Abt Associates to support nutrition improvement programme in Uganda

24 July 2018 Consultancy.africa 3 min. read

The Integrated Community Agriculture and Nutrition Activity (ICANA) contract – focused on agriculture in Uganda and managed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – will now be implemented with the support of Massachusetts–based consulting firm Abt Associates.

ICANA is a five-year, $23 million contract focused specifically on Uganda, designed with the objective of raising standards of living amongst the country’s poorer segments, primarily through improving economic opportunities in rural households. The USAID programme places its faith in community-building and local governance, and prioritises the empowerment of women and children in society. 

To assist with the implementation of ICANA, USAID has thus far been able to enlist the services of a number of local agencies, including Caritas Kotido, Caritas Kabale, and the Children of the World Foundation, who engage directly with the communities that the programme is working with.

Abt Associates to support nutrition improvement programme in Uganda

In addition, the ICANA is supporter by The Manoff Group, Making Cents International, Mango Tree Educational Enterprises, and Souktel. The first three organizations are at the international forefront of nutrition, youth engagement efforts, and behavioral development, while Souktel offers IT mobile solutions for the programme.

To offer support in the agriculture and nutrition domains, USAID has now brought on board US-based market research, consulting, and technical services firm Abt Associates. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the firm prides itself on its multi-disciplinary and empirical insights, which it uses to inform its solutions for a number of sectors, including health, education, climate change, food security, and a number of others.

Programme evalutation and implementation is high on Abt’s list of services, and this expertise will now be called upon to support with ICANA. Broadly, Abt is tasked with pushing agricultural productivity up in Uganda, subsequently improving access to markets, and consequently improving nutrition levels in the country and the resilience of its communities. 

Commenting on the project, Jay Knott, Chief Business Officer at Abt said, “Abt will work with Ugandan organisations to target school communities and surrounding local actors to accomplish these cross-sectoral goals. The project also will improve the ability of village-level savings associations and community groups to support the development of livelihoods and community-based economic ventures.”

The development initiative comes as Uganda, much like the rest of East Africa, is becoming a major hub for investment, driven by the region's relatively diversified economy and higher possible returns on investment. This is one of several projects that USAID currently has underway across Africa, including a major power generation project in neighbouring Kenya.