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European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, ISSN: 2347-5641,Vol.: 5, Issue.: 5 (Special issue)

Conference Proceeding Abstract

Building Strategic Capacities to Strengthen the Enabling Environment for Nutrition Policies and Programs in Four African Countries


David Pelletier1*, Suzanne Gervais1, Hajra Rafeez-Ur-Rehman1, Barnabas Natamba1, Dia Sanou1 and Jackson Tumwine1

1Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.


Objectives: Undernutrition has received significant attention at global and national levels in recent years but translating this attention into effective action at the country and district levels poses many challenges. We describe the observed national environments that support and challenge actors in moving national multisectoral nutrition policies and plans forward and how this on-going action research (AR) project seeks to strengthen strategic capacities and leadership in Burkina Faso, Mali, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Methods: Participant observation and meetings with stakeholders provide insight into the enabling environment and its challenges. This AR then uses boundary-spanning tools such as shared history, practitioner profiles, PAG workshops among others to engage stakeholders in collaborative learning and to facilitate informal strategic and adaptive management approaches to nutrition policies and program implementation.

Results: All four countries have developed multisectoral national nutrition policies and/or plans and created coordinating committees. Further multisectoral progress however faces challenges seen elsewhere, such as the dominance of sectoral goals and incentives, uneven understanding of multisectoral roles, responsibilities and leadership; uneven participation and ownership; uneven human and institutional capacities; lack of effective sub-national multisectoral platforms; and persistence of unaligned donor- and NGO-driven approaches. On-going work focuses on the formation of strategic alliances, leadership development, strengthening of sub-national platforms and experiences to inform the design of multisectoral strategies at the national level and strengthening linkages with global initiatives.

Conclusions: Together these activities help create crucial elements of a sustainable enabling environment for reducing malnutrition in these countries.

Keywords :

Full Article - PDF    Page 727-728

DOI : 10.9734/EJNFS/2015/21059

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