Implementing Multisector Nutrition Programs in Ethiopia and Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities From a Stakeholder Perspective

Authors: Eileen Kennedy; Shibani Ghosh; Kedar Baral; Dale Davis; Diplav Sapkota; Patrick Webb Journal: Food and Nutrition Bulletin

Effective governance is essential for effective nutrition program implementation. There are additional challenges in launching multisector plans to enhance nutritional status. The present study compares the challenges and opportunities in Ethiopia and Nepal in designing and implementing a multisector plan for nutrition. A semi-quantitative questionnaire with open-ended questions was used to solicit information from senior national-level policy officials and other key stakeholders. The nature of the major nutrition problems in each country was similar; these include malnutrition (particularly stunting), food insecurity, and micronutrient malnutrition. The main challenges identified included the need for more specificity in the roles of agencies/individuals in program implementation, more effective mechanisms for linking national to subnational officials, methods for creating awareness of the plans, and a dedicated line item in the budgets of each agency. The level of enthusiasm was high in both countries. Respondents in both countries highlighted the need to identify a “champion” at the highest level who would keep the momentum for the respective plans alive.