Evaluating nutrition interventions

The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre has a review out of “agricultural interventions that aim to improve nutritional status of children.” There is both good and bad news. The bad news is that

The studies reviewed report little or no impact of agricultural interventions on the nutritional status of children. This result confirms the results of previous systematic reviews on the same topic.

Ouch. The good news is that

…unlike previous reviews, we attribute this result to the lack of statistical power of the studies reviewed rather than to the lack of efficacy of these interventions.

Hardly reassuring, though, is it. A couple of orange sweet potato (OSP) studies are included in the review. As I said in a post a couple of days back on a recent paper on OSP, which came too late for this review, evaluation of nutritional and health impacts is hard. Perhaps the new Bioversity publication “Improving nutrition with agricultural biodiversity” will help? It might with project design, but its section on evaluation doesn’t seem particularly detailed, and there’s nothing on impact assessment. Maybe that’s to come? Hopefully someone from Bioversity will tell us.

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