Grosso do Sul), absorbed more than half of the total project budget. These actions had a major focus on health (increased access to public health policies), child care (exchange of knowledge and practices of child care) and nutrition (increased production, access to and consumption of healthy foods with recognition of indigenous production systems), and its implementation was based on ethnicity and culture of indigenous peoples. The most outstanding achievements included: small improvement of the nutritional status of children under five years including a decrease in low weight (from 6.07% to 5.87%) and nutritional risk (from 12.16% to 11%); Strengthening of Indigenous health services with a focus on staff training and the provision of materials for nutritional surveillance; Survey  of food security and nutrition needs in the four municipalities to aligning the programme activities to needs; Knowledge exchange between indigenous and non-indigenous on childcare practices to strengthen family skills and enrich local knowledge with scientific information; workshops to incorporate an indigenous perspective and identify gaps in the National Humanization Policy ( NHP ) of the Ministry of Health; ethnic mapping to evaluate the productive capacities, agricultural traditions, income generation  and natural resources needed to maintain sustainable livelihoods and food security in the indigenous communities; school gardens as well as exchange between children of different communities to address issues of prejudice and violence.

Outcome 2 sought to promote the empowerment of indigenous peoples, their leaders and organizations. All activities were based on the social participation of indigenous peoples and respect for their traditions, cultures and ethnic references. Activities included: Participation of indigenous peoples in instances of social control; translation and dissemination of the 169 Convention on Indigenous and Tribal peoples; Strengthening social participation of young indigenous people in the media.

Under the last outcome the JP produced a large number of diagnostic reports on the characterization of indigenous communities in the four municipalities of the program. Other successful actions directly related to this result include: Diagnosis of perceived rights of Indigenous women and children; Articulation of policies for the integration of Child Protection Network for indigenous peoples; Strengthening of the indigenous SISVAN (Surveillance System Food and Nutrition).


Outcome 1:

Improved food security and nutritional status of children and women in the region of Alto Solimões (Amazon) and the municipality of Dourados (Mato Grosso do Sul).



Outcome Achievements:

  • Indigenous women and children with access to broad public health policy based on ethnicity and culture of indigenous peoples.
  • Professionals and health administrators, teachers, women (especially pregnant women), indigenous leaders and traditional healers share knowledge and practices of child care.
  • Increased production, access and consumption of healthy foods based on the culture of indigenous peoples.
  • Production Systems of Indigenous Peoples recognized and systematized from the perspective of agricultural biodiversity and protection and appreciation of indigenous culture.


Outcome 2:

Indigenous empowered to demand their human right to adequate food and health care, and public institutions empowered and strengthened to perform their functions.



Outcome Achievements:

  • Indigenous leaders and organizations informed and empowered to claim their right to adequate food and health in the context of public policy.
  • Food and nutrition security discussed, promoted and disseminated by youth.
  • Social participation of indigenous women strengthened.
  • Public institutions and local managers empowered and trained in their duties to promote, respect, protect and provide for the human rights of Indigenous Peoples, particularly the rights of children and women.


Outcome 3:

Diagnosis, monitoring and evaluation of food security and nutrition of indigenous peoples.



Outcome Achievements:

  • Diagnosis of the situation (baseline) of food and nutrition security (SAN) of Indigenous people in the region of Alto Rio Solimões(AM) and the Dourados (MS) produced.
  • Diagnosis (baseline) of the degree of realization of the human rights of Indigenous women and children in the region of the Program.
  • Multi-year work plan to promote food and nutrition security in order to reduce the vulnerability of children, adolescents and indigenous women.
  • Strengthening of sanitary and nutritional status of Indigenous people.
  • Indicators monitored, lessons learned and good practices recorded, analyzed, documented and disseminated at national and international levels especially the strengthening of South-South cooperation.


Best practices

  • Partnerships with the industrial and commercial sector, using the Work Plan as a reference.
  • Civil Society fully participates in all decisions taken by local committees (Program's partnership with the NGO "Observatório de Favelas" particularly interesting).
  • Responsibility given to the community youths in decisions about the criteria of their participation in JP activities (other groups’ mobilization or priority areas of intervention for instance).
  • Newly created inter-agency Thematic Group "International Crime, Security and Citizenship" supporting the sustainability of JP activities.
  • Creation of a local programme in Vitória named “Papo Reto” as a result of the city-to-city exchange with the Rio de Janeiro’s Civil Police Programme “Papo de Responsa”.
  • Creation of local committees.
  • Creation of Communication Comissions.
  • Integrated actions (articulations) which the mayors have performed within the covered territories especially in Contagem and Vitória.
  • Conflict mediation actions with police forces and the inclusion of the “Papo de Responsa” within these articulations.
  • Technical missions among the municipalities in order to know in loco experiences to be incorporated in the plans.
  • Municipal guide for elaboration of the local strategies to fight homicides prepared and  disseminated,  adopted by Federal Government as a reference tool for the elaboration of municipal plans in the context of the implementation of the National Plan “Juventude Viva,” to fight lethal violence against adolescents and youths, in 138 municipalities.
  • Technical inputs provided to the national plan “Juventude Viva” to fight lethal violence. 
  • 60 public managers trained and 90 selected to be trained to use the guide at state and municipal level.
  • 2 editions of the IHA - Index of Adolescent Homicide published to estimate the risk of death by homicide among adolescents living in a given territory. It was created to demonstrate in a simple and concise way the impact of lethal violence on this social group, and to raise awareness of the extent and gravity of the problem. The use of the index also contributes to monitoring the phenomenon over time and space as well as to evaluating relevant public policies at local, state and federal levels.
  • Local workshops organized and 123 persons trained (child´s rights promoters, lawyers, and social assistants, psychologists) to implement socio educative strategies to reintegrate and protect adolescents in conflict with the law. Inputs provided to National plan/ for implementation of the System of socio-educational measures for adolescents in conflict with the law (SINASE).
  • One international exchange (training) involving 12 participants from JP municipalities and 80 from Brazil, 8 Latin America and 2 African countries were organized to reinforce local and national capacity to protect adolescents in conflict with law.
  • Guide to orientate Municipalities on the implementation of the local programs for socio-educational care and measures for adolescents in conflict with the law, prepared (according to the SINASE law - 12.594, 18 January).
  • Diagnostic of adolescent in conflict with the law prepared in 3 municipalities.


Lesson Learn

  • For the Joint Programmes to reach their full potential it is necessary for the main actors to participate actively in the processes of design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation, and fully take ownership of the intervention. Without this appropriation, the sustainability of the intervention will be at risk.
  • The design of a program is key to ensuring the success of the intervention. Adequate time and resources should be allocated to the formulation of programs and ensure the participation of stakeholders.
  • Programs should focus on addressing key problems through consistent and concrete actions, with a well-defined exit strategy, and clearly established mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation.
  • The administrative and financial model should be flexible to allow for synergies and complementary work  between agencies, while allowing for changes in order to adapt to new situations and demands that arise during the implementation process
  • The United Nations agencies and their counterpart institutions should co -lead implementation of programs. A management unit should be established and located in the area of intervention. All institutions should participate in the planning, implementation and monitoring of actions.
  • The programs should prioritize the establishment of an initial baseline and M&E plan to allow monitoring of progress, assess the course during implementation, identify measures to overcome operational difficulties and record data from the beginning.
  • The participation of indigenous leaders in the actions of the Programme contributes decisively to establish a link between the programme and the needs of the community and the government institutions. It also helps to ensure sustainability .
  • The actions that received greater involvement from the different partners and UN agencies had more success.
  • It is essential to stay in touch with the communities and promote understanding of the intervention, while closely monitoring implementation and ensuring dissemination of results.
  • The dissemination of good practices and lessons learned at all levels (community, local, national and international) is essential to ensure transfer of knowledge, learning and replication of good initiatives.
  • The administrative and financial management model used considerably limited the ability of agencies to work jointly. Each agency managed its funds, followed internal procedures and regulations. Further, planning,  management, monitoring and dissemination activities were not held jointly, missing opportunities to seek synergies and maximize the impact of the JP.
  • The degree of ownership was limited mainly due to two factors: the lack of participation in the design of the program and the lead taken by UN agencies. Other elements that negatively influenced ownership were the restructuring process of the main counterpart, the lack of sufficient human resources to monitor the actions, staff turnover and lack of work experience in joint programming. 

More details can be found in the documents below.

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Brazil or the lead agency for the programme.

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

  • Larissa Leite, Coordination Analyst; Telephone: 55 61 3038-9061; Email:; Skype: larissinhavl
  • Margarita Nechaeva, RCO M&E Coordination Associate; Telephone: 55 (61) 8178-7576; Email:; Skype: margarita.nechaeva
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