Nutrition Education - Outcome Mapping

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Monitoring and evaluation are an essential part of project implementation, helping ensure that the project is on track and achieving its intended outcomes. Evaluations of nutrition interventions often focus on the long-term outcomes, such as indicators of growth in children. These long-term indicators do not detect intermediate outcomes and must therefore be supplemented by indicators of short- and medium-term outcomes. Short-term outcomes are immediate results of an intervention such as changes in knowledge and prevailing attitudes. Medium-term outcomes are apparent only after a more extended period and commonly result in changes in behavior (i.e. practices). Long-term outcomes include as mentioned before indicators of nutritional status, e.g. hemoglobin levels and indicators for growth in children. The following table provides examples of different outcomes of nutrition interventions that include an educational component.

Short-term outcomes Medium-term outcomes Long-term outcomes (impact)
Social, psychological and behavioral outcomes
Physiological and health outcomes
Changes in intrapersonal determinants of practices knowledge and attitudes Changes in nutrition-related practices Changes in physiological parameters, nutritional status and biochemical indicators


  • Increased understanding of the benefits of breastfeeding
  • Increased knowledge of reasons for feeding young children with thick porridge rather than watery porridge
  • Increased awareness of the consequences of short-term hunger at school
  • Increased knowledge of ways to prevent food poisoning


  • Increased confidence in being able to prepare and enriched porridge (self-efficacy/confidence)
  • Increased belief in benefits of dietary diversity (perceived benefits)
  • Increased preference for targeted foods (food preference)
  • Greater readiness to wash one’s hands before eating (readiness to change)
  • Increased intake of iron-rich foods among pregnant women
  • Increased meal frequency among young children
  • Increased dietary diversity
  • Decreased consumption of soft drinks
  • Greater use of iodized salt
  • Increased hemoglobin levels among women
  • Decreased stunting rates in children
  • Decreased underweight rates among infants
  • Increased weight gain among pregnant women

Note: these outcomes (i.e. impact or physiological and health outcomes) should only be evaluated several months or even years after the completion of the program because long-term effects take time to manifest.

Source: FAO. Guidelines for assessing nutrition-related knowledge, attitudes and practices. 2014.

Nutrition-related Knowledge Attitudes and Practices (KAP) studies as described in the Food Pedia page on Nutrition Education Planning are also useful for defining, monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of nutrition education.


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  • FAO. Guidelines for assessing nutrition-related Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices. By Yvette Fautsch Macias, Peter Glasauer. Rome.2014.