Thanks for all the interesting comments and contributions that have been posted over the past several days. I trust the conference is off to an excellent start and hope that all of you participating are enjoying the conversations and benefiting from the information exchange.
I really appreciate the resources that people have shared (i.e. FAO paper, Nutrition and Social Protection; Bangladesh study on CCT plus nutrition education; etc.), which provide some concrete ideas about how to design nutritionally-impactful social protection programs and what works. Similarly, the examples of nutrition-sensitive social protection programs in action (Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program and India’s Integrated Child Development and mid-day meal schemes) give a flavor of different approaches to achieving improved nutrition in the context of social protection, as well as some of the challenges (human resources, ensuring budget availability, monitoring and accountability, etc.).
It is interesting to see some common themes emerging in the comments. For example, several of you raise the importance of the quality, safety, and cultural appropriateness of food. While this can be addressed in part through nutrition education and training, commenters point out that complementary support and/or policies must be present to ensure sustained improvement. These could be things like land rights, and appropriate agricultural support like crop insurance, equipment, appropriate seed and livestock, and financial incentives as well as an adequate infrastructure. Several of you also emphasize the importance of supporting family farming as part of nutrition-sensitive social protection.
Another theme that comes out is that of institutional arrangements, roles, and responsibilities. Someone suggests that the state should play a role in monitoring NGO-provided services. Another questions how related ministries (e.g. health) will be motivated to monitor nutrition outcomes coming through social protection. The book, Working Multisectorally in Nutrition: Principles, Practices, and Case Studies, may provide some ideas on that topic.
I am curious to see what other examples of successful or promising nutrition-sensitive social protection endeavors people put forth after participating in the conference. It may be helpful to think of what can be achieved in different phases in a particular country, especially for those that do not have anything in place yet. What could be a feasible and valuable first step?
I look forward to hearing more from you in the coming days.