West Pokot remains one of the counties with the highest stunting prevalence in the country and among the counties with the highest burden of acute malnutrition classified critical according to annual IPC classification of food security and nutrition surveys (SMART survey, June 2018). The capacity of the human resource and health system to offer quality and effective high impact nutrition and health interventions in West Pokot county remains a work in progress and requires sustained investment.

Action Against Hunger (ACF) entered West Pokot in 2011 to respond to emergency nutrition and health needs resulting from the severe drought that hit the Horn of Africa leading to a humanitarian crisis in 2011. Since then, ACF has implemented 6 key nutrition projects in partnership with MOH, National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), local NGOs such as Kenya Red Cross Society and community-based organizations like SIKOM and Youth Bunge. The aim, scope and scale of the nutrition program has been to reduce the high prevalence of acute and chronic malnutrition that had remained at a critical level contributing largely to the national malnutrition burden.

The ASCENT project was designed to address the ever-changing humanitarian needs in West Pokot building on successes and lessons of previous projects since 2011. The project aimed to address acute shocks and stresses resulting from the recurrent drought depriving children <5 years, pregnant and lactating women, girls and boys of their livelihoods hence exposing them to food and nutrition insecurity.

This end-term evaluation focused on assessing actions towards Advocacy, Systems strengthening and Capacity Enhancement for Nutrition Transformation (ASCENT) project implemented from December 2015 – May 2018 in West Pokot county funded by European Union Delegation to Kenya – with the aim of establishing the extent of attainment of program objectives, and to draw lessons on what worked, what may not have worked and why, and review how the design of the project and implementation approaches contributed to improvements in the lives of the targeted population.