The Father Factor: How Community Video Encourages Male Involvement for Better Nutrition and Hygiene Behaviors in Niger

The Father Factor: How Community Video Encourages Male Involvement for Better Nutrition and Hygiene Behaviors in Niger, Evidence from the SPRING Community Video Experience. SPRING Project, May 2018.

Previous studies that explored interventions aimed at improving maternal, infant, and young child nutrition (MIYCN) behaviors primarily focused on the mothers of young children. Interest is growing in understanding how nutrition practices can be supported by involving other household members who provide social support and influence these practices, specifically mothers-in-law and husbands.

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A father and child play in the village of Dan Turke, where the SPRING team was filming a video on how men can support handwashing in the household. Credit: Marjolein Moreaux, SPRING.

In Niger, where the Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project has worked to improve nutrition since 2015, MIYCN behaviors are influenced by cultural norms and practices, including polygamy and an emphasis on male decisionmaking.

In addition, literacy levels are low and the people who influence MIYCN practices are also influenced by the surrounding cultural and social norms and practices.

In this context, the SPRING project, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has implemented a facilitated community video project to promote high-impact MIYCN and hygiene behaviors.

Produced locally, the videos feature community members performing as actors and focus on many key themes, such as dietary diversity, handwashing, exclusive breastfeeding, and complementary feeding practices.

Field mediators (or volunteers) share the videos with community groups, lead interactive discussions following the videos, and conduct home visits to address any questions raised by participants.

Read the complete article.

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