Beoog Biiga (Tomorrow’s Child) Project, Burkina Faso McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Project
Of the approximately 175 countries on the World Bank’s Human Capital Index, Burkina Faso scores among the lowest, with more than 40 percent of the country’s population living below the national poverty line.
In response to recurrent food crises, high levels of malnutrition, and low and unequal levels of education in the north-central region of the country, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), in collaboration with local partners and the Burkina Faso Ministry of Basic Education and Literacy (Ministere de l’Education Nationale et de l’Alphabetisation et de la Promotion des Langues Nationales, or MENAPLN) in Bam and Sanmatenga provinces, implemented the first phase of the Beoog Biiga (BB) program, from 2011 to 2014.
The first phase of BB provided school meals, take-home rations for girls, health training, nutritional supplements, and capacity building in more than 700 primary schools and pre-schools (bissongos) in Bam and Sanmatenga. Under the second phase of the program (BB2), CRS continued to provide the same forms of assistance, with the additional goal of improving the quality of literacy, health, and dietary awareness and practices of school-age children in the country.
In 2018, CRS began to implement BB3 which expanded the scope and size of the program, adding schools in the province of Namentenga. At the conclusion of BB3 in 2022, CRS began the fourth phase which again extended the BB activities to additional schools while also adding a focus on the sustainability of school meals by introducing locally and regionally produced commodities to the program in Namentenga, as well as pilot programs for mentoring for boys and remote learning.
AIR's Mixed Method Evaluation
AIR began evaluating the BB program with the endline of the first phase and has conducted evaluations for every round since. At each phase, AIR has used a mixed methods approach, comprised of quantitative surveys with students, teachers, school district administrators, parent-teacher associations, food preparers, and mothers, and qualitative focus groups and interviews with beneficiaries, local and national stakeholders, and project staff.
In general, the evaluations have found increases in literacy outcomes among students over time. In addition, AIR has noted that teachers were devoting more time to literacy instruction. Increases in student handwashing and nutritional awareness, and mothers’ ability to provide minimum acceptable diets to their youngest children were among other highlights from AIR’s evaluations. AIR will continue to measure changes in student and community member outcomes as BB4 progresses.