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USAID Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) Project

 

Summary

 

The Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project seeks to strengthen global & country efforts to scale up high impact nutrition practices, prevent stunting & anemia in the first 1,000 days & link agriculture & nutrition. SPRING is funded by USAID under a five-year cooperative agreement at the intersection of the U.S. Government’s two flagship foreign assistance initiatives—Feed the Future and Global Health Initiative. Our technical support ensures that quality nutrition programs are taken to scale and strengthen countries’ capacity to eliminate undernutrition by employing social and behavior change communication approaches at all levels.

Through its 1,000 Day Household agenda, SPRING/Ghana contributes to achieving the USAID goal of reducing stunting by 20 percent in the Feed the Future zone of influence (ZOI) of the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana.

 

Project Duration

 

2014 - 2017

 

 

Objectives

 

1. Improved delivery of high-impact nutrition services.
2. Increased demand for high-impact nutrition practices and services.
3. An improved enabling environment for adoption and delivery of high-impact nutrition practices and services.
4. An enhanced evidence base regarding delivery of selected high-impact interventions.
5. An enhanced policy environment for delivery of innovative nutrition interventions.

 

Five Streams of Work

 

1. Anemia reduction;
2. Infant and young child nutrition (IYCN);
3. Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) as it relates to environmental enteropathy;
4. Aflatoxin reduction as it relates to environmental enteropathy; and
5. Cash transfers in close collaboration with the Ghana LEAP Project.

 

Sectoral Implementation Strategies

 

Nutrition: Infant & Young Child Feeding (IYCF) focused on early initiation of breastfeeding (BF); exclusive BF through 6 months; continued BF for two years; timely, appropriate complementary feeding- including orange fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP); and supportive supervision and quality improvement (QI) focused on evidenced based linkages and engagement between the formal health sector and community QI committees. All activities are targeted at equipping community health staff and volunteers to become active agents of change.


WASH 1000: Improve the frequency of four household WASH behaviors that contribute to reducing diarrhea and environmental enteropathy, thereby reducing incidences of stunting and anemia. The four key behaviors are:


• Safe disposal of feces, especially those of children
• Handwashing with soap at appropriate times
• Clean play spaces for children
• Appropriate water treatment

These will be achieved through capacity building of district front line staff and community structures on WASH, promoting tippy taps construction, and learning tours.


Agriculture (Aflatoxin): SPRING/Ghana agriculture (aflatoxin) management and control targets women because they are responsible for household nutrition. We focus on groundnuts because they are commonly used for meals in Northern Ghana. Contributing to the reduction of aflatoxin levels in groundnuts will lead to better nutrition outcomes.


Employing the farmer field school training methodology, SPRING/Ghana is building farmers’ capacities (especially women’s) on pre-harvest agronomic practices and post-harvest handling, and using aflatoxin test kits to test groundnuts and maize from other project aggregators operating within the ZOI. SPRING/Ghana will also include the production and utilization of fortified orange fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP) as a source of vitamin A for the 1000-day woman and child.


Social & Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC): SPRING/Ghana employs multiple strategies/approaches for addressing knowledge gaps, promoting healthcare seeking attitudes, and improving skills with regard to nutrition interventions as our contribution towards achieving SPRING/Ghana’s 1,000 Day Agenda. The three main strategies employed are the mass media campaign, use of interpersonal communication, and engaging community- based platforms.

 

 

    Implementation Partners:

 

District Assembly, Ghana Health Service, Environmental Health Unit, MOFA, District Water Sanitation Team, Ghana Education Service, Department of Community Development, Department of Social Welfare, and Local NGOs and CBOs undertaking nutrition-related and nutrition-sensitive activities in the districts.

 

Geographical Coverage (SPRING Operational Districts)

 

Funding

 

 

 

 

Key Staff Contacts

 

Edward Bonku

SPRING/Ghana Chief of Party

Tel: +233 244 512 241

ebonku@spring-nutrition.org