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Baseline Evaluation of Fortification of Mid-Day Meal Programme in Varanasi

The baseline assessment prior to the ‘Fortification of MDM Project in Varanasi district' was conducted using mixed methods approach, and provided benchmarks for the summative evaluation to be conducted at the end of the project intervention. The baseline was undertaken in October 2018, prior to initiation of the intervention. The evaluation exercise was commissioned by the World Food Programme (WFP) India office. The overall mission of WFP’s Fortification of MDM is to provide Government of Uttar Pradesh with an operationally feasible and economically viable model on integrated fortified staples in the MDM to create a positive impact on the micronutrient status and functional performance of school children for potential scale-up across the state. Government schools under different management types and representing three categories of schools- only primary level schools; primary with upper primary level schools; and only upper primary level schools, were included , proportionately from both rural and urban locations of Varanasi district. Apart from household level survey with school children, comprising both female and male students, selected from sample schools, their parent (mother or father) were also the respondent of the household level survey. In addition to this, in depth interviews (IDIs) with other stakeholders such as government officials at state, district and block levels, PRI/Ward Members, school Principal/Teacher, Cooks for preparing MDM, and with the owner of the mill identified for fortification of MDM, were conducted. A School Observation Checklist was used to capture data and information on enrolment, attendance, absenteeism, school infrastructure and activities related to nutrition & health issues undertaken in the sample schools