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Improving nutrition programmes through the promotion of quality coverage assessment tools, capacity building and information sharing.

Mapping of outreach workers' activities

Description of tool

Mapping of outreach workers' activities is one of the tools to assess the actual catchment area of a program site (as compared to the intended catchment area). The actual catchment area as shown by the map represents the extent of the spatial coverage of the outreach workers' activities and indicates whether there is possible spatial unevenness in the program's outreach activities thereby leading to spatial unevenness in the program’s coverage.

Data requirements

Data on outreach activities is not always readily available as compared to routine program monitoring data and other data collected from beneficiary record cards. More often than not, the availability of data on outreach activities is already a good indication that the program is taking community outreach and mobilisation seriously. If available, data on outreach activities will include the dates and the locations of activities conducted by outreach workers for a given month. This data maybe collected from monthly outreach workers' reports (if done). If data is not available, this can be collected through a survey of outreach workers of their activities in the past months corroborated with surveys of program site staff and from the villages they've reported visiting. A map of the program area with all or nearly all of villages is also needed.

Analysis of data

The approach to mapping data on outreach workers' activities can be done similarly to that of mapping home locations of beneficiaries and defaulters. Villages visited by outreach workers can be identified by placing markers on them. It would be ideal to choose a marker different from the one used for admissions or defaulters (either using a different colour or a different shape or both). A new layer of transparent plastic sheet can be used for this map and added onto the other layers created. Figure 1 is an example of a map showing villages visited by program outreach workers.

Figure 1: Villages visited by program outreach workers in the previous 2 months


The spatial pattern of outreach workers' activities is similar to that observed on the map of the home locations of beneficiaries attending the program site (see Mapping of beneficiary locations) with outreach activities having limited spatial coverage (i.e., restricted to areas close to program sites or along the major roads leading to program sites).