Food for education programme and prospects for multi-sectoral gains: experiences from Kazungula and Sinazongwe districts of southern Zambia.
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Universal education inclusion has attracted high-profile attention internationally as an ideological project. This study explores Food For Education (FFE) Programmes and prospects for multi-sectoral gains in state and non-state driven projects. Previous studies on Food For Education Programmes have narrowly focused on implications for enrolment and attendance, neglecting the extent to which these programmes create prospects for multi-sectoral gains. The overall objective of this study was to explore FFE programmes and implications for multi-sectoral gains in Southern rural Zambia. Specific objectives considered the nature of FFE programmes in rural Zambia, processes and practices underpinning possibilities of multi-sectoral gains FFE programme and impacts of FFE programmes in host communities of Kazungula and Sinazongwe districts. Data was drawn from multiple sources including preliminary field visits, Key Informant Interviews, Focus Group Discussions and Questionnaires in the study areas. Results show that FFE programme is narrowly linked to other related sectors, advancing pupil attendance, enrolments and retention. The study shows that the programme enhanced school enrolments and attendance because of food provisioning at school but both cases its nutritional objectives seem to be rarely met and community participation negligible. Community participation in the intervention is primary towards provisioning of free services such as labour and rain fed agriculture produces but this is narrow and unsustainable with insufficient impact across economic benefits to the host communities. Differences in interventions shape project outcomes and related benefits but both state and non-state supported interventions produce narrow linkages with communities and are unsustainable. Overall, the possibilities of school and community empowerment are slender at the moment but centrally lie in the ability to decentralise the delivery of the intervention. As a result, the current intervention somewhat takes power away from schools and local communities to participate in FFE programme which affects the programme’s sustainability. This study calls for multi-sectoral approach and the need for FFE programmes to be designed as part of an effective package of interventions that address not only attendance, retention but also nutritional needs as they relate to agriculture opportunities of host communities. Key words: Food for Education, GRZ, HSFP, Sustainability, Kazangula, Sinazongwe, and Zambia
The University of Zambia