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We assessed the role of home visits by Shasthya Shebika (SS) – female volunteer community health workers (CHWs) – in improving the distribution of micronutrient powder (MNP), and explored the independent effects of caregiver–provider interaction on coverage variables.
We used data from three cross-sectional surveys undertaken at baseline (n 1927), midline (n 1924) and endline (n 1540) as part of an evaluation of a home fortification programme. We defined an exposure group as one that had at least one SS visit to the caregiver’s household in the 12 months preceding the survey considering three outcome variables – message (ever heard), contact (ever used) and effective coverage (regular used) of MNP. We performed multiple logistic regressions to explore the determinants of coverage, employed an ‘interaction term’ and calculated an odds ratio (OR) to assess the modifying effect of SS’s home visits on coverage.
Sixty-eight sub-districts from ten districts of Bangladesh.
Children aged 6–59 months and their caregivers.
A home visit from an SS positively impacts message coverage at both midline (ratio of OR 1·70; 95 % CI 1·25, 2·32; P < 0·01) and endline (ratio of OR 3·58; 95 % CI 2·22, 5·78; P < 0·001), and contact coverage both at midline (ratio of OR 1·48; 95 % CI 1·06, 2·07; P = 0·021) and endline (ratio of OR 1·74; 95 % CI 1·23, 2·47; P = 0·002). There was no significant effect of a SS’s home visit on effective coverage.
The households visited by BRAC’s volunteer CHWs have better message and contact coverage among the children aged 6–59 months.
This paper focuses on the use of ‘concurrent evaluation’ to evaluate a nationally scaled-up programme in Bangladesh that was implemented by BRAC (an international development organisation) using Shasthya Shebika (SS) – volunteer community health workers – to promote home fortification with micronutrient powders (MNP) for children under-five.
We developed a programme impact pathway to conceptualise the implementation and evaluation strategy and developed a strategic partnership among the key programme stakeholders for better use of evaluation evidence. We developed a multi-method concurrent evaluation strategy to provide insights into the BRAC programme and created provision for course correction to the implementation plan while it was in operation.
One hundred sixty-four sub-districts and six urban slums in Bangladesh.
Caregivers of children 6–59 months, SS and BRAC’s staff members.
The evaluation identified low awareness about home fortification among caregivers, inadequate supply and frequent MNP stockouts, and inadequate skills of BRAC’s SS to promote MNP at the community level as hindrances to the achievement of programme goals. The partners regularly discussed evaluation results during and after implementation activities to assess progress in programme coverage and any needs for modification. BRAC initiated a series of corrections to the original implementation plan to address these challenges, which improved the design of the MNP programme; this resulted in enhanced programme outcomes.
Concurrent evaluation is an innovative approach to evaluate complex real-world programmes. Here it was utilised in implementing a large-scale nutrition programme to measure implementation process and effectiveness.
To obtain projections of the prevalence of childhood malnutrition indicators up to 2030 and to analyse the changes of wealth-based inequality in malnutrition indicators and the degree of contribution of socio-economic determinants to the inequities in malnutrition indicators in Bangladesh. Additionally, to identify the risk factors of childhood malnutrition.
Cross-sectional study. A Bayesian linear regression model was used to estimate trends and projections of malnutrition. For equity analysis, slope index, relative index and decomposition in concentration index were used. Multilevel logistic models were used to identify risk factors of malnutrition.
Household surveys in Bangladesh from 1996 to 2014.
Children under the age of 5 years.
A decreasing trend was observed for all malnutrition indices. In 1990, predicted prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight was 55·0, 15·9 and 61·8 %, respectively. By 2030, prevalence is projected to reduce to 28·8 % for stunting, 12·3 % for wasting and 17·4 % for underweight. Prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight were 34·3, 6·9 and 32·8 percentage points lower in the richest households than the poorest households. Contribution of the wealth index to child malnutrition increased over time and the largest contribution of pro-poor inequity was explained by wealth index. Being an underweight mother, parents with a lower level of education and poorer households were the key risk factors for stunting and underweight.
Our findings show an evidence-based need for targeted interventions to improve education and household income-generating activities among poor households to reduce inequalities and reduce the burden of child malnutrition in Bangladesh.
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