Resources from a Nutrition Training for Agricultural Extension Agents in Nicaragua

Resources from a Nutrition Training for Agricultural Extension Agents in Nicaragua

Denise van Wissen (consultant) and Claudia Rokx (World Bank Group) co-led workshops on nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Nicaragua from February to April 2017. This page provides the background, presentation, reports, and facilitator contracts used to host the event. A companion blog is available here.

Community leader Lucrecia Muñoz thanks workshop participants. (c) Tamara Gonzalez / MEFCCA Nicaragua

Even in Food and Nutritional Security (FNS) projects with nutritionists on staff, agricultural production activities can become the focus, and the nutritional factors of food security get scant attention or are taken up mostly by female project participants.

Despite the best of intentions, this happened with a major World Bank-funded project in Nicaragua (PAIPSAN). The problem became apparent about a year into the project, so a comprehensive capacity building package was designed to share experiences on nutrition-sensitive agriculture. The goal was to increase understanding and provide ideas on how to use community-level sub-projects to help improve the chronic malnutrition situation on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.

Some general information and justification of the project can be found at the beginning of the Baseline powerpoint presentation.

We hope that this capacity building package will help give you ideas of how to organize workshops on nutrition-sensitive agriculture, and will provide useful information and resources. We encourage you to review, adapt, and re-use these materials in similar training efforts.


The initial plan was to conduct one major workshop in the capital city, flying in key participants from across the country, however, given the local circumstances and a request by government counterparts, a core workshop was conducted directly in all 3 regions.

Depending on your country's conditions and your budget, either approach would work. In one region, additional mini workshops were held in local communities.

For a light-hearted look at the workshops, see this blog.


Workshop Report (English, PDF 1.3 MB)

What: Describes how we did the Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture workshop with project staff, first as part of a World Bank mission, and later in 2 other project regions, and includes the Agendas for each of the 3 workshops.

Why: Provides ideas of specific topics to include, speakers and who to invite (not just agronomists!)

Terms of Reference (English, DOC 0.3 MB)

What: A document with background, goals, and job description for a consultant who can design and lead an nutrition-sensitive agricutlure training.

Why: For adaptation by other project planners and designers who need similar personnel.

Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture Presentation 1 / extension agents (Spanish, PDF 1.9 MB)

What: Fifteen slides to introduce the topic of nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA): principles, examples, and case studies of success. Includes data on the problem of malnutrition in rural areas, and concludes with the ‘Ten Commandments’ of NSA.

Why: To establish a baseline understanding of NSA and malnutrition.

Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Presentation 2 / project administrators (Spanish, PDF 2.2 MB) 

What: This is an adaptation of the NSA Presentation, lengthened for professionals in related fields and was shared in a higher-level meeting with project administrators

Why: To build awareness among higher-level staff and counterparts about the training initiative.

Chronic Malnutrition Presentation (Spanish, PDF 1.9 MB)

What: 27 slides on types and measurement of malnutrition, focusing on stunting (chronic malnutrition) and the concept of the first thousand days of life. Includes examples of successful interventions.

Why: To illustrate the difficulty of recognizing stunting in rural communities.

Avances Biofortificacion HarvestPlus en Nicaragua (Spanish, PDF 8.3 MB)

What: We asked agronomists of the Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) to inform workshop participants about the new biofortified foods available in Nicaragua. These included iron biofortified beans and vitamin A biofortified cassava.

Why: To suggest these interventions can be included in the regional sub-projects, and also provide an introduction to iron and zinc deficiency specifically.

Estrategias Multisectoriales para mejorar la Nutrición (Spanish, PDF 1.3 MB) 

What: Additional, in-depth information on the topics covered in the powerpoint presentations. Shared as background reading.

Why: To serve as a reference for participants after the event.

Impact evaluation – Baseline (forthcoming) 

What: Describes how the baseline study was conducted, including derivation of the sample and gives a summary of principal results.

Why: This presentation was shared in a large meeting of PAIPSAN and World Bank staff to collect comments and suggestions to improve the baseline report.