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Seed and cultivate ethics


© Nahashon Kipruto for Action Against Hunger
Focus Group Discussion during a Link NCA in Kenya, West Pokot County, 2015

“Research for Action”

Link NCA studies are designed to develop and implement more effective programs and improve populations’ livelihoods. Communities are deeply involved with constant participation in the process. At the end of the study, feedback from collected results is given to the communities.

Link NCAs take place in a variety of contexts where cultural sensitivities vary greatly from one community to another. With the support of the technical unit, analysts work to develop and promote an ethical approach, respectful of the people from whom the studies are conducted.

We address people who are often in a vulnerable situation. We therefore provide them with all the elements of understanding and language that are necessary to decide whether to participate in the study. We then guarantee protection of their personal data (from voice and image recordings to conditions of archiving and destruction).

When collecting data, special care is taken not to offend the sensitivity of the respondents. In addition, we pay great attention not to over-solicit them and, when necessary, we implement compensation mechanisms.

Link NCA in Haiti: feedback on surveys through tablets


© Lenka Blanárová
Surveyors using tablets during the Link NCA

During the Link NCA implemented in Haiti beginning 2017, the team used the KoBo ToolBox platform to carry out the quantitative survey.
KoBo ToolBox is a comprehensive set of tools for collecting and analyzing data on a mobile devices.
Know more about benefits and lessons learnt from this pilot experience.

Nairobi learning event report is online!


© REUTERS / Noor Khamis

As in many global cities, Nairobi slum dwellers suffer from basic deprivations, which drastically affect living conditions and hamper economic and social empowerment.

This situation has a severely negative impact on nutrition status; indeed, the prevalence of undernutrition is particularly high in slums where stunting among children under three years can reach 60 percent.

In an effort to elucidate the complex reality slum dwellers face and its link with undernutrition, a Link NCA study has been implemented two slums of Nairobi.

The lessons learned from this experience were shared, liven up by expert's presentations during a Learning Event, organized in February 2017.

Read the report!


Watch some of the best moments of this event:

Slums and the new development framework (Claudio Torres, UN Habitat, Participatory Slum Upgrading Unit)
Ethical considerations and research with vulnerable populations (Dr. Lillian Otieno-Omutoko, KNH/UoN Ethics and Research Committee)
Participatory mapping in the slums of Nairobi (Primoz Kovacic, Spatial Collective)
Preliminary results from a Link NCA study in two slums of Nairobi (Mercy Wahome, Link NCA research analyst and Medical Sociologist)

Brussels Infopoint Conference on the Link NCA is online

The link NCA methodology has been presented in Brussels, at the Infopoint, the Wednesday 15th of March 2017. This event was organized by the European Commission which funds the project.

The conference wasaimed both at the general public, the development community and the staff of the European institutions. Interaction and exchange were key objectives of this session.

The conference is on on web-streaming on: https://webcast.ec.europa.eu/infopoint-lunchtime-conference-the-link-nca-methodology-a-participatory-process-to-achieve-better-nutrition-security

First learning event on the Link NCA in Nairobi - February 2017


© Link NCA - Action Against Hunger France
Participants during the technical day, Monday 27 February 2017

The 27th and 28th of February 2017 in Nairobi, the Link NCA Technical Unit organized with the valuable contribution of Concern Worldwide, a two days learning event in Nairobi, around the findings of the recent Link NCA conducted by Concern in the slums of Nairobi.

See the agenda

Download the press release.

The first day was mainly dedicated to technical lessons learnt regarding the specificity of studying undernutrition in an urban context.  37 participants and speakers coming from 17 organizations attended and contributed to the working sessions.

The second day, opened to a larger audience, was the opportunity to reveal the preliminary outcomes of the first urban Link NCA conducted by Concern in Mukuru and Viwandani (slums of Nairobi). With a view to promoting initiatives, the event also gave voice to successful projects implemented in slums. This day hosted 64 attendants from 30 national and international entities including Kenyan Government, NGO’s, UN, Donors and universities.

In total, 74 different people from 38 organizations participated to the 2 day event.

These two days gave the opportunity to various stakeholders to collect information, create synergies. It also allowed technical debates amongst academics, field and governmental nutrition experts that contributed to enhance the global understanding of undernutrition pathways in the slums.

The first Link NCA in urban context

For the first time, a Link NCA study is carried out in urban context.

The Link NCA methodology has been developed for the last 6 years in rural areas and in a high diversity of geographical contexts but it has never been used for urban/slum contexts.

Urban density and cultural diversity in the slums change the approach of social networks and governance structures. These particularities also affect the way to study under-nutrition pathways.

Therefore, the methodology has to be adapted such as determining qualitative sampling methods, zoning techniques with GPS and identifying entry points and key stakeholders in the communities.

The Mukuru and Viwandani Link NCA study is a pilot currently implemented by the NGO Concern Worldwide with the support of the Link NCA technical unit. It aims to assess the implication of urban-specific factors such as lack of employment, food prices, poor level of basic housing, sanitation, health services and education, inadequate child care arrangements and fragility of social capital on under-nutrition mechanisms.

The study started in October 2016 and will end late February 2017.

Preliminary outcomes will be shared during a learning event organized in Nairobi on February the 27th and 28th 2017.

Later on, guidelines will be adapted to improve research in these specific contexts.

WaSH & Nutrition – What Does Nutrition Causal Analysis Say?

This year, World Toilet Day is focusing on the link between sanitation and nutrition – drawing the world’s attention to the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and improved health. Lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, along with the absence of good hygiene practices, are among the underlying causes of poor nutrition.

The Link NCA Technical Unit has selected findings from two recent nutrition causal analysis studies where WaSH factors were identified as critical to poor nutrition. Read more...

Preparing Link NCA Nairobi with Concern Worldwide

Concern Worldwide is currently preparing a Link NCA study which will take place in Nairobi, Kenya. The Link NCA Technical Unit (Action Against Hunger-Paris) will be on site from, July 26th to August 5th, in order to support the initial organization of the study. This Link NCA will be carried out in an urban context, in a slum. As the Link NCA methodology was designed to be deployed in rural areas, the Nairobi study will face a number of challenges such as determining qualitative sampling methods.

Over the past 2 years several Link NCA’s have been conducted in semi-urbanized zones or in rural areas with an urban center such as in the Philippines (Action Against Hunger-Spain 2014), Uganda (Action Against Hunger-US 2016) or Central Africain Republic (Première Urgence/French Red Cross 2016), where different approaches were tested. Using those experiences, the Link NCA Technical Unit will assist Concern Worldwide to implement the study notably for: defining the studied area within the slum (zoning), identifying entry points into the communities (key actors and site), qualitative sampling and identification of relevant research methods for slum contexts.

While in Nairobi, the Technical Unit will also lead, in collaboration with Concern Worldwide, a technical training workshop for focal points of different organizations operating in the study zone (County members and NGOs). This will be the 2nd training of its type to be held in Kenya. The first workshop took place in February, 2015 in West Pokot County.

This study and technical training are organized as part of the consortium between Action Against Hunger-France, Action Against Hunger-US, Concern Worldwide and International Medical Corps and are funded by OFDA.

Flashback : Findings for the Link NCA in Tapoa Province, Burkina Faso in 2012/2013

In Burkina Faso, a study using the link NCA method was conducted between September 2012 and January 2013 in the Tapoa Province, in the far east of the country, where malnutrition rates remain well above the national average; let’s examine in depth the findings of the study. Read more…

The Link-NCA Webinar is online

The Link NCA team conducted a webinar on Wednesday May 13th to introduce the Link NCA methodology which is designed to identify and analyse factors leading to undernutrition in local contexts, with the aim to improve Nutritional Security programming.

The webinar presented the need to conduct nutrition causal analyses to enhance nutrition programming, it introduced the main features and steps of the Link NCA method, and provide examples of findings of recent Link NCA studies.


If you wish to access the Link NCA webinar : https://www.spring-nutrition.org/events/ag2nut-community-call-nutrition-causal-analysis-tool-action-contre-la-faim