A new learning paper by SNV, Yoba for Life and Wageningen University and Research reveals the impact and potential of a parent-led school milk programmes in low-income countries. The paper, titled NEADAP School Milk Learning paper, is based on two dairy sector development projects: The Inclusive Dairy Enterprise (TIDE) in Uganda and Building Rural Income through Inclusive Dairy Business Growth in Ethiopia (BRIDGE), where parents and communities have been actively involved in providing milk to pre-primary and primary schoolchildren.
The paper authered by Pascal Debons, Nieke Westerik, Marco Streng, Monique Beun, Demewez Moges, and Frederick Kizito acknowledges that school feeding programmes are effective interventions to improve educational outcomes, nutrition and health, gender equality, and local economies. However, it also recognizes that these programmes often face difficulties in reaching the most disadvantaged and excluded groups in low-income countries, due to limited funding, food insecurity, and low quality and diversity of food. To overcome these challenges, the authors suggest a parent-led approach, where parents and communities take part in the school feeding programme by supplying, processing and distributing milk to the schools.
The paper explains the operational model of the school milk programme in Uganda and Ethiopia, where the authors have been piloting and scaling the approach since 2017. The paper also discusses the challenges and opportunities of scaling up the programme and provides recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers who are interested in replicating or adapting the programme in other contexts.
The paper concludes by reflecting on the potential of the school milk programme to create a lasting impact on the lives of the children, the parents and the communities, as well as the dairy sector. The authors suggest that the school milk programme can be a catalyst for creating a milk-drinking culture and a healthy diet, as well as a model for scaling school feeding in low-income countries, with the complementary roles of donors and governments.
The paper is available for download here.
The authors welcome feedback and comments from readers and stakeholders.
Kindly contact: Pascal Debons at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nieke Westerik at email@example.com Kindly leave us a comment or question below.
Food and Nutrition Advisor, Wageningen Center for Development Innovation (WCDI)
Yoba for Life Africa coordinator and Solution Lead, Low-cost probiotic yoghurt
Regional coordinator East Africa NEADAP