Many agricultural and home gardening interventions aim to improve the nutritional status of women and children in low- and middle-income countries by focusing on women as the recipients of the intervention and make assumptions that women will be empowered as a result. This paper examines the potential impact of an intervention study that combined home garden training and support, and nutrition behaviour change communication, with a social safety net payment, on women’s empowerment in rural Bangladesh. We assessed the implementation of this study in terms of feasibility, acceptability, and practical application. Twenty in-depth interviews were conducted with randomly selected women that took part in the study. Qualitative data was coded using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke 2006) and the results presented using the following five indicators: control over use of income, input into productive decisions, respect among household members, self-efficacy, and input into nutrition and health care decisions. Our study showed that a combined nutrition-specific (nutrition counselling) and nutrition-sensitive (agricultural training and unconditional cash transfer) intervention, delivered on a mobile platform, to women from low-income families in rural Bangladesh was feasible and acceptable. The study further revealed evidence on behaviour change across five key indicators related to women’s empowerment. The study highlights the potential for such an intervention to impact women’s empowerment and provides insight for the aid in the design of larger-scale trials implemented in similar settings.
women’s empowerment, feasibility, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, behaviour change communication, mHealth, social safety net, qualitative methods, in-depth interviews
Acknowledgments: This research is part of the research generated by the Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia Research (LANSA) research consortium under a Responsive Window Grant and is funded by UK aid from the UK government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK Government’s official policies. We are grateful to our research partners—icddr,b and BARI—for their support. We acknowledge the valuable contribution of Solidarity Kurigram, our local implementation partner. Robyn McConchie at the University of Sydney School of Life and Environmental Sciences contributed to development of the grant. Above all, we are grateful to all study participants for their valuable time. Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.
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Recommended APA Citation
Kirkwood, E. K., Dibley, M. J., Khatun, W., Ara, G., Khanam, M., Bokshi, A., Li, M., & Ashraful Alam, N. (2022). Can a Combined Agriculture and Nutrition Behaviour Change Intervention Improve Women’s Empowerment? A Mixed Methods Feasibility Study in Rural Bangladesh. The Qualitative Report, 27(12), 2905-2922. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2022.5716