What drives political commitment for nutrition? A review and framework synthesis to inform the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition
This article (PDF) in the BMJ Global Health journal examines what factors generate, sustain and constrain political commitment for nutrition, how and under what circumstances, to inform strategic ‘commitment-building’ actions. Overall, 18 factors were identified and organised into five categories: actors; institutions; political and societal contexts; knowledge, evidence and framing; and capacities and resources. Concerning knowledge, evidence and framing; credible indicators and data systems is critical to enabling commitment by informing problem identification. Further, evidence demonstrating the causes and consequences of malnutrition and the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of interventions in another factor. When the evidence was communicated via knowledge-brokers, it was more likely that effective advocacy and policy activities were supported. Processes driving commitment are multifactorial, dynamic and strongly context-dependent. Furthermore, commitment can be created and strengthened over time through strategic action. Many of the drivers of political commitment are similar irrespective of country-context or nutrition issue, but with some notable exception. Thus, effective commitment-building strategies are likely to involve a set of core actions with some context-dependent adaptation. The main core action is sustained commitment-building actions by cohesive, responsive and strongly led nutrition actor networks (NANs). Accelerating the development of these networks should be a core task for all actors involved. NANs should aim to enroll the support of political leaders, administrative elites and mobilise civil society coalitions. To sustain commitment, they must establish empowered institutions, develop organisational and strategic capacities, generate commitment among implementation partners at all levels and mobilise financial resources.