Nutrition Agenda Setting, Policy Formulation and Implementation: Lessons From the Mainstreaming Nutrition Initiative
This paper reports on the findings from studies in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, and Vietnam that sought to identify the challenges in the policy process and ways to overcome them. Data were collected through participant observation, documents, and interviews. The countries' experiences show that: (1) the generation of political commitment and system commitment requires sustained efforts from policy entrepreneurs and champions; (2) mid-level actors from ministries and external partners had great difficulty translating political windows of opportunity for nutrition into concrete operational plans; and (c) the pace and quality of implementation was severely constrained in most cases by weaknesses in human and organizational capacities from national to frontline levels. Strengthening the full spectrum of policy activities is necessary if large-scale and sustained reductions in undernutrition are to be achieved. Within this policy spectrum, high priority should be given to strengthening strategic capacities because these are fundamental for advancing commitment-building, agenda setting, policy formulation, and capacity-building for operations.
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