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To identify the drivers and challenges of successful nutrition programme implementation in a multisectoral, community-level approach to improve infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices in northern Burkina Faso.
A qualitative study was conducted in 2019 through (i) individual interviews with key informants from five different sectors (health, agriculture, environment, livestock and education) and association staff, agents and community leaders and (ii) focus groups with mothers of children under the age of 2 years.
Three health districts in the northern region of Burkina Faso implemented a multisectoral community nutrition programme to improve IYCF practices.
Forty-seven implementing actors and twenty-four beneficiary mothers.
Factors influencing successful implementation include community participation; sector commitment and involvement; the existence of nutrition champions; capacity building; the integration of interventions; micronutrient powder distribution; the introduction of nutrition-sensitive interventions, such as the promotion of the consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes; improved food production and small livestock rearing and the effective coordination of actors and complementary funding. The main challenges of the implementation of multisectorality are low participation among nutrition-sensitive sectors, a tendency for siloed work among sectors, scheduling conflicts, high actor mobility, differences in the target population by sector, a lack of technical skills among community workers, insufficient financial resources, low geographic convergence and coverage of beneficiaries, a lack of a multisectoral monitoring mechanism and accountability and insecurity.
Strengthening sector participation, identifying a common targeting strategy and mobilising financial resources have the potential to significantly reduce barriers and improve the quality of implementation.
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