Kenya Nutrition Programme

Living off of less than US$1.90 a day is the harsh reality for 35.6% of people living in Kenya. Around 14% of the population in Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL) face high levels of acute food insecurity – that is roughly 2.1 million people. 

In February 2022 the L20 programme piloted in Garissa County and Dadaab Refugee camp.

The L20 QR keys entitled households to an allowance to spend on a wide selection of goods with a local merchant. The selected Garissa households had previously participated in a Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) nutrition programme which was facilitated through cash transfers. This provided an opportunity to compare the two different approaches.


L20’s real-time reporting feature meant that consumption habits that were previously unknowable through the previous BHA programme were uncovered.  It was discovered that a large amount of food purchased was of low nutritional value suggesting that the goals of the programme could not be achieved.

Save the Children Kenya used these findings to implement SMART programming in Phase 2 of the pilot to help families boost their nutritional intake whilst continuing to give them freedom of choice.


Specify programme objectives

Donor funding was provided by BHA for a nutrition project in Kenya.

Measure what is supplied to households

The L20 pilot uncovered consumption habits that were unknowable through the previous BHA programme (due to being facilitated through cash transfers).

Analyze the data produced by L20

The Kenya field teams performed root cause assessment and discovered that these foods of low nutritional value were being consumed by households and not used as a pseudo currency (i.e. bought in bulk to sell for cash).

Refine the programme to improve its effectiveness

The team therefore decided to implement Smart Programming in Phase 2 of the L20 pilot, to help families boost their nutritional intake whilst continuing to give them freedom of choice.
Changes made include:

•    A 1-hour training workshop was added, alongside a stipend for attendance).
•    A RAG (Red/Amber/Green) rating was applied to each food item to help inform the consumer of less nutritious foods.


Track efficacy of revised programme

Data driven metrics will continue to inform the programme teams with an aim to reduce consumption of foods with a low nutritional value and increase nutritional awareness.