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Research explores strategies to integrate family planning with food security and nutrition programming

October 26, 2015

Frequent pregnancies and short birth-to-pregnancy intervals can result in poor nutrition for both mother and child. Family planning leads to better birth spacing and fewer unintended pregnancies, which can reduce maternal nutrient deficiencies, poor pregnancy outcomes and infant mortality. Smaller families and slower population growth, resulting from use of voluntary family planning, can in turn improve food security by reducing food needs and strains on agricultural resources.

group of women readingFamily planning and reproductive health services have been identified in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy 2014—2025 as nutrition-sensitive interventions that address the underlying and systemic causes of malnutrition. However, there is limited peer-reviewed literature or documentation on how to best integrate family planning with food security and nutrition programming. 

To address this gap, FHI 360’s Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III (FANTA) project conducted an extensive desk review to take stock of how programs are integrating family planning with food security and nutrition. The report synthesizes findings from 102 health and multisectoral programs, including lessons learned, promising practices for programming and three case studies. A technical brief that highlights the findings and promising practices is also available. 

Learn more about FANTA’s work in food security and maternal and child health and nutrition.

Photo credit: Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO), Ltd.