Nutrition-sensitive irrigation and water management.

This document summarizes evidence and guidance on project design and results framework indicators for nutrition-sensitive irrigation and water management investments across water, agriculture, rural development, and other sectors, in which improving nutrition in vulnerable populations is a specific objective of the project.1 It draws on existing guidance on nutrition-sensitive agriculture developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO 2015) and the World Bank (2013), with an emphasis on water-related aspects of these guidelines. The recommended actions at the project level depend on an enabling policy environment that prioritizes water use efficiency, nutritious diets, gender equality, and human capital development. Irrigation contributes to agricultural intensification and farm profitability (Burney, Naylor, and Postel 2013; De Fraiture and Giordano 2014; Giordano and de Fraiture 2014; Giordano et al. 2012; Xie et al. 2014; You et al. 2011), helps farm households to extend the growing season, and is increasingly important for farmer resilience to climate shocks and stressors. Until recently, there has been less attention to other benefits of irrigation, including improvements in household food security and nutrition, health, and women’s empowerment. Irrigation affects nutritional outcomes along the same pathways as broader agricultural interventions, but it does so in specific ways (Domènech 2015; Passarelli et al. 2018). These include a production pathway, an income pathway and a women’s empowerment pathway. In addition, irrigation presents a potential fourth pathway to improvements in nutritional outcomes through water, sanitation, and hygiene (figure ES.1).