| Community Nutrition Action for Child Survival |
|Part II - Planning nutrition action projects|
|Unit 3: Deciding what to do|
To give trainees the opportunity to observe the activities of an on-going community nutrition project. Field visits can also include opportunities for trainees to practice new growth monitoring and nutrition counseling skills.
Time: 2 hours for project visit plus travel time
- Vehicles to transport trainees to and from field site
- Handout - Questions to Ask About Nutrition Projects"
Several weeks before the field visit:
1. Identify and visit on-going projects with regular community nutrition activities. Discuss the possibility of a study visit to the projects with each of the managers. Study visits require a great deal of preparation both by the project manager and by the trainer. Make sure that managers are willing to prepare and coordinate the study visit with you.
2. Select the projects that you will visit during the training. It is best to select projects with daily activities, or those that can schedule activities on the day you plan to visit. Activities like growth monitoring, education sessions and immunization clinics are preferable because trainees can use newly acquired skills to participate in them.
3. Decide how many trainees will visit a project at the same time. In some cases, it is wise to divide trainees into groups of 5-6 persons. In this case, each small group visits only one project. If a large group visits a project, the group should be divided into small groups that then rotate through several activities during the visit.
In one workshop visit to a Maternal Child Nutrition Clinic, small groups rotated through the following activities:
- Observation of nutrition education sessions with clinic clients
- Counseling mothers of malnourished children and children with diarrhea (Practice)
- Weighing and charting the weights of children (Practice)
- A meeting with clinic staff to discuss the services clients receive and the training of community nutrition and family planning workers
- A meeting with community nutrition and family planning workers
- A meeting with the project manager and community leaders to discuss the community's role in the project
4. Decide how the visit will be organized and the results you expect. Prepare a schedule for the visit with the project manager.
The day before the visit:
1. Distribute and review the questions on the Handout "Questions to Ask About Nutrition Projects." with trainees. During the field visit, they will be expected to learn as much about the on-going project as they can.
2. Make sure transportation for the following day has been confirmed.
The day of the visit:
1. Distribute the schedule for the day and divide the trainees into small groups if they will be rotating to different activities in the project area. Assign a trainer to each small group. Make sure everyone understands the visit's schedule and objectives.
2. Upon arrival at the project site, review the schedule with the manager, make any changes that might be necessary and supervise trainee activities.
After the visit:
1. Discuss their observations with the trainees. This can be done either at the end of the visit, so that project personnel can also participate, or it can be done once the group has returned to the training facility. If groups have visited different projects, this discussion should be preceded by reports from each of the groups about their experiences and observations during the project visits.
2. Use the questions on the Handout - Questions to Ask About Nutrition Projects" to guide the discussion. Ask trainees to discuss what they liked and did not like about the project. How would they change the project?
QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT NUTRITION PROJECTS
Name and Location of Project
When did the Project begin?
Project Beneficiaries: Describe the population served by this project. How many people are served?
Objectives: What results does the project hope to achieve?
Activities: What are the specific project activities? How often are they carried out? By whom?
Staff: How many staff members work on this project? What are their titles/professional training? Describe the work of each staff member.
Volunteers: Does the project work with volunteers? If yes, how are they selected, trained? How many volunteer workers participate in the project? Are volunteers paid or given other incentives for their work? What is the job of the volunteers?
Training: If project activities include training for community members, staff or volunteers describe the training. (length? content? when? who conducts training?)
Community Involvement: How has the community been involved in the planning and implementation of the project? Is improving nutrition a "community-felt need"?
Project Resources: What are the principal resources used by the project? What are the sources of these resources? What is the annual budget for the project? Does the project receive support from another organization or donor?
Record-keeping and Reporting: Describe the record-keeping system used by the project? What information is collected? By whom is it collected? Are special forms used? How often are reports submitted?
Evaluation: How is the project evaluated? Is the community involved in the project evaluation?
Problems: What specific problems has the organization/community encountered in the implementation of the project? How have they solved these problems?
Other questions about the project: