Using vignettes to explore gender issues related to food security and nutrition

Giulia Micheletti, Marlène Elias, and Jessica Raneri of Bioversity International describe a nutrition-sensitive version of GENNOVATE, in which a vignette tool was developed and piloted to understand household decisions related to diets and nutrition.

Nutrition-sensitive interventions typically focus on children and women of childbearing age, who are particularly vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies. However, what continues to be missing in these interventions is a closer consideration of local social norms, which shape food allocation decisions.

Gender social norms shape food- and nutrition-related decisions within a household, who makes them, what is decided, and how. They influence who can access nutritious food, when, and in what quantities. Gender norms also influence who in the household is responsible for acquiring and preparing food. Although understanding gender norms is critical for addressing poor nutritional outcomes in women and children, they are rarely taken into account in nutrition interventions.