Publication Date: 01/03/2020

This report covers the analysis and findings of a Cost of the Diet (CotD) study conducted in the four operational municipalities of the HATUTAN program, namely Ainaro, Ermera, Liquica and Manatuto. The study was commissioned by Mercy Corps Timor-Leste with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The CotD study was presented to the National Institute of Health (INS) for approval prior to implementation.1 The study was designed to answer the following seven key questions:
1. What are the locally available and affordable foods found in each of the HATUTAN municipalities that could be used for nutritious school meals?
2. What is the cost of a nutritious school meal based on locally available foods?
3. What are the recommended foods to purchase, based on the current $0.25 and proposed $0.50 per child per day, to maximize nutrition outcomes?
4. What is the estimated cost of the non-food consumables – such as transportation, soap and firewood – that also need to be covered within the amount budgeted per student per a meal?
5. What is the nutritional value of a locally-sourced school meal?
6. How does the nutritional value of a locally-sourced school meal differ from the currently provided school meal?
7. How does a school meal for a child help close the nutrition gap at the household level?

Evaluation Type