Scaling Up Nutrition: Effectiveness in the Local Context

This summer I will be studying abroad in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I haven’t travelled much before and I’m incredibly excited to live in a new place and explore a new culture. I also didn’t want to waste the opportunity to conduct research abroad and applied for funding to conduct my project, entitled Scaling Up Nutrition: Effectiveness in the Local Context.

My primary interest is in public health and epidemiology, and I spent last summer working on health related projects with Professor Scott Ickes. In our lab, we primarily focus on women’s empowerment and how it relates to nutrition. Recently Professor Ickes started working with AidData on a grant from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to trace funding for the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, and I hope to be involved in the project in the fall.

The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement is a multinational commitment to reduce malnutrition in 34 low-income countries. This global project involves coordinating donors, national movement and health and nutrition organization to develop policies and implement context-specific programs to reduce malnutrition.

Spending the summer in Tanzania offers the perfect opportunity to study the SUN movement up close because the country was an early adopter of the movement. Tanzania has already finalized its National Nutrition Strategy and is now working on a cost implementation plan, making it an ideal case study for how the principles of SUN and its funding intersect. More information about the movement and Tanzania’s progress can be found at scalingupnutrition.org.

My project seeks to understand the policy process of the SUN movement in Tanzania. I will interview key-stakeholders in the SUN process in Tanzania, including members of the government, civil society, and local business community. As tracking of SUN funds and outcomes takes place within a government “focal point” I will seek to gain contact information from this focal point agency in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Movement Strategy, 2004). My study will examine Tanzania’s progress in relation to three major aspects of the SUN movement by looking at:

1) consensus building regarding the strategic objectives of SUN

2) mapping the organizational networks of key stakeholders in view of the overarching SUN strategies

3) the impacts on funding and funneling of resources.

I’m excited to develop my protocol further and schedule interviews before I leave for Tanzania on June 11th. While I’ve conducted interviews in the past, I haven’t done so in a different country yet. I expect the process to be challenging, but eye opening. I’m excited to see what I learn and share it with other researchers. I look forward to sharing my struggles, successes, and general progress here!