Program planning and evaluation framework for a community based food project in Mwanza, Tanzania / by Ellena Andoniou.
SubjectFood security Africa, Sub-Saharan
Food supply Africa, Sub-Saharan
Nutrition Africa, Sub-Saharan
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The ravaging effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa are well known. Countries in the region are facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions further compounded by poverty, malnutrition and social inequalities. This is especially true in Tanzania, one of the world’s poorest countries - where the majority of the population lives in absolute poverty; there is a disproportionately high level of food insecurity and poor nutritional standards are extensive. Initiated in 2003, The University of Western Ontario (UWO) in partnership with the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), the Kivulini Women’s Rights Organization (KWRO) and a local women’s group, the Tukwamuane, launched a probiotic food based community project in Mwanza, Tanzania - a high-need area as defined by the Canadian International Development Agency. The Western Heads East (WHE) probiotic yoghurt project is an international collaboration fostering community health and development. The project is a microenterprise initiative which aims to improve health and nutrition, while alleviating suffering from malnutrition, diarrhoeal diseases, and urogenital disorders in vulnerable social groups in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Women with little or no formal education are trained to produce probiotic yoghurt for sale and subsidized distribution to People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) at the community level. The project has the potential to foster health improvement, as well as empowerment, advocacy skills among women and promote knowledge transfer to future generations. However, at the inception of WHE, the necessary steps to develop key planning and evaluation frameworks were not taken. As such, the purpose of this project is to prepare a program planning and evaluation framework which will enable project planners, stakeholders, and researchers to evaluate project outcomes, the health impacts and improvements in quality of life for the women making the yoghurt, their families and the broader community; as well as to explore women’s perceptions (if any) of empowerment, and how the project is enabling them to achieve their everyday life objectives.