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Global Health Policy Blog


Just in time for the Thanksgiving feast, a chance to share your views on international nutrition:

Forty years ago this month, Foreign Affairs published "Malnutrition and National Development," an article by Alan Berg that made an initial effort at placing the problem of malnutrition in a development context. A main thesis, now generally accepted but new back then, was that malnutrition was not only a result of underdevelopment but also an important drag on national development - and, moreover, that there were actions that could be taken to address it. Alan Berg is now revisiting that analysis and the prescriptions of that piece (which was later expanded into his book for the Brookings Institution, The Nutrition Factor: Its Role in National Development). What happened? How does actual experience over this period compare to that earlier vision? What worked and what didn't work, and why? And what are the implications of this history for the future?

Exactly 10 years ago, Alan's long-time colleague Jim Levinson surveyed the international nutrition community to get its perceptions in conjunction with his 1997 Martin J. Forman Memorial Lecture, "How Are We Doing in International Nutrition," in which he reported the community's views on such matters as the most important advances and major disappointments encountered, the prospects for a career in the field, and the relative ranking of international organizations in their service to countries and their malnourished populations over the previous 10 years. Now, Alan and Jim have launched a new survey to gather information about the perceptions of the international nutrition community today. All those concerned with what is happening - or not happening - in international nutrition are encouraged to take approximately 10 minutes to complete the survey questionnaire before November 30 (anonymity and confidentiality are assured). The results of the survey will be presented at the 30th Anniversary Session of the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition in Hanoi next March and published in July 2008.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.