Support and Assistance to Indigenous Implementing Agencies (SAIDIA)

Case Studies
Agriculture, Food Security, Nutrition
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Resource Publication Date:
October, 2013
Content Format:

This is one of 50 Harvesting Nutrition project case studies. Harvesting Nutrition was a contest held in 2012 and 2013 that showcased active projects working to improve the impact of agriculture and/or food security on nutrition outcomes. Co-sponsors were SecureNutrition, Save the Children UK, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Learn More.

Project Description: ​

Support and Assistance to Indigenous Implementing Agencies (SAIDIA) is a five year CDC funded project that started in September 30th, 2008 through to September 29th, 2013 implemented by CRS Kenya in 12 Counties, in Kenya. The project comprises of 2 consortium partners; Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Jhpiego, where CRS is the lead member, key in sub-grantees management, institutional strengthening, technical capacity building in Palliative care, Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), Health System Strengthening (HSS), Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT), Prevention activities (Abstinence and Be Faithful (AB) and Positive Health and Dignity Prevention (PHDP) and Jhpiego being the sub member key in providing technical leadership in Care and Treatment (CT) that include; ART, TB/HIV, PMTCT and HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC) services. The project, however received a no cost extension to implement some of the program areas, including OVC, PMTCT, HTC and AB.

The main goal and objective of SAIDIA program is to develop and reinforce capacities among the sixteen selected indigenous implementing agencies for purposes of improving HIV services to individuals and groups of people in four provinces in the republic of Kenya. The nutrition intervention under this program is geared towards the OVC program area with a focus of improving not only the OVC nutritional status but also focusing on strengthening the entire household economy and nutrition through the household and school based strategies that involve establishment of the kitchen gardens and Junior Farmer Field Schools (JFFS).  The JFFS strategy was piloted in one school in 2012. The aim of the club was to equip not only project beneficiaries (OVC), but rather the entire interested pupils with agricultural knowledge and life. The club has total of 50 members out of 578 pupils.


Impact of project:

  • The program supports a total of 204 kitchen gardens that have seen to benefit a total of 1,020 OVC.
  • The caregivers have upgraded the kitchen gardens to be not only a source of food but also a source of earning income.  80% of the caregivers with kitchen gardens are able to cater for their own and their children’s basic needs and, in return, supplement for services that the program cannot support. These services include payment of school levies, purchase of school uniform, purchase of manure and additional seedlings among other services through the sale of their produce. 
  • The program through the kitchen gardens managed to link a total of 71 caregivers to Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) and Income Generating Activities (IGAs). These successes were primarily seen in the sub-grantee who went ahead and hired an organic trainer.
  • From their first planting, the Junior Farmer Field School (JFFS) club was able to harvest a total of: 35kgs of beans, 20 kg green grams and six jeri-cans of tomatoes.  These produce were sold, with the club making a profit of 10,500 Kshs.  An additional 22 kg of maize and 14kgs of beans having being included in the school feeding program.
  • The school turned out to be a center of learning in agricultural activities. Teachers and pupils from other schools have conducted exchange visit for purposes of replicating what the club is doing.
  • Through the strong involvement of the Agricultural Officer, the school benefited from fertilizers, training sessions and extension services from the ministry.  Due to the evident success of the club, the school also benefited from a tree planting initiative through the Ministry of Youth Affairs and a greenhouse donated by the Kenya Red Cross.


Why this project is a Good Practice example: ​

The project focuses on enhancing food security and improving nutrition through the household and school approaches because the two approaches have proven to be the "Nutrition Intervention Program" where community members have been regarded as key players in the implementation and not as the target audience. The caregivers are able to realize their potential and resources and willingly offer pieces of land at no cost to other caregivers, participate in the school land preparation and planting, purchase for additional seedlings after initial distribution by the project, link themselves to Micro Finance Institution (MFIs), and upgrade the kitchen gardens from being a source of food to a source of earning income.

Impact Evaluation:

Impact evaluation in progress

Lessons Learned:

  • The successes of the nutrition intervention in the program have been seen in areas where the implementing agencies hired an organic trainer who closely monitored the progress of the activities and continued to offer continued learning at both the household and school level.
  • The involvement of the key line ministry (Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)), from the initial stages of the strategies helped leverage for resources, such that the beneficiaries benefited from free extension services and fertilizers.
  • Participation of the school administration and caregivers in all the stages during the initiation of the Junior Farmer Field School(JFFS) was seen to enhance sustainable food security in that they were able to offer free labour, land and support to the OVC in the transfer of skills learnt in the school at the household level.
  • The involvement of an interested teacher at the school level facilitates sustainable and continued activities of the school agricultural club.
  • The fact that the nutrition component is not emphasized as core a service area in OVC programming has contributed to a lower reach in beneficiaries despite program efforts in improving and strengthening the nutrition component.
  • Improved nutrition at household level can be easily achieved by integrating caregiver trainings on nutritive value of the different food, conduction of cooking demonstration and continued household supportive supervision.
  • Community participation in the nutrition program through in-kind donation such as land contribution and/or sharing, and man power, results in cost-effective, improved, stronger and sustainable food security community programs.
  • The Junior Farmer Field School (JFFS) is an avenue where children can learn and acquire life skills when appropriately guided.
  • Difficulties were faced in initiating the kitchen gardens in slum areas due to high insecurity.  However some of the caregivers who own land have opted to donate land on behalf of the group member.
  • Lack trust among some caregivers led to difficulties in initiation of kitchen gardens in groups.  Project staff opted to do group training and demonstration and encouraged initiation of individual kitchen gardens.


Funders: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Primary Contact: Dr. David Roth, Chief of Party (CoP)

Country: Kenya

Project Dates: September 2008 to September 2013

Interventions: Assess the context at the local level, Target the vulnerable and improve equity, Facilitate production diversification, Expand markets and market access for vulnerable groups, Incorporate nutrition promotion and education,

Target Population: Orphans & Vulnerable Children (OVC), Rural households, Urban households,

Project Stage: Ongoing activities

Geographic Coverage: State/Province