By partnering with communities, we help them become stronger, healthier and more resourceful than before. Parents can provide for their children today and have reason to dream for the future. Together, we create hope that endures for generations to come.


 

World Vision’s programs are built on evidence

World Vision delivers evidence-based programs that are proven to improve the well-being of children and their families. We design and implement programs that work across a variety of settings, use cost-effective approaches and deliver sustainable results.

World Vision also sets standards and provides guidance for quality program monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on child well-being across the global World Vision partnership.  Our impact teams conduct annual data reviews to report on achievements supported by Canadians each year. Programs are also evaluated to show impact on the lives of children, families and communities over time.

We are always learning from our own experiences, field offices, our partners, research and advances in the scientific community.

 

We are in constant communication with our field offices and monitor Canadian-funded projects in more than 50 countries. Each year, we engage in a review process that identifies key achievements, challenges and opportunities from community annual reports.

World Vision partners with communities to impact vulnerable children

World Vision Canada reached 3.7 million children, women and men with life-saving food assistance provided by the World Food Programme. We distributed 124,744 metric tons to families in 21 countries, including eight fragile regions such as the Central African Republic and Iraq.

We responded to 25 humanitarian emergencies such as natural disasters, food crises and protracted conflicts. We supported 1.15 million people, offering life-giving essentials like food, water, shelter and medical care.

Through ENRICH: 1000 Day Journey, an initiative to support women and children’s health, we offered services for 1,276,017 women, adolescent girls and babies, with a primary focus on the first 1,000 days of life. We are improving nutrition and local healthcare for mothers and children in Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar and Tanzania.

Our multi-year Jóvenes Súper Pilas (Youth Ready) project in El Salvador and Honduras has now prepared 2,964 young people for opportunities like entrepreneurship, job acquisition or further studies – hopeful alternatives to the dangers of gang life.

Here are some additional results achieved in 2019, in communities we support:

Food Security & Agriculture
  • 67,564 farmers learned techniques to improve crop and livestock production to better provide for their children and families.
  • 8,482 metric tons of biofortified crops produced and harvested in Kenya, Tanzania and Bangladesh.
  • 668 gardens are in place to help families, community groups or schools provide nutritious food for children.
Health & Nutrition
  • 71,548 malnourished children were enrolled in nutrition programs and monitored to ensure they are growing healthy.
  • 605,509 people were counselled on how to properly care for mothers and babies during and after pregnancy.
  • 4.59 million packets of  life-saving therapeutic food were shipped to treat children with acute malnutrition.
  • 551 health facilities were improved with renovations or stocked with resources to better care for children and families.
Disaster Management
  • 21,914 people learned how to manage disasters and respond to emergencies in order to protect themselves in times of crisis.
  • 105 community groups are teaching children and families to manage disasters and respond to emergencies in order to protect themselves in times of crisis.
Education & Life Skills
  • 34,982 parents learned about the importance of education and how to support their child’s learning.
  • 197,473 children are participating in clubs to improve their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities.
  • 106 schools were built, renovated or received resources to create a safer and stimulating learning environment for students.
  • 6,916 teaching resources like stories were developed locally so that children can learn from culturally relevant content.
Community Empowerment & Child Rights
  • 178,258 people learned about child rights and protection issues to ensure children's safety and participation.
  • 5,129 children received birth certificates, ensuring their access to basic rights and services like health and schooling.
  • 1,938 plans of action were developed to enhance community development and child well being.
  • 3,561 community groups are engaging with local authorities to advance children's rights and create positive changes for children.
Partnerships with Faith Leaders
  • 2,718 faith and community leaders partnered with World Vision Canada to bring positive changes in the lives of children and families.
Water & Sanitation
  • 235,895 people learned about the importance of water safety, proper sanitation and hygiene to stay healthy.
  • 1,798 new or improved water sources are providing access to safe water, protecting children against waterborne diseases.
  • 2,990 new or improved latrines are granting families better access to sanitation and helping to protect children from illness.
Sustainable Livelihoods
  • 31,251 adults and youth received vocational, business and finance training, improving their opportunities to earn a steady income.
  • 28 businesses started by youth started through loans from savings groups.
  • 5,855 savings groups are helping young people and adults save money and access loans to grow businesses or cover basic expenses.
*Results of World Vision Canada’s projects achieved from October 2018 to September 2019
** Definitions and disclaimers are provided in our FY2019 results compilation


Life-giving essentials

Thanks to our corporate partners, we have shipped millions of life-giving essentials to 20 countries in FY2019 alone. See what we have been able to accomplish together in the past three years.
 
Sectors Essential items shipped to communities all over the world FY2017  FY2018  FY2019
Child Protection Pairs of rain boots shipped 10,000 9,174 16,377
Education Number of books shipped 0 15,330 2,157
Education Number of bicycles shipped 0 3,340 1,320
Food Security & Agriculture Metric tons of food distributed 111,088 136,527 124,744
Health & Nutrition Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) packets shipped 1,620,000 1,890,000 4,590,000
Health & Nutrition Doses of deworming medicine shipped 23,995,600 10,068,000 27,556,000
Sustainable Livelihoods   Yards of fabric shipped 353,452 490,961 352,980
Water & Sanitation Number of solar panels shipped 0 414   1,442
Water & Sanitation Number of re-usable menstrual hygiene kits shipped 0 100  3,583
 

** Definitions and disclaimers are provided in our FY2019 results compilation
 

 

Food Security & Agriculture | Health & Nutrition | Community Empowerment & Child Rights | Disaster Management

The Emergency Food Security and Protection to support internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities in Dibaya Territory humanitarian project was launched in response to the deadly clashes in the Kasai region between armed groups and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) forces in 2017 that displaced more than 1.4 million people. The project provided nutrition, livelihood and protection interventions with the aim of reducing suffering, increasing and maintaining human dignity (particularly for women and girls) and saving the lives of vulnerable IDPs, returnees and host population. At project start, the political and security situations in the country, particularly in Kasai central, were volatile and unpredictable. Today, despite general signs of peace, the situation in the DRC remains tenuous, especially in the eastern zone.

Program undertaken in partnership with World Vision Canada and the Government of Canada.

Education & Life Skills | Sustainable Livelihoods

Youth employment and educational opportunities are limited in El Salvador and Honduras. A large portion of the countries’ youth population faces significant barriers to completing secondary and post-secondary education and engaging in formal employment in the labour force. To improve opportunities for youth, World Vision implemented the Youth Ready training program. The first six months of the program involved formal training on employability, entrepreneurship and life skills. The second six months of the program provided participants with mentoring as they looked for work, engaged in entrepreneurial activities, continued in school, or pursued other life goals.

Program undertaken in partnership with World Vision Canada and the Barrett Family Foundation.

Food Security & Agriculture | Health & Nutrition | Community Empowerment & Child Rights | Public Awareness

The first 1,000 days – from conception to two years old – are critical to a child’s future development. However, lack of access to basic health and nutrition services disproportionately affects millions of women and children from low- and middle-income countries around the world. ENRICH: 1000 Day Journey leverages the long-term presence of World Vision in four target countries – Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar and Tanzania – as well as robust partnerships between local and international partners to support women’s and children’s health. Canadians are encouraged to learn and share their knowledge in support of maternal, newborn and child health through www.1000DayJourney.ca and #1000DayJourney on Twitter and Instagram.

Program undertaken in partnership with World Vision Canada, Nutrition International, HarvestPlus, Canadian Society for International Health, University of Toronto and Government of Canada.

Health & Nutrition | Community Empowerment & Child Rights | Water & Sanitation

Born on Time is the first public-private partnership dedicated to the prevention of preterm birth, now the leading cause of death in children under five.  Working closely with local governments and community stakeholders across Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Mali, Born on Time brings together the collective expertise and resources of World Vision Canada (implementing in Ethiopia), Plan International Canada (in Bangladesh) and Save the Children Canada (in Mali) to tackle barriers to maternal and child health.

Program undertaken in partnership with World Vision Canada, Plan International Canada, Save the Children Canada, Government of Canada and Johnson & Johnson.

Food Security & Agriculture | Health & Nutrition

To address national and district priorities for food security and nutrition, a five-year integrated project – Nutrition Links: Capacity Building for Sustainable Lives in Ghana – was implemented in the underserved rural Upper Manya Krobo district in Ghana’s Eastern Region to provide training on health, nutrition, agriculture, gender equity and financial literacy. The project was designed to foster collaboration among these diverse sectors to build local capacity in nutrition and research the impact of integrated activities when combined to promote food security, health and nutrition.

Program undertaken in partnership with World Vision Canada, McGill University, University of Ghana, Heifer International and the Government of Canada

Health & Nutrition

Timed and Targeted Counselling (ttC) is a home visitor model that encourages caregivers to adopt recommended health and nutrition behaviours during the first 1,000 days of life. In 2017, World Vision was awarded the opportunity to research the effectiveness of an enhanced version of this model in response to expressed needs from communities in the West Bank to include support for mothers and early childhood stimulation. Enhanced Timed and Targeted Counselling (EttC), an innovative package of services integrating ttC with coaching caregivers to provide early childhood stimulation to their infants, and psychosocial support for pregnant women and mothers was delivered through a seed grant: Empowering Palestinian Mothers to Protect the Bodies and Brains of their Newborns and Infants.

Program undertaken in partnership with World Vision Canada and Government of Canada through Grand Challenges Canada.
Learning through​​ Evaluation with Accountability and Planning (LEAP) is World Vision’s approach to designing, monitoring and evaluating its programs. LEAP provides rigorous processes, systems and guidelines for conducting evaluations, which measure impact and provide important insights that help us improve programming and communicate results to communities and our supporters. Projects also follow the guidance provided by donors for monitoring and evaluation.

There are many examples of how World Vision’s work is contributing to our child well-being aspirations.

Aspiration: Girls and boys enjoy good health

*Increase children protected from infection and disease (ages 0-5)

Rapid Access Expansion program (RAcE) in Niger 

In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched RAcE in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa to support the implementation of integrated community case management (iCCM). WHO commissioned a final evaluation to determine whether the project goal had been achieved and whether it had contributed to broadening the global evidence base for iCCM.
 
Key findings showed
  • The RAcE project was successful in overcoming major health challenges in Niger by expanding rural communities' access to health care through iCCM services.
  • The Lives Saved Tool (LiST) estimated a 12.6% reduction in under-five mortality in the RAcE project area in Niger during the project period.
  • In total, an estimated 1,128 deaths of children under five were averted by malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea treatment and an estimated 965 lives of children under five were saved by iCCM treatment provided by Relais Communautaires.
  • The results of the evaluation show that the RAcE project has largely contributed to improving access to care and treatment for malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia in children under five in remote areas.
In June 2019, the Journal of Global Health published the Rapid Access Expansion (RAcE) of integrated community case management of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea collection. This collection of 13 articles presents evidence that iCCM is a strategy that saves lives and can measurably decrease child mortality in settings where access to health facility services is low and adequate resources for iCCM implementation are provided for community health worker services.

*Increase in children who are well-nourished (ages 0-5)

ENRICH: 1000 Day Journey

Through Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Africa and Asia, or ENRICH: 1000 Day Journey, World Vision Canada partners with international and local organizations to empower some of the most vulnerable  women and children in Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar and Tanzania to realize their full potential. Multi-sectoral, cost effective, high impact interventions have worked to improve the health and nutrition status of women and adolescent girls, newborns and children.

In 2018,
  • 677 deaths were averted (calculated using the Lives Saved tool).
  • Over 1,000 Community Health Workers (CHWs) were trained and 407 health facilities were equipped, leading to a 23% increase in caregivers visited by a CHW at least once in the past three months.
  • Over 1 million women and children received health education and services, leading to a 13% increase in newborns exclusively breastfed and a 3% increase in children over six months appropriately fed.
  • More than 95,000 men were actively engaged as allies in maternal, newborn and child health, leading to a 7% increase in women or women jointly with their partner having final say on whether to use contraceptives.
  • Over 100,000 farmers received training, seeds and small animals, leading to over 8.5 metric tons of biofortified seeds harvested and over 452,681 men, women and children with increased access to nutritious and diverse foods.
Program undertaken in partnership with World Vision Canada, Nutrition International, HarvestPlus, Canadian Society for International Health, University of Toronto and Government of Canada.

Born on Time

Born on Time is the first public-private partnership dedicated to the prevention of preterm birth, working across Ethiopia (World Vision Canada), Bangladesh (Plan International Canada), and Mali (Save the Children).
  • In Bangladesh, the percentage of facility-based healthcare providers who knew at least four risk factors for preterm births increased from 9% at baseline to 81% at the end of 2018.
  • In Ethiopia, the percentage of women who were visited by a community health worker for prenatal counselling at least once in each trimester during their last pregnancy increased from 16.7% at baseline (2017) to 53.2% at the end of 2018.
  • In Mali, the percentage of facility-based healthcare providers who knew at least two key standards of gender-responsive and adolescent-friendly service provision increased from 0-100% of those trained in 2018.
Program undertaken in partnership with World Vision Canada, Plan International Canada, Save the Children Canada, Government of Canada and Johnson & Johnson.

Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition - CMAM

In 2019, with support from Canadians and other donors, World Vision provided lifesaving treatment for children suffering from acute malnutrition, or wasting, in both fragile and stable contexts. World Vision uses the Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) model, which strengthens communities to identify and treat malnourished children.
  • In collaboration with Ministries of Health, World Vision treated 136,550 children under five years of age for acute malnutrition (42,976 with severe wasting and 93,574 with moderate wasting) through CMAM programming in nine countries.
  • In addition, 48,512 pregnant and breastfeeding women in six countries received support through targeted supplementary feeding programs.
Since 2010, more than 1.9 million women and children under five have been treated through World Vision's CMAM programs. World Vision’s CMAM performance outcomes have consistently exceeded global Sphere standards.  
Indicators FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 Sphere Standards
# of children with severe wasting treated 43,899 28,213 42,976 NA
Cure rate 85.8% 86.4% 89.9% >75%
Death rates 0.9% 0.4% 0.7% <10%
Default rates; non-recovered* 11.3% 13.2% 9.3% <15%; NA

*Non-recovered primarily due to underlying medical issues
** Note: Although World Vision supported CMAM programming in 18 countries in FY2019, the numbers reported here correspond to nine of those that currently use the CMAM database.


Aspiration: Girls and boys are educated for life
 
*Increase in primary school children who can read   
 
NOUR: Enhancing Child Protection, Education and Economic Resilience in Jordan

The NOUR project (2016-2019) addressed development challenges facing Jordan, including those pre-dating the Syrian crisis that were exacerbated by the refugee influx, such as education, protection and economic resilience needs for vulnerable Syrians and Jordanians. The project was implemented with refugee and host community women, girls, boys and men in four governorates, with support from local government ministries and in partnership with the Government of Canada. In total, this project reached 129,170 individuals (37,835 women, 41,428 girls, 25,870 boys, and 24,037 men), in addition to an estimated 1.6 million people through a mass media campaign on the importance of sustainable energy solutions. From 2016 to 2019,
  • A total of 607 children (310 girls, 297 boys) attended World Vision-supported Early Childhood Care and Development services in safe and equipped facilities, and were instructed in Ministry of Education curriculum, including literacy and numeracy, to increase their likelihood of success in formal education.
    • 265 women and 90 men (80% of total attending caregivers surveyed) reported increased promotion of reading readiness for young children in their care, achieving the target of 80%.
    • 98% of all children attending the centre demonstrated improved learning outcomes, illustrating that services assisted students to strengthen learning foundations.
  • Access to gender equal, quality education increased for student populations at six schools, which received additional classrooms, including increased gender-appropriate WASH facilities for each classroom, benefitting 2,716 students (1,048 girls, 1,668 boys).
    • A remote secondary school for girls was so overcrowded that it was only able to provide schooling up to Grade 10. With the construction of 14 new classrooms, the Ministry of Education now provides schooling through Grade 12, increasing girls’ participation and opportunities to access higher level education.
    • Students demonstrated a 66% knowledge increase on the equal rights of boys and girls, greatly surpassing the target of 20%.
 
*Increase in adolescents’ education and life skills 
 
Youth Ready – El Salvador and Honduras
 
Youth employment and educational opportunities are limited in El Salvador and Honduras. A large portion of the countries’ youth population faces significant barriers to completing secondary and post-secondary schooling, and to engaging in formal employment in the labour force. To improve opportunities for youth, World Vision implemented the Youth Ready training program.
  • A total of 2,964 youth graduated from the Youth Ready program. From those, 1,358 completed additional vocational technical training. Six months after graduation, 427 youth had found employment, 397 had started their own business and 434 resumed their studies.
 
World Vision Canada engaged Limestone Analytics to design and conduct a rigorous evaluation in 2019 (baseline in 2018) to assess the impact of the Youth Ready program in El Salvador and Honduras. The assessment evaluates the impact of the program on participant outcomes approximately one year after beginning the program and around six months after completing the program’s training.
 
The evidence consistently suggests that the Youth Ready program in El Salvador and Honduras succeeded at increasing labour market opportunities for participants following secondary school. From the final report, we learned as compared to the control group:
 
  • Participants were 15% more likely to be working for money by the end of the program (statistically significant, 1.2-29.0%, 95% CI, P=0.035)
  • Participants were 9.4% more likely to graduate from secondary school (statistically significant, 0.7-18.1%, 95% CI, P=0.033)
 
Aspiration: Girls and boys are cared for, protected and participating 
 
*Increase in girls and boys protected from violence 
 
Ending Violence against Children (EVAC) - Cambodia

EVAC ensures vulnerable children and youth (girls and boys aged 12 to 24 years old) in targeted regions of Cambodia are cared for and protected from child trafficking, abuse, neglect, exploitation, and all other forms of violence, within supportive families and communities. Here are some highlights from our FY2019 report:
 
  • A total of 557 youth (337 girls) participated in 18 Smart Navigators Youth Clubs (SNYC), established to promote prevention of child trafficking, exploitation and safety migration. After leaders and participants received child protection training, the proportion of SNYC members with good understanding of child trafficking, safety migration and communication skills increased from 49% in pre-test to 61% in post-test (2019 test completed by 263 youth).
  • According to child protection incident reports, 374 children who experienced various forms of violence accessed social protection and emergency assistance from Commune Committees for Women and Children, through consultation, reporting and referral to the services, including food assistance.
  • Five child protection policies were adopted by governments or other decision-makers for which World Vision contributed at sub-national and national levels in responding to violence against children in school and community. 

*Children ages 12-18 report and increased level of well-being  

NOUR: Enhancing Child Protection, Education and Economic Resilience in Jordan

On the child protection side, the project prioritized the technical and physical capacity of municipalities to allow the delivery of effective child protection services in their communities, and simultaneously support community-based initiatives to provide psychosocial support and child-friendly spaces for both Syrians and Jordanians. (2016-2019)
 
  • Over the period of the project, 678 children (303 girls, 375 boys) participated in Child Parliaments across ten schools and implemented 50 Child-led Initiatives.
    • From the surveyed children, 94% (135 girls and 158 boys) demonstrated increased knowledge on civic participation, child rights and decision-making, increasing the ability of students to create an impact in their communities, exceeding the target of 80%.
    • The project resulted in strong collaboration between Syrian and Jordanian students on joint initiatives and engaged participation of parents and community members including municipal representatives. Teachers reported observing increased academic performance for students who engaged in Child Parliaments.
  • At the end of the project, 100% of 316 children surveyed could identify someone to go to if they had a protection concern, an increase from 61% at baseline (2016), and exceeding the 80% project target. This rate can be attributed to the high level of engagement among facilitators, caregivers and the Family Protection Department, and an increased awareness of protection concerns and of child-friendly spaces operated by the project.

Graduating Communities

Each year, we also celebrate communities that have completed their 10 to 15-year partnership with World Vision and are ready to thrive without us.  Once we have worked with a community to help them achieve ongoing access to essentials like quality education, health care, clean water and improved nutrition, they can move forward on their own.  World Vision moves on to help another community in need. In 2019, we had 19 communities graduate from 14 different countries.*   *In addition to the graduating communities listed, children in one community no longer funded by Canadian donors will continue to be supported by another World Vision partner office (Haina in the Dominican Republic). Support for two other communities (Xchanel Amtel in Mexico and Okan Ere in Brazil) is wrapping up earlier than originally planned as we focus our global efforts on the most vulnerable communities in the world.

 

Empowering community groups and leaders to be agents of change

The ‘Emergency Food Security and Protection to support internally displaced persons, returnees and host communities humanitarian project was launched in response to the 2017 deadly clashes in the Kasai region between armed groups and DRC forces that displaced more than 1.4 million people. The project organized regular meetings with government counterparts and community representatives. Key lessons learned from each of the encounters were used to refine activities.

Through the process we learned:  
  • Community groups are important platforms to engage and transform communities if they are organized voluntarily and around economic interests.
  • Through our work in various projects with traditional leaders, we knew that their participation was essential in breaking barriers. Their involvement  generated effective solutions for misunderstandings and myths about programming.  For example, at the beginning, rumors spread that the Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) program was a trick to identify members of the former militia and bring them to justice, and that malnutrition was a disease that only traditional healers could cure. As a result, several households resisted joining the program. Community leaders then raised awareness and dispelled myths. They explained the causes and the consequences of malnutrition and the changes that would be observed after participation, during community outreach events.
  • Using demonstration plots encouraged many young farmers. Similar agricultural demonstrations often used in development will be used in future humanitarian projects.
Improving how we work with dynamic results-based management

The traditional evaluation milestones for grant projects includes baseline, mid-term and final evaluations that typically use costly large-scale surveys embedded within pre-post or quasi-experimental designs. Learnings from previous projects have shown that frequent data collection is necessary to report on population-based outcomes for dynamic results-based management framework, and to use ongoing monitoring or effective decision-making and program improvements.

World Vision used these learnings to renegotiate the annual outcome monitoring and reporting schedule for the ENRICH: 1000 Day Journey program. We also engaged Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS), a simple, low-cost, random sampling methodology, used for annual outcome monitoring, together with qualitative data collection and systematic output and activity monitoring.

As a result of the project’s systematic approach to tracking implementation and evaluating impact for consistent programmatic reflection and decision making, ENRICH: 1000 Day Journey is able to map its achievements and contribution to sustained community impact from Input/Activity to Ultimate Outcome - Lives Saved or Deaths Averted among women and children.

Applying learnings to effectively scale up

Youth Ready has been supported by the Barrett Family Foundation since 2016 (Phase 1). Responding to its positive impact on thousands of youth in Honduras and El Salvador, the foundation, in partnership with World Vision Canada recently announced the expansion of Youth Ready into five additional countries: Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia (Phase 2).  

We have used the learning from Phase 1 to strengthen two important areas in Phase 2:
  • Attrition of youth from the program: Phase 2 will research the root causes of program attrition and target these causes through appropriate supporting interventions.
  • Gender responsiveness: In Phase 1, female participants reported greater risk aversion while male participants experienced more growth in self-confidence. To address different program impacts on female versus male participants the project will design and conduct gender assessments to determine the specific barriers facing female versus male participants in accessing educational, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.
A Centre of Learning for Adolescents and Youth (CLAY) has been established as part of Phase 2 to create best practices that improve the lives of adolescents and youth. CLAY will be the focal point for
  • collecting and monitoring data on program drop-out;
  • reviewing gender-responsive and socio-emotional learning pedagogical approaches adapting curriculum for both in- and out-of-school in the program design; and
  • coordinating and supporting a youth development research and learning agenda.
Other responsibilities of the CLAY will include curriculum review by experts and technical specialists to include gender-responsive and socio-emotional learning pedagogical approaches.

Policy and practice changes based on research findings

A four-year research project was conducted in our child sponsorship areas and in 2019, a Child Sponsorship Impact Evidence Brief was published to shed light into the findings of the final phase.

Findings affirm that vulnerable children are just as likely to participate as non-vulnerable children. While this is a remarkable achievement in terms of equity of participation, it also raises the bar on where World Vision would like to go. To further fulfill its mission, World Vision is making policy and practice changes to deepen robust inclusion of the most vulnerable children.

The study identified two perceptions of inequality in relation to child sponsorship that World Vision is committed to minimizing through additional internal review of standards and practices. More specifically, across most of the sites there was a neutral to weak agreement among responders regarding
  1. perceptions of inequality of benefits between sponsored and non-sponsored children, and
  2. inequality among sponsored children based on what they individually receive from their sponsors.
While there was no evidence in any site that these perceptions had translated into families or communities withdrawing from participation in sector-based World Vision activities, we are committed to continuously addressing any community sense of unfairness about who benefits from child sponsorship activities and development or sector activities.

Improving efficiency in projects involving food and nutrition

In collaboration with McGill University and the University of Ghana, a cluster randomized controlled community trial was carried out within the context of the Nutrition Links project. A dissemination meeting to share results and lessons learned was held at the end of the project with key partners and stakeholders, including community members, and featured panel presentations on “Reflections from the Field” and “Sustainability.”

Through this study we learned:
  • Nutrition is influenced by multiple factors and therefore integrated interventions are needed to improve nutrition. Agricultural interventions that increase access to high quality foods, nutrition and childcare knowledge can improve child growth. Beyond development of tools and unified messaging, the need for staff to plan and conduct activities together is important to promote better integration.
  • Dietary consumption improved in communities thanks to innovations like creative recipes using animal-sourced foods in infant porridges, the introduction of green leafy vegetables, and education on dietary modification. Additionally, using natural sunlight and heat to dry cooking utensils reduced microbial load, helping to improve food safety.

Going beyond one sector

Learnings from a project in one sector can inform solutions for a broader range of projects in different sectors. From the Nutrition Links project in Ghana, we also learned:
  • Sustainability planning requires adequate time and funding. Early on, the project established sustainability groups and committees to explore options to support the continuation of project initiatives. This allowed local government officials, project partners and community leaders to reflect on project strategies, examine the feasibility, and develop plans for the continuation of activities beyond the life of the project.
  • Working with community-based volunteers is a popular but increasingly unsustainable approach to interventions, as volunteers are putting in full-time hours in regions of high unemployment and poverty and so expect remuneration. Going forward, it is important to consider the ethical implications of using community volunteers, and to explore long-term strategies to support them.
  • Gender equity and diversity training for the communities led to overarching benefits that went beyond health and nutrition. Some of the reported effects of the training included changes in institutional practices, as well as peace building. This contributed to a reduction in partner violence and disputes that had to be settled by chiefs in the communities.
Key results are available in an impact report and an article – An agriculture-nutrition intervention improved children's diet and growth in a randomized trial in Ghana – was published in a peer-reviewed journal, with additional articles planned.