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Community Contribution

Using CLA to create a quality, sustainable model for nutrition-sensitive agriculture trainings for female producers in rural Northeast India

Avinash Upadhyay

The USAID Advancing Nutrition project in India works with Women Self Help Group (WSHG) members to promote increased agricultural productivity for enhanced incomes and dietary diversity. The project implements nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) trainings through its local implementing partner (IP) who provides trainings to community cadres of Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM) who are responsible for training and counselling the WSHG members. In addition to promoting the adoption of nutrition-sensitive behaviors, a key objective of the NSA activity is to develop a scalable model that can be recommended and replicated by the government across the state.

After four months of implementation of the NSA trainings, the project implemented a series of pause and reflect and CLA activities to inform adaptive management including a Google survey, an in-person pause and reflect event, and remote meetings to reflect on the successes, challenges, and opportunities. These CLA activities helped prioritize a series of actions including reducing the training target to focus more on quality rather than reach/numbers, revise the training module to reduce training duration and simplify the content, completing community sensitization activities before the NSA trainings, as well as removing a USAID indicator that was too cumbersome to collect.

By embracing a CLA approach, the project gathered perspectives from local partners, identified several challenges affecting quality implementation, and took corrective action to build a training model that could be recommended to the Government of Assam. The process also helped to recognise the necessity of integrating adaptation mechanisms into the work plan and implementing them before expanded implementation.

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