OVC Research - Expanding the Knowledge Base

Using evidence-based tools and guidelines to improve the collection, generation and dissemination of information on school feeding programmes strengthens the existing knowledge base to target OVCs through school feeding.  

Exploring the impact of school feeding and take-home rations for OVCs, activities will address some of the most valuable research that has arisen in this area. 

This includes, the: benefits and trade-offs for both OVC and smallholder farmers of various school feeding programmes; trade-offs associated with the varying ways of reaching to OVC; impact of OVC access to education and household work load with school feeding (i.e. do OVCs have better access to education or reduced work burdens when the households they live with have greater food security?); and finally, to carry out case studies to build on existing knowledge of good practice for encouraging OVCs to have increased access to education. 

Previous research has extended to targeting individual children, which has proved to have had considerable benefits in cost-effectiveness, however, this also has potential to marginalize other children not being assisted. Furthermore, research activities for this, in particular systems and data requirements for specific targeting are resource intensive and are now considered to be out of scope for most low-income countries.

Most school feeding programmes in low income countries target schools and children in vulnerable and food insecure contexts. Research within this geographical context is to be undertaken at different stages, covering multiple administrative levels and involving multiple stakeholders at different levels in addition to a range of data collection and evaluation.

Undertaking holistic research which looks at various inputs including: food insecurity, the assessment of where those most vulnerable are, alongside the analyses of the educational context in each country to determine target areas is crucial for building ownership and ensuring an input which is relevant and necessary.  

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