Evidence Matters distills the best and most relevant evidence from systematic reviews.
It draws out the policy implications for practitioners and policymakers to help them design more effective interventions or policies.
Evidence matters is a briefing series produced by 3ie in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the UK. To subscribe to Evidence Matters, you can join the 3ie’s mailing list.
Zero child hunger: breaking the cycle of malnutrition
This issue draws from a recent systematic review (Masset et al., 2011) of agricultural interventions which have aimed to improve the nutritional status of children. The brief asks whether there is enough evidence to show that increased household income and a better diet can improve children’s nutritional status. The key findings are:
- Nutrition-focused agricultural interventions are short term and cannot address the root causes of malnutrition.
- Agricultural interventions to tackle malnutrition are not reaching the very poorest and those most at risk to chronic hunger.
- Nutrition-focused agricultural interventions may increase income from one source but they may also result in reduced income from other sources.
- Bio-fortification (fortifying foods with vitamins and minerals) may help but is not yet a proven solution.