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Food Nutr Bull. 2004 Jun;25(2):156-65.

Community-based school feeding during Indonesia's economic crisis: implementation, benefits, and sustainability.

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Asian Development Bank, 6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila 0401, Philippines.


The Indonesian Government initiated a community-based national school-feeding program in 1996. Implementation was decentralized and involved multiple participants. In 1998 we evaluated the implementation of the program and the perceived benefits for community stakeholders using a survey of principals in 143 randomly selected schools and follow-up with in-depth interviews and observations in a subsample of 16 communities. The evaluation covered the period of the 1998 Asian economic crisis, affording the opportunity to assess its impact on the program. The program was implemented in all targeted schools, with excellent community participation. Feeding was sustained through the crisis, in spite of a dramatic escalation in food costs. The families of schoolchildren, farmers, and those who prepared food received economic benefits. The snacks replaced those sold at schools and were of better nutritional value. The children benefited because the snacks compensated for losses in the home diet resulting from the economic crisis. Characteristics of the program that may be important in explaining its success include the involvement of a range of community stakeholders, engagement with existing village administrative structures, scope for local community adaptation and innovation, and the use of local foods that dispersed benefits and ensured sustained implementation during the crisis.

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