Jun 2018 – May 2019

Project Sprout: Protoyping New Approaches to Preventing SAM

Africa map


Niger – Africa

To prototype a cash transfer model that increases household financial and food security, and influences the adoption of positive nutrition practices that reduce of children’s susceptibility to severe acute malnutrition.

$300,000 Grant Value

There are approximately 17 million children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), yet due to the high cost and lack of political will, only about 3.5 million are currently receiving treatment. This gap requires significant interventions to close it, however, there is limited evidence of what works to prevent SAM. The priority of this investment is to strengthen the evidence-base by making strategic investments that demonstrate how to prevent SAM. 

CIFF and the Airbel Centre partnered in 2017 to apply user-centred design (UCD) to prevent SAM. The first phase, Observation and Ideation, was successfully completed through an initial investment.

As a follow up to the first investment, this investment will employ the UCD process to prototype an intervention in Niger that combines:

  • Measures designed to increase household income through cash transfers and reduction in post-harvest loss; 
  • Measures designed to promote positive nutritional and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices. 


The proposed prototyping phase is the intermediate step between the ideation phase and a rigorous pilot to ensure the feasibility and acceptability of the concept. 

The objectives of the prototyping phase are to:

  • Apply UCD to generate data on the model that is rich, feasible and desirable.
  • Assess how best to measure the change in knowledge, self-efficacy, practices, and food security that may be influenced by this model ;    
  • Create actionable plans for a future pilot.

This investment intends to build a prototype that can be tested in a future pilot phase that combines measures to increase household security with promotion of positive practices for nutrition. Ultimately it is expected to contribute to a reduction in the seasonal occurrence of SAM.