Scaling up nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Lao PDR and Vietnam

Time span of the project    2016-2020
Contact personJacqueline Broerse
Project partners
Athena Institute (VU); MCNV; National Institute of Public Health (NIOPH), Lao PDR; National Agriculture and  Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Lao PDR; National Nutrition Centre (NNC), Lao PDR;  Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry (HUAF), Vietnam; National Institute of Agriculture Planning and Projection (NIAPP), Vietnam; Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Institute for Community Health Research (ICHR), Vietnam 
Project sponsorNWO/WOTRO

Food insecurity and malnutrition remain persistent challenges among upland populations in Asia. Interventions are often fragmented and address immediate rather than underlying causes. 

Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) is an inter-sectoral, multi-level food system approach maximising agriculture’s contribution to improved food security and nutrition. However, it still lacks a robust evidence-base. Building upon existing interventions in Vietnam and Lao PDR, this project generates evidence on the effectiveness of, and best way to scale-up, NSA amongst ethnic minorities in mountainous areas. It utilizes Complex Adaptive System Theory and Transition Management to analyse processes of embedding NSA interventions in food systems. 

A transdisciplinary research methodology is used to assess effectiveness and enhance adaptive and transformational capacities of studied interventions. Comparative case study analysis results in a generic framework to develop and scale-up NSA interventions in different contexts. Lessons learned advise a wide variety of stakeholders to address food security and malnutrition of vulnerable populations.