The SELEVER study is designed to evaluate the impact of an integrated agriculture-nutrition package of interventions (including poultry value chain development, women's empowerment activities, and a behavior change communications strategy to promote improved diets and feeding, care, and hygiene practices) on the diets, health, and nutritional status of women and children in Burkina Faso. This paper presents the rationale and study design.
The impact evaluation involves a cluster randomized controlled trial design that will be implemented in 120 rural communities/villages within 60 communes supported by SELEVER in the Boucle de Mouhoun, Centre-Ouest, and Haut-Bassins regions of Burkina Faso. Communities will be randomly assigned to one of three treatment arms, including: (1) SELEVER intervention group; (2) SELEVER with an intensive WASH component; and (3) control group without intervention. Primary outcomes include the mean probability of adequacy of diets for women and children (aged 2-4 years at baseline), infant and young child feeding practices of caregivers of children aged 0-2 years, and household poultry production and sales. Intermediate outcomes along the agriculture and nutrition pathways will also be measured, including child nutrition status and development. The evaluation will follow a mixed-methods approach, including a panel of child-, household-, community-, and market-level surveys, and data collection points during post-harvest and lean seasons, as well as one year after implementation completion to examine sustainability.
To our knowledge, this study is the first to rigorously examine from a food systems perspective, the simultaneous impact of scaling-up nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions through a livestock value-chain and community-intervention platform, across nutrition, health, and agriculture domains. The findings of this evaluation will provide evidence to support the design of market-based nutrition-sensitive interventions.
ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN16686478 . Registered on 2 December 2016.