Evaluation of the Nutritional Improvements Through Cash and Health Education (NICHE) Program

Customer making a cash payment

As part of Kenya’s KSEIP initiative to enhance access to social and economic inclusion services within safety nets for poor and vulnerable households, the government designed the Nutritional Improvements through Cash and Health Education program (NICHE), which it is implementing in five counties—Kitui, Kilifi, Marsabit, Turkana, and West Pokot.

Through NICHE, households that are included in the existing National Safety Net Programme and have a child under two years of age and/or include a pregnant woman, receive a cash transfer top-up and are offered intensive nutrition counselling through the community health strategy platform. In Kilifi, NICHE also includes additional counselling on child protection.

AIR's Mixed-Methods Study with UNICEF

UNICEF Kenya, in collaboration with the government, contracted AIR in 2021 to conduct a mixed-methods formative evaluation of NICHE. The evaluation included four components:

  • A review of the NICHE program design and implementation plan;
  • Refinement of the theory of change;
  • Development of the monitoring and evaluation framework; and
  • A baseline assessment.

The objective of the evaluation was to identify and document lessons learned from the inception and early implementation phase of NICHE and to establish a baseline against which the program’s impact can be evaluated in the future.