Research Brief #9: Nutrition Degree Programs In Nepal: A Review of Current Offerings and Gaps

Authors: Nutrition Innovation Lab

The Government of Nepal (GoN) has made a major commitment to improving the nutritional status of its population. For example, Nepal was one of the earliest countries to join the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. As a SUN country, Nepal has articulated a clear strategy for scaling up direct nutrition interventions as well as identifying multi-sector strategies for improving nutrition. To this end, GoN in September 2012 released its Multi-Sector Nutrition Plan (MSNP) that will guide the government’s investment for the period 2013 to 2017.

One consistent message in the government’s strategy to seek to employ both direct nutrition interventions and nutrition-sensitive policies and programs is the imperative need to invest in capacity building. The Nutrition Assessment and Gap Analysis’ (NAGA) review of 2008 stated that the nutrition knowledge and skills at all levels of government needs to be enhanced, and that nutrition-related components of advanced training curriculum should be strengthened. Similarly, the MSNP cites the modest capacity of nutrition-related staff and institutions as a challenge. Equally pertinent is recognition that there is “almost total lack of formal courses within the country for providing training in nutrition.”

An initial step in developing a framework for capacity investment is the identification of undergraduate and graduate degree granting programs in nutrition currently operating in Nepal. The Nutrition Collaborative Research Support Program (Nutrition CRSP) conducted a stocktaking of degree programs in Nepal. This information is intended to feed into a longer term effort to support capacity building, at all levels, in Nepal.