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Through the Creating Homestead Agriculture for Nutrition and Gender Equity (CHANGE) project, supported by the Canadian government, Helen Keller sought to test our Enhanced Homestead Food Production (EHFP) model in different settings in four African countries: Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Tanzania. The major goal of CHANGE was to improve the nutritional status of women and children through diverse and nutritious homestead food production, under the control of women, and through improved nutrition, hygiene and health practices. We also wanted to build the evidence base around the EHFP program model, thus we partnered with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to carry out randomized control trials in Burkina Faso and Tanzania. As it was critical to better understand the role of women in our approach, we also worked with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) to conduct country-level gender assessments, develop gender strategies, and evaluate the impact of the gender transformative elements integrated into EHFP.

Under the CHANGE project, small-scale farmers (mainly women) were supported to grow micronutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, and animal-source foods, while also being educated and counseled on the importance of dietary diversity, optimal practices related to infant and young child feeding (IYCF) and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). To learn more about the lessons we learned during the lifetime of the CHANGE project, please read our Project Briefs:

Many successes were achieved under the CHANGE project related to building the capacity of communities to produce nutrient-rich crops and raise small animals to improve home consumption of nutritious foods. Community workers learned techniques to counsel mothers and other family members on healthy nutrition, water, hygiene and sanitation practices. The amount of nutrient rich crops families produced increased considerably, as did the production of poultry and eggs. Important nutrition and WASH practices, including exclusive breastfeeding, child and women’s dietary diversity, and handwashing also all improved. Moreover, in CHANGE project areas, anemia and nutritional wasting among young children was reduced, and women’s control over assets increased. To learn more how people’s lives were improved by the CHANGE project, please read our Success Stories: