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Open Access The formulation of consensus on nutrition policy: Policy actors' perspectives on good process

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Abstract:

Food security and nutrition are ascendant issues on global and national policy agendas in recent years, as a result of the global food crisis and growing recognition of the magnitude and consequences of these problems for human and economic development. The translation of this attention into effective action at the country level will require multistakeholder agreements concerning priority problems, interventions, delivery strategies, roles and responsibilities, and other matters, but this has proven to be a difficult and contentious process in many countries. This study explores stakeholders' perspectives on the characteristics of a good process in Guatemala, a country that has encountered difficulties deciding such matters in recent years, as well as their views on decision acceptance and the feasibility of implementing a good process. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 participants in earlier policy deliberations who were identified through snowball sampling. The constant comparative method was used for analysis. These partici- pants attach great importance to the quality of decision processes, have strong support for decision principles derived from theory and experience elsewhere, would be willing to participate in such a process and accept the resulting decisions, and feel such a process would be challenging but feasible in the Guatemalan context. These findings, together with experiences elsewhere, suggest that countries would do well to seek agreement on the design of a multistakeholder decision-making process before they seek agreement on priority nutrition problems, target groups, interventions, delivery strategies, and other matters that have proven contentious in many settings.

Keywords: CONFLICT; CONSENSUS; NUTRITION POLICY; POLICY FORMULATION; POLICY PROCESS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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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