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Global Nutrition Institutions: Is There an Appetite for Change?

Ruth Levine and Danielle Kuczynski
August 12, 2009
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This paper describes the major institutional weaknesses in global nutrition and presents two recommendations to address the joint problems of incoherence, lack of institutional leaders, and persistent underfunding. First, within the domain of global health—where a significant part of the programmatic response rests—current and potential funding agencies at the international level could create a shared set of principles that lay out expectations for the coordination, coherence, and collaboration among institutions that currently do or might receive funding for global nutrition programs. Funders could collaborate to create a strong incentive for UN agencies, the World Bank, privately funded initiatives, and others to work together to fulfill key functions, including norm-setting, advocacy, scientific inquiry, program and technical support, capacity-building, and implementation at the national level. A second priority is for leaders in UN agencies to act on specific opportunities to elevate the agenda of nutrition security within the work of the UN System High-Level Task Force for the Global Food Security Crisis, which is stimulating and coordinating a response among the UN system and international financial institutions.

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