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Open Access An evaluation of the national food and nutrition policy of Bangladesh

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Abstract:

Food and nutrition policy activities directed toward improvement of the nutritional status of the people of Bangladesh began in the 1980s. The government formulated a national food and nutrition policy and approved it in 1997. Qualitative methods, including observational techniques, in-depth interviews of the key informants, and focus group discussions, were used to collect information on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of the policy. The information obtained has been transcribed and analyzed using this model. The strengths of the policy are that it is a consensus document that emphasizes human rights, was formulated by a multisectoral approach, complements other government policies, and has broad goals and wide-ranging objectives. The weaknesses include lack of implementation, monitoring, and evaluation guidelines; lack of strong government commitment; inadequate support of policy makers; perhaps an excessively ambitious target; and ignorance of past lessons learned. The opportunities include the scope of social mobilization, the wide scope of the policy, suggested programs and measures to improve nutritional status, a congenial policy environment, and the ability to modify the scope of the policy as needed. The threats to the policy are lack of knowledge of the policy, lack of resources to implement the policy, tension between technical people and bureaucrats, vested business interests, and, possibly, discontinuity of political commitment. The key to reducing the weaknesses of the food and nutrition policy of Bangladesh and minimizing the threats to it is for the stakeholders in the policy to coordinate efforts to use the strengths and opportunities of the policy to effectively implement it.

Keywords: BANGLADESH; NATIONAL FOOD AND NUTRITION POLICIES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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