Stunting (height‐for‐age z‐score [HAZ] < −2) affects close to a quarter of the world’s child population younger than 5 years, with South Asia bearing over half of the childhood‐stunting burden. Stunting both reflects chronic undernutrition and sustained resource‐constrained environments and is often associated with an increased risk of impaired cognition, reduced economic productivity, poor health outcomes throughout the life cycle, and poor survival overall. In recent years, efforts to prevent stunting have been among the leading priorities of governments, donors, and civil society organizations, reflected Continue reading →
We study transportation infrastructure and food markets in Nepal over the period 2002 to 2010, combining monthly price data from 37 local and regional markets and 7 Indian border markets. We use a series of autoregressive models to study price determination, spatial and temporal price transmission, and price variance. We account for district-level agricultural production, correcting for bi-directional causality between output and prices using ground station rainfall data. In addition, to test hypotheses regarding the importance of transportation infrastructure we incorporate information on road and Continue reading →
Abstract Environmental conditions in early life are known to have impacts on later health outcomes, but causal mechanisms and potential remedies have been difficult to discern. This paper uses the Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys of 2006 and 2011, combined with earlier NASA satellite observations of variation in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) at each child’s location and time of birth to identify the trimesters of gestation and periods of infancy when climate variation is linked to attained height later in life. We find Continue reading →
Describing vitamin D status and its predictors in various populations is important in order to target public health measures. Objectives: To describe the status and predictors of vitamin D status in healthy Nepalese mothers and infants. Methods: 500 randomly selected Nepalese mother and infant pairs were included in a cross-sectional study. Plasma 25(OH)D concentrations were measured by LC-MS/MS and multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify predictors of vitamin D status. Results: Among the infants, the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (25(OH)D <50 nmol/L) Continue reading →
Based on the data collected in Uganda, Nepal, and Ethiopia, the papers included in this supplement fill a critical gap in evidence regarding multisectoral National Nutrition Action Plans. The studies offer new data and new thinking on how and why governance, effective financial decentralization, and improved accountability all matter for nutrition actions in low-income countries. This introductory paper offers an overview of the current state of evidence and thinking on the multisectoral nutrition policy cycle, including how governance and financing support that process. It also Continue reading →
Effective governance is essential for effective nutrition program implementation. There are additional challenges in launching multisector plans to enhance nutritional status. The present study compares the challenges and opportunities in Ethiopia and Nepal in designing and implementing a multisector plan for nutrition. A semi-quantitative questionnaire with open-ended questions was used to solicit information from senior national-level policy officials and other key stakeholders. The nature of the major nutrition problems in each country was similar; these include malnutrition (particularly stunting), food insecurity, and micronutrient malnutrition. The Continue reading →
In 2010, Uganda began developing its first multisectoral nutrition plan, the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP), to reduce malnutrition. While the UNAP signals high-level commitment to addressing nutrition, knowledge gaps remain about how to successfully implement such a plan. We tracked the UNAP’s influence on the process of priority setting and funding for nutrition from 2013 to 2015 and this study used a longitudinal mixed methods design to track qualitative and budgetary changes related to UNAP processes nationally as well as in 2 study districts. Continue reading →
The 2011 Uganda Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP) established 2016 maternal and child nutrition targets. However, there is a lack of routine district-level data collection to assess UNAP implementation. The Nutrition Innovation Lab collected serial household-level survey data (n = 3600) in 6 districts, including 2 UNAP implementation districts, in 2012 and 2014. Questionnaires focused on food security, nutrition, and health, among others, and included specific indicators relevant to UNAP’s targets.
Nepal has a long tradition of designing good multisectoral nutrition policy. However, success of policy implementation has varied. More evidence on how to successfully carry out multisector nutrition policy is needed. This study used a mixed-method longitudinal design to track qualitative and budgetary changes related to MSNP processes nationally as well as in 3 districts. Qualitative changes in each study area were assessed through interviews, observation, news content, and meeting notes. Changes in allocations and expenditures were calculated based on budget documents, work plans, and validation Continue reading →
Global commitments to nutrition have supported calls for better evidence to support effective investments at national level. However, too little attention has so far been paid to the role of governance in achieving impacts. This article explores the ways by which the commitment and capabilities of policy implementers affect collaborative efforts for achieving nutrition goals.