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The Link NCA method was created with the objective of helping define response strategies for tackling under-nutrition. A Link NCA is a structured, participatory, holistic study, based on the UNICEF causal framework, intended to build evidence-based consensus. A Link NCA study is recommended for contexts that are not in crisis situations but where the problem of under-nutrition is widely established and where there exist high levels and different kinds of under-nutrition. It is especially advised for contexts where continuous attempts to fight this problem have been made but with little success.
This Link NCA was carried out in the Abdi district of the Ouaddai region in eastern Chad, amid a nutrition crisis. A SMART survey conducted in 2014 determined that this district has some of the highest rates of undernutrition in the Sahel region. Prior experiences confirmed that the principal factors contributing to malnutrition were linked to structural issues and questions of chronic underdevelopment, yet inadequate infant feeding practices, high prevalence of infantile illnesses (diarrhea, malaria), poor access to medical centers/care, inadequate therapeutic practices, poor access to potable water sources, inadequate hygiene practices, insufficient agricultural production and high maternal workload were all confirmed to be major risk factors for undernutrition in the district by the Link NCA.