Good Practice: Food and Nu­tri­tion Se­cur­ity, En­hanced Re­si­li­ence (FaNS)

The GIZ Food and Nutrition Security, Enhanced Resilience Project (FaNS) is part of the special initiative ‘One World – No Hunger’ of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


  • Topics: Rural Development
Project duration
2015 to 2025
Commissioned by
  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


Although India is self-sufficient in food and has a rapidly growing economy, a significant share of the population is affected by food insecurity, inadequate dietary diversity and malnutrition. More than 194 million people, or about 15 percent of the population, suffer from malnutrition and about 38 percent of those under five are too small for their age. In the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the nutritional situation is even more serious. About 39.5 percent of the under-five-year- are chronically undernourished and 19.6 percent are acute undernourished. The reasons for malnutrition include a lack of access to adequate food and, above all, insufficient dietary diversity of mothers and children, poor hygiene practices and insufficient knowledge about suitable food preparation. The female frontline health and nutrition workers, known as Anganwadi Workers (AWWs), play a key role in the approach of FaNS project as multipliers to empower women in villages through transferring nutrition knowledge and triggering behaviour change to follow good nutrition and hygiene practices. However, the  AWWs often have limited advisory skills and a low level of education.


The goal of the project is to improve the nutritional situation of women of reproductive age, pregnant women, nursing mothers and infants in Madhya Pradesh. With women as the target group of the project, gender perspectives were integrated into all measures and centrally anchored. 


FaNS project supports the implementation of the Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) training of Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) on dietary diversity, breastfeeding, complementary feeding practices and personal hygiene. Through the work of the Anganwadi workers, the knowledge of local women about diet diversity will be strengthened and new approaches to good nutrition and hygienic practices will be shown to them. Further, in cooperation with the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) of the Government of Madhya Pradesh, FaNS project has developed an innovative and interactive e-learning platform called "Anganwadi Shiksha". The aim of this e-learning platform is to improve the counselling skills and knowledge of 97,135 Anganwadi Workers and their 3,500 Supervisors in nutrition-relevant topics.  Another activity of the project, which supports the self-reliance  and economic empowerment of women, are the creation and maintenance of community nutrition gardens by women self-help groups. On the one hand, these gardens aim to ensure a year-round supply of fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, the dietary diversity in the village communities and households is improved. In addition, the economic empowerment of women is strengthened since they receive wages from a rural governmental scheme (MGNREGA).  


With the Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) approach about 144,000 women of reproductive age have been  reached. Since the launch of the e-learning training platform in February 2019, 25,000 Angawadi Workers have started the course and 7000 have already completed it. In addition, 20 community nutrition gardens have been established, which provide employment to 240 women and is ensuring better nutrition and dietary diversity for around 20,000 people. Women play a central role in overcoming malnutrition, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Activities are being implemented that actively involve men and are designed to improve their awareness of their own responsibility in the care and nutrition of their families.