The United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) and the United States Agency for International Development Africa Bureau (USAID/AFR), have announced a call for applications for the Research on School Meals Projects in Africa.
It is anticipated that the findings of this collaborative research activity will inform future design and implementation of USDA McGovern Dole and USAID/AFR agriculture, food security, agriculture, resilience, nutrition and education activities.
The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole) program was authorized in 2002 with current appropriations of approximately $200 million annually. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service and is named in honour of Ambassador and former Senator George McGovern and former Senator Robert Dole for their tireless efforts to encourage a global commitment to school feeding and child nutrition.
The McGovern–Dole program helps support education, child development, and food security for some of the world’s poorest children. It provides for donations of U.S. agricultural commodities, locally and or regionally procured agricultural commodities, as well as financial and technical assistance, for school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects in low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education.
- The key objectives of the McGovern-Dole program are to reduce hunger and improve literacy and primary education, especially for girls. By providing school meals, teacher training, and related support, McGovern-Dole projects help boost school enrollment and academic performance. At the same time, nutrition programs are offered for pregnant and lactating women, infants, and pre-school children to sustain and improve their health and learning capacity before they enter school.
- Available Funding for the NOFO: $700,000;
- Period of Performance: 7.5 months.
The awardee will conduct independent research that will contribute to improving the understanding of three broad research questions in the McGovern-Dole Learning Agenda and accompanying sub-questions. This research will incorporate existing data and the collection of primary data as feasible and appropriate. The corresponding report will analyze and compare different school feeding partnerships, food sourcing models for school meals, and educational outcomes. This study will enhance USDA’s and USAID’s understanding of the factors that contribute to school feeding sustainability post-project. This original research is anticipated to help inform future project funding, design, implementation, and evaluation.
- Research Question 1
- Question: What kinds of partnerships with the private sector and/or host country governments are the most effective at ensuring program sustainability? Among successful partnerships, who are the key players and what are their roles? In what contexts do private sector and/or government partnerships work best and which contexts may be more challenging?
- Suggested Countries of Focus: Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Tanzania.
- Research Question 2
- Question: How do the impacts of local procurement models and other community and nationally sourced models compare with those that rely on international food sources related to farm productivity enhancement (including financial management, input efficiency, and profitability), employment, and agricultural markets?
- Suggested Countries of Focus: Kenya, Rwanda, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin.
- Research Question 3
Question: How do school meal interventions and the nutritional aspects of these meals in pre-schools and primary schools influence educational outcomes in students?
- Suggested Countries of Focus: Burkina Faso, Senegal.
- State cooperative institutions or other colleges and universities in the United States.
- All applicants must have an active registration in the SAM database – pending or expired registrants are not eligible.
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=329905