Towards concerted government efforts? Assessing nutrition policy integration in Uganda

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Abstract

To tackle malnutrition more effectively, Sub-Saharan African governments have developed overarching, integrative policy strategies over the past decade. Despite their popularity, little is known about their follow-up and ultimately their success (or failure). Consequently, tracking the progress of such political commitment has gained global importance. Various studies provide insights into changes in nutrition-related policies. Nevertheless, it is generally acknowledged that we have limited understanding of how nutrition concerns are explicitly addressed in policies of different ministries. This study uses a novel policy integration perspective to investigate the extent to which eight ministries in Uganda integrated nutrition concerns across their policy outputs between 2001 and 2017. The approach used assumes nutrition policy integration is a dynamic process occurring in different policy dimensions. We performed a qualitative content analysis to assess 103 policy outputs for changes in subsystems involved, policy goals, and instruments used. Overall, we found a shift towards increased integrated government action on nutrition over time. The 2011–2015 analysis period was a critical juncture where increased integration of nutrition was observed in all policy integration dimensions across all ministries. However, considerable variations in actor networks, goals, and instruments exist across sectors and over time. The sustainability of nutrition integration efforts remains contentious, because of which continuous monitoring will be essential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-368
JournalFood Security
Volume12
Early online date22 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Governance
  • Integrated nutrition strategies
  • Nutrition
  • Policy integration
  • Uganda

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