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Improving Nutrition Outcomes Through Optimized Agricultural Investments (ATONU)

About

Agriculture to Nutrition Initiative - ATONU

Led by the South Africa-based Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), the regional initiative ATONU answers the question of what agriculture programs can do to achieve positive nutrition outcomes. FANRPAN has assembled a leading global consortium of African and international organizations to design, pilot, rigorously evaluate and promote a range of interventions that will improve nutritional outcomes of agricultural programs and policies. The interventions address the variety of social, cultural and environmental contexts found in African agriculture.

Objectives

The ATONU project provides technical assistance to integrate tailored nutrition interventions into planned and ongoing agricultural investments through:

  • Generating tools and frameworks for diagnosing the opportunities to incorporate tailored nutrition interventions into agriculture investments;
  • Offering technical assistance for designing, testing, and rigorously monitoring and evaluating results of the tailored nutrition interventions (proof of concept)
  • Documenting best practices and evidence and adding to the agriculture for nutrition knowledge base
  • Advocating for evidence-based decision making at all levels
  • Strengthening African capacity and building a community of practice in agriculture for improved nutrition.

ATONU is breaking the intergenerational cycle of under-nutrition in four Sub-Saharan African countries and improving the nutrition of smallholder farm families and poor households through tailored nutrition sensitive agriculture programs that ultimately benefit women of child bearing age and children in the first 1000 days of life after conception.

Target groups

  • Development practitioners responsible for the design, implementation and evaluation of agriculture investments
  • Smallholder farm families and women's organizations at national, regional and international levels (in line with FANRPAN policy that those most affected by the problem are equipped with the evidence to advocate)
  • National line ministries (agriculture, finance, economic planning, gender, etc.)
  • Financiers of agricultural projects (government, donors, foundations, NGOs and private sector)

Project duration

The project is being implemented over a six-year period, commencing September 2014 and ending August 2020 and will be implemented in three phases as follows:

  • Phase 1 (one and half years): Inception and Feasibility phase, focusing on grounding partnerships, finding common ground and developing and testing the decision frameworks and tools;
  • Phase 2 (three and half years) Deepening the engagement, providing technical assistance, implementing and evaluating tailored nutrition interventions, communication and advocacy, capacity building, consolidating the evidence and the partnerships in focal countries;
  • Phase 3 (last year of the project): Institutionalizing the approach and consolidating the project footprint.

ATONU is an African lead, inter-sectoral initiative that combines research and technical assistance in tandem. ATONU is seeking to bring convergence and common visioning and purpose between the agriculture and nutrition communities. These complexities constitute potential risks that have been mitigated through management and governance arrangements. ATONU will be embedded within the FANRPAN program structure at the Regional Secretariat.


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