A US $120 Million Nutrition Project had no significant impact on stunting reduction in Indonesia

Friday, 15-12-2023Amanda Beatty, Evan Borkum, William Leith, Clair Null, Wayan Suriastini

SurveyMETER and Mathematica Inc, Washington DC conducted an evaluation study of the Community-Based Health and Nutrition to Reduce Stunting Project (Nutrition Project), a program funded by the Millennium Challenge implemented in 11 provinces in Indonesia between 2014 and 2018. This Nutrition Project offered to reduce stunting through 3 main activities comprehensively: 1. Community-based health and education assistance program, 2. Training of health workers on feeding children under five and monitoring growth, and 3. Training for sanitarians on a local variation of community‐led total sanitation.

Using the Clustered Randomized Control Trial method, the evaluation study was carried out in 95 treatment sub-districts and 95 control sub-districts spread across the provinces of South Sumatra, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan. The baseline evaluation study was carried out from November 2014 to February 2015, the follow up endline study was carried out from January to April 2019, one year after the end of the Nutrition Project.

The study found that cases of stunting in samples aged 24-35 months in the treatment group decreased from 44.2% at baseline to 37.1% at endline, but the same reduction was also found in the control group. The study also did not find a significant impact of the Nutrition Project on height-for-age z-score (HAZ) or the percentage of underweight/stunting children in both groups. Thus, the study shows that the comprehensive Nutrition Project activity package does not show a significant impact on efforts to reduce stunting.

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