Nutrition and food security response analysis in emergency contexts

Working and discussion papers
December 2011
Simon Levine and Claire Chastre

Rates of undernutrition remain persistently high, and studies have estimated that the implementation of ‘traditional nutrition interventions’ with proven effectiveness could reduce the prevalence of stunting by about one-third.

This paper addresses the question of the responsibility for the remaining two-thirds of the problem.  Why does the nutrition sector define its role so narrowly, and how should other sectors  (livelihoods/food security, social protection, wash, etc.) play their part in tackling undernutrition?  The paper suggests that other sectors have engaged so little with nutrition objectives because of differences in the way different  sectors work in all stages from problem identification through to evaluation, and that as a result, a multi-sectoral causal analysis of malnutrition is rare. 

The paper argues that in order to achieve progress on reducing malnutrition, it will be necessary to build collaboration between the nutrition and food security sectors from the initial problem analysis through to impact monitoring. This will only be possible with a fundamental rethink of how these processes are currently shaped.