The role of productive safety nets in improving household food dietary diversity in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia: A case study on Lay Gayint District
Background: A range of factors from physical environmental circumstances to policy and institutions related issues affect household food dietary diversity. The primary objective of the study was to assess household dietary diversity and the role of productive safety nets (PSNP) in improving it, taking the case of Lay Giant District.
Methodology: Quantitative research method was employed and structured interview was the major data collection instrument for the study. A total of 210 households were sampled for the structured interview. The survey began in mid-March 2011 and continued up to the end of April 2011. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the collected data. Dietary diversity score (DDS) was calculated using a 24-hour recall period. Using a modified version of a regional food balance model, household kilocalorie (kcal) intake was calculated to analyze the food security situations of the households.
Results: The study revealed that the average dietary diversity score (DDS) was 3.1. The dominant food items consumed within a 24-hour recall period were cereals and legumes. Taking 2100 kcal as a benchmark, 75% of the households suffered from food insecurity. The situation was worse in female-headed households in which 86% of them were food insecure.
Conclusion: Even though the effect was barely statistically significant in multi-variate analysis, households which were beneficiaries of the safety net program seemed to suffer from lack of food dietary diversity. In addition, the study revealed that food DDS showed variations between agro-ecologies in that 52% households from Woina Dega, 35% of households from Dega, and 82% households from Kolla agro-ecological zones were safety net beneficiaries; with DDS values of 2.1, 4.3, and 2.3 respectively. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2014;28(3):191-201]