Measuring Nutrition Governance

An Analysis of Commitment, Capability, and Collaboration in Nepal

Background: 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.

Objective: This article explores the ways by which the commitment and capabilities of policy implementers affect collaborative efforts for achieving nutrition goals.

Methods: Over 1370 structured interviews were held with government and nongovernment officials over 3 years in 21 districts. Coded responses supported quantitative analysis of stakeholders’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding policy implementation.

Results: Stakeholder commitment was already high in 2013 when a new national policy was adopted, but capabilities were weak. Only one-third of interviewed respondents had any nutrition training. Rollout of training focusing on districts targeted for early implementation of multisector programming. This raised levels of nutrition training among interviewed respondents to 57% in 2015, which raised demand for technical information to support actions. Better understanding of the complexity of cross-sector work led to calls for higher budgets and more effective cross-sectoral collaboration.

Conclusion: Nepal offers an example of effective efforts to improve nutrition governance across sectors at all levels of administration. The promotion of awareness, capacity, and new ways of working shows promise. Trainings, information sharing, and management support led to growing willingness among civil servants to engage across sectors. Structured surveys offer a viable way to track change across institutions and sectors.

Recommended Citation: 

Webb, Patrick, Shibani Ghosh, Robin Shrestha, Grace Namirembe, Sabi Gurung, Diplav Sapkota, Winnie Fay Bell, et al. 2016. “Measuring Nutrition Governance.” Food and Nutrition Bulletin 37 (4_suppl): S170–82. doi:10.1177/0379572116674856.