IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Improving nutrition as a development priority: Addressing undernutrition in national policy processes in Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Benson, Todd


"Undernutrition remains a major source of human suffering and an obstacle to national economic and human development in many African countries. This report investigates undernutrition's persistence, drawing on case studies of the public response to the problem in Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Uganda. Analyzing each nation's policymaking structures, political actors, understanding of undernutrition, and the timing of public responses, the author explains why none of these four nations has mounted an effective campaign to eliminate undernutrition. The author identifes several different causes of this shortcoming, with one underlying flaw in the various public responses standing out: a fundamental failure on the part of political leaders to see undernutrition as a grave problem that undermines development efforts in their nations. The author concludes that an effective response to undernutrition in these countries requires the formation of national advocacy coalitions that can raise public awareness of the problem, highlight policymakers' duty to ensure the nutrition of their citizens, and link proper nutrition to general national development. This report should serve as a resource for advocates, researchers, and others concerned with undernutrition in Africa." from Authors' Summary

Suggested Citation

  • Benson, Todd, 2008. "Improving nutrition as a development priority: Addressing undernutrition in national policy processes in Sub-Saharan Africa," Research reports 156, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:resrep:156

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Williamson, Oliver E, 1999. "Public and Private Bureaucracies: A Transaction Cost Economics Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 306-342, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Ecker & Marc Nene, 2013. "Nutrition Policies in Developing Countries: Challenges and Highlights," Working Papers id:5241, eSocialSciences.
    2. Karamba, Wendy R. & QuiƱones, Esteban J. & Winters, Paul, 2011. "Migration and food consumption patterns in Ghana," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 41-53, February.
    3. Juana Bustamante Izquierdo & Daniela Bellucci, 2009. "Mainstreaming Nutrition for Better Development Outcomes," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 16(2), pages 577-590, June.
    4. Viridiana Garcia, 2012. "Children Malnutrition and Horizontal Inequalities in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Focus on Contrasting Domestic Trajectories," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2012-019, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    5. Nisbett, Nicholas & Gillespie, Stuart & Haddad, Lawrence & Harris, Jody, 2014. "Why Worry About the Politics of Childhood Undernutrition?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 420-433.

    More about this item


    Nutrition policy; Developing countries; Undernutrition; Nutrition security; Policies;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:resrep:156. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.