Nutrition and national development : an evaluation of nutrition planning in Malawi from 1936 - 1990

V.J. Quinn

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


<p>This thesis involves an evaluation of the nutrition planning attempts made in the small central African country of Malawi from 1936 to 1990. The fulfillment of four prerequisites necessary for development planning to be successful was evaluated at different points in time. These prerequisites include the existence of I.) mutually agreed objectives, 2) the political will to achieve those objectives, 3) relevant planning theories and 4) the means and capacity to take the required actions. Overall this study has shown that despite Malawi's long history of nutrition planning the attempts made over the past six decades have not be successful since child malnutrition levels are much the same today as during colonial times. From independence in 1964 up until the late 1980s a substantial part of the problem has been the lack of political will to address the poverty and household food insecurity aspects of the problem. Another major weakness has been the lack of adequate assessment and analysis of the nutrition situation in the country. As a result inappropriate actions were taken which often involved the importation of irrelevant nutrition activities by donors. An important lesson of this study is the important role that research and evaluation has in providing the empirical basis on which to plan actions as well as to assess past efforts.</p><p>One conclusion of this thesis is that the problem of malnutrition in Malawi can not be viewed as a small issue since the costs to the individual and to the nation are too great. Instead improvement in nutritional status needs to be viewed as an objective in a variety of sectors. Similarly its solution should not solely be limited to nutritionists since development planners in all sectors must be involved. In addition, considering the seriousness of the nutrition problem found in the country the time horizon for improvement to be evident should realistically be framed in terms of decades.</p>
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Hautvast, J.G.A.J., Promotor
  • van Dusseldorp, D.B.W.M., Promotor
Award date12 Dec 1994
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789054853343
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • food hygiene
  • nutritional state
  • consumption patterns
  • government policy
  • food supply
  • nutrition
  • food aid
  • history
  • malawi

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Nutrition and national development : an evaluation of nutrition planning in Malawi from 1936 - 1990'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this