Research Briefs

Research Brief #18: Food prices, their determinants and connections to child nutrition in Nepal

Published: July 2014 Authors: Gerald Shively, Ganesh Thapa Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab
A majority of Nepalese households are net buyers of food and depend on markets for their food purchases (CBS 2011). As a result, market performance and food prices directly influence levels of household consumption. These, in turn, can influence nutrition outcomes. Given the potentially deleterious effects of high food prices on child nutrition outcomes in food-purchasing households, one of the important pathways to reducing child malnutrition rates over time is likely to be by increasing market efficiency and reducing food prices. A number of studies Continue reading →

Research Brief #17: Perceptions and Practices Relating to Nutrition Among Decision-Makers at KISAN sites of Nepal

Published: June 2014 Authors: Patrick Webb, Shibani Ghosh, Diplav Sapkota, Sabi Gurung Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab
This research brief presents preliminary findings from work in Nepal that explores how multi- sectoral programming explicitly linking agriculture with health and nutrition achieves impacts on the ground. Recognition that “merely producing more food does not ensure food security or improved nutrition” (Herforth et al. 2012) begs questions about when, where and why does it, or does it not ensure food security or support improved nutrition? In particular, more understanding is needed of how various stakeholders involved in program and policy implementation at various levels Continue reading →

Research Brief #16: Perceptions and Practices Relating to Nutrition Among Decision-Makers at Suaahara sites of Nepal

Published: May 2014 Authors: Patrick Webb, Shibani Ghosh, Diplav Sapkota, Sabi Gurung Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab
This brief presents preliminary findings from work in Nepal that explores such issues, including the processes, impacts, constraints and innovations in multi-sectoral programming that explicitly links agriculture with health and nutrition. The focus in this brief is on a first round of data, collected in 2013 under USAID’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Nutrition, aimed at assessing policymakers’ and programming professionals’ understanding of nutrition problems, challenges to multi-sector programming and potential solutions.

Research Brief #15: Governance of Nutrition Policies and Programming: Preliminary Findings from PoSHAN process research in Nepal

Published: April 2014 Authors: Patrick Webb, Shibani Ghosh, Diplav Sapkota, Dale Davis, Eileen Kennedy, Sabi Gurung, Kedar Baral Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab
This research brief presents preliminary findings from work in Nepal that explores how policy processes influence the implementation of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive actions. At a time when the government’s Multi-Sector Nutrition Plan (MSNP) is being rolled out, and new multi-dimensional nutrition programmes are scaling up, this study captures insights and experiences of stakeholders from central government to ward-level service providers. Constituting a longitudinal prospective analysis of policy events as they unfold, the research considers what incentives or barriers affect collaboration within and across ministries, whether Continue reading →

Research Briefing #14: Research in Asia: Approach, methods, And Protocols

Published: March 2014 Authors: Patrick Webb, Shibani Ghosh, Eileen Kennedy, K. West, Rolf Klemm, D. Sapkota, Swetha Manohar, Jeffrey K. Griffiths Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab
At the 19th International Congress on Nutrition in Bangkok (in 2009), the United Nations’ Standing Committee on Nutrition concluded that “there is an urgent need to provide evidence- based information on food-based strategies and systems in order to make a case for their promotion. A series of scientific articles on food security interventions for nutrition should therefore be published to complement the public health interventions promoted by the Lancet Series [of 2008]. Sustainable food security approaches to nutrition require systemic, multidisciplinary and inter-sectoral approaches taking Continue reading →

Research Briefing #13: Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Scientific Symposium

Published: February 2014 Authors: Raman Shrestha, Swetha Manohar, Rolf Klemm Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab
The Nutrition Innovation Lab‘s 2nd annual scientific symposium held in Kathmandu, Nepal on August 13-14, 2013 under the theme “Science and Policy for Health, Agriculture and Economic Growth” facilitated the sharing of new research findings along the agriculture to nutrition pathway. Featuring 15 oral and 11 poster presentations, the two day meeting was attended by approximately 250 participants who represented researchers, field practitioners, government policymakers, donors (including the USAID mission) and 40 students from various Nepali institutions of higher education. The symposium included two keynote Continue reading →

Research Brief #12: Market Analysis of Complementary Foods in Nepal

Published: February 2013 Authors: Richard Magnani, Anahit Gevorgyan, Kathleen Kurz Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab
While best programming methods have been identified for many of the essential nutrition actions–e.g., breastfeeding, micronutrient tablet provision–the way forward for improving complementary feeding practices is much less clear, as is agriculture’s contribution. The vast majority of children in Nepal do not receive a minimum acceptable diet, and behavior change for complementary feeding within households has been difficult to achieve at scale. An underestimated constraint on child feeding is that the child’s food preparation takes a lot of mothers’ time, which is often already limited Continue reading →

Research Brief #11: Stocktaking: Agriculture Degree Programs in Nepal

Published: January 2013 Authors: Diplav Sapkota, Eileen Kennedy Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab
Recently, there have been renewed calls for the integration of nutrition, health, and agriculture to improve the nutritional status of populations. Whereas these sectors previously operated in separate realms, various frameworks have been propounded to highlight the importance of a multi‐sectoral approach and to establish links between the sectors to impact nutritional status. The 2008 Lancet Nutrition Series and the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) framework have provided evidence‐based interventions that have largely guided efforts at an integrated approach to address maternal and child undernutrition. The Continue reading →

Research Brief #10: Measuring the Links Between Agriculture and Child Health in Nepal

Published: December 2012 Authors: Gerald Shively, Celeste Sununtnasuk, Molly Brown Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab
We combine three distinct datasets to study the connections between agriculture and child health in Nepal. Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from 2006 are merged on the basis of common GIS data points with satellite remote sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) composites. Using these data we explore the association between the NDVI, a monthly proxy for agricultural production, and nutrition outcomes in children under age 5. We also employ nationally representative data from the 2003‐2004 Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS) to assess connections Continue reading →

Research Brief #9: Nutrition Degree Programs In Nepal: A Review of Current Offerings and Gaps

Published: November 2012 Authors: Diplav Sapkota, Eileen Kennedy Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab
The Government of Nepal (GoN) has made a major commitment to improving the nutritional status of its population. For example, Nepal was one of the earliest countries to join the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. As a SUN country, Nepal has articulated a clear strategy for scaling up direct nutrition interventions as well as identifying multi-sector strategies for improving nutrition. To this end, GoN in September 2012 released its Multi-Sector Nutrition Plan (MSNP) that will guide the government’s investment for the period 2013 to 2017. Continue reading →