Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Monitoring and Evaluation Protocol for a Malnutrition Rehabilitation Program in a Resource-Limited Setting
Worldwide, nearly 7 million children die each year and malnutrition contributes to almost half of these cases. Malnourished children have lower life expectancy, perform worse in school, and are at increased risk for communicable diseases. The prevalence of undernutrition is highest in low-income countries. Risk factors include food insecurity, poverty and economic disparities, rapid population expansion, and high prevalence of communicable diseases. In Peru, UNICEF has estimated the prevalence of malnutrition in children less than 5 years old at 18% in urban areas, and up to 33% in rural regions of the country. El Comedor is a community-based kitchen established in the impoverished neighborhood of Ermañito Alto in Lima, Peru designed to combat these risk factors and improve the nutritional status of local children. This program provides direct nutritional support to at-risk children in a safe environment and nutritional education programs to their caregivers. Since its inception in 2009, El Comedor has lacked a sustainable monitoring and evaluation protocol. This report details an approach to the development and implementation of such a protocol in a resource-limited setting.