What are the challenges and opportunities for multi-level advocacy for nutrition?
This policy brief (PDF) by IDS gives an overview on the challenges and opportunities for multi-level advocacy. Over the last decade, policy advocacy has made critical contributions towards the development of nutrition policies, laws and strategies in many countries with high burdens of malnutrition. Translating and safeguarding these policy achievements into results on the ground requires nutrition advocacy to be pursued across administrative levels and throughout the policy cycle. However, such multi-level advocacy is often limited and poorly documented. In order to strengthen and support multi-level advocacy for nutrition, the challenges and opportunities must be understood. Opportunities and constraints for MLA can be understood by looking at three factors and their interactions: 1) The nature of the policy environment; 2) Features of networks and actors operating in these; 3) Characteristics of nutrition as a policy issue. Positive results for nutrition are driven by a wealth of factors including food availability, access and diets, sanitation, caring practices, access to health services, education, female empowerment, etc. This diversity raises problems and challenges for nutrition advocates. Cross-departmental policy coordination is often a key challenge. Further research on empirical cases of multi-level advocacy is required to better understand its opportunities and constraints.