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Results achieved at the sub-national and national level

Wide-scale adoption of innovations

Continuous capacity building through experiential training; provision of information, education, and communication material; and regular visits for technical input and monitoring led to adoption of various innovations introduced (Figure 10.8). Data collected in 58 schools showed that there was a significant increase in the adoption of 12 BIG practices (IIRR, 2018d). To link gardens and supplementary feeding, 15 recipes with indigenous vegetables were developed and introduced in Phase 1 in addition to the moringa-based recipe recommended by DepEd. Schools were encouraged to adjust or explore other recipes or combinations of recipes to enable them to utilize the garden produce and to meet the needs of beneficiaries. The number of recipes adopted from those introduced by the project had increased to 9-10. Aside from the support given to schools, the issuance of memorandum that includes the endorsement of the 15 recipes led to increase in adoption.

Nutrition education strategies were divided into two main modalities - non-formal and formal. Non-formal nutrition education methods target parents, teachers, and the general community, whereas formal nutrition education modes are directed towards students. Records from schools showed that schools were able to deliver nutrition education activities using varied strategies. The most widely used mode is the participatory nutrition education activities for community and parents (83.64%), followed by nutrition education during feeding (74.55%), nutrition integration in lessons, and nutrition education during PTA/PTCs at 67.27%, and garden-based nutrition education (65.45%) (IIRR, 2018e).

Adoption at national scale through DepEd National

FIGURE 10.8 Adoption at national scale through DepEd National.

Collaboration and resource-sharing

Constructive dialogue with various government and non-government officials led to multiple trainings to disseminate the model. Two government agencies funded two training programmes - DA-BPI funded a 3-day training for 37 participants composed of 23 DA regional level staff from the 17 regions of the Philippines and 14 DepEd regional level representatives. It was followed by a training programme funded by DSWD Region IV-A for 88 participants in 2017 and a planned training for 177 child development workers from 4 provinces. Three other organizations engaged members of their project teams to train schools and child development workers in other provinces in the Philippines: Fostering Education & Environment for Development (FEED, Inc.), - Angat Buhay programme of the Office of the Vice President, and Adventist Development and Relief Agency.

Increased investment on school nutrition

At the sub-national level, the Education Support Services Division of DepEd Region IV-A, which oversees the school-based feeding programme, organized a three-day training in November 2016 for school health personnel composed of medical doctors and nurses and allocated funds for 17 sets of weighing scales and height boards for the schools and city divisions. This was in response to the findings presented to key personnel about the weak capacity of schools when it comes to nutrition assessment.

At the national level, DepEd made a commitment to promote the ISNM to all schools in the Philippines. So in 2017, DepEd allocated resources for teachers’ training and reprinting of all information, education, and communication materials. A total of220 schools, one from each school division across the Philippines, were designated and are being trained to be LSs.

Institutionalization of the model

Creating a DepEd Memorandum Order for schools to adapt and implement the ISNM is ongoing and once signed by the secretary, all 38,600 public elementary schools in the Philippines will be required to adopt the ISNM approach. This research project made the case for this to happen and will continue to provide the methodological and technical innovations to support DepEd via the knowledge products, working papers, primers, and information, education, and communication materials featuring research-derived recommendations. Most recently, RA 11037, an Act institutionalizing a national feeding programme for undernourished children in day care, kindergarten, and public elementary schools was enacted (Congress of the Philippines, 2018).

Improvement in nutritional status

In the recent Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS) conducted by the FNRI-DOST, it was reported that stunting among school-aged children had reduced by 6.6% in the last three years. This had not been noted in the last 15 years, and it is believed that efforts in scaling the ISNM may have contributed to this improvement (Food and Nutrition Research Institute, 2018).


Schools can serve as centres for learning and sharing about nutrition, food security, agrobiodiversity conservation, and climate change. The ISNM that combines nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions produced multiple nutrition outcomes. Effective scaling up requires demonstration of the ISNM’s effectiveness and scalability and a combination of advocacy, education, and communication strategies directed at relevant agencies and sectors.


This chapter is based on the findings of the implementation of the Improving Food and Nutrition Security through interventions through Schools project, which was supported by IDRC, Canada.

Special acknowledgement is given to the other members of the research team: Maria Christy Jesusa G. Tacugue; Ma, Shiela S. Anunciado; Ronnie M. De Castro: Kirstein D. Itliong; Carmina Alicia N.Lainez; and Ian Curt R. Sarmiento. Special acknowledgement is also given to the partners from the government: DepEd: Rizalino T. Rosales; Ella Cecilia G. Naliponguit; Maria Corazon C. Dumlao; Juan R. Araojojr.; Magdalene Portia T. Cariaga; Ferdinand M. Nunez; Mei-Ling V. Duhig; Diosdado M. San Antonio; Annaliza T. Araojo; Neil 13. Evangelista; Romeo E. Endraca; Rolando B. Talon, Jr.; Virgilio O. Guevarra; Yolanda S. Oliver; and Galileo L. Go.

Department of Agriculture: Felix Joselito H. Noceda.

Sentinel Schools/LSs: Julugan Elementary School Personnel; Sunnybrooke Elementary School Personnel; Tinabunan Elementary School Personnel; and Region IV-A LS Personnel.


1 Information, education, and communication materials are accessible at https://


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