The SLRC Sierra Leone country research programme, implemented over a two-year period from April 2013 to April 2015, focused broadly on (state) capacity to address the country’s strikingly high malnutrition rates. Our research sought to understand why and how, despite multiple and ongoing efforts at prevention, malnutrition rates in Sierra Leone remain so high. Taking as its starting point Irish Aid-supported partnerships with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) to build capacity to prevent malnutrition in Sierra Leone at the national, district and community level, as well as efforts to broaden the mandate for addressing malnutrition beyond just the MoHS, the programme aimed to generate useful and relevant findings which would contribute towards evidence-informed policy making around this important issue.
Guided by an overarching research question – ‘How can development partners support improved strategies to prevent malnutrition in Sierra Leone?’ – the programme was comprised of three discrete yet connected phases of research activity, each of which focuses on a specific research question. These phases of research activity were planned at intermittent periods throughout the two year duration, and were supported either end by both an initial scoping trip (May 2013) as well as a final dissemination and uptake trip (April 2015).
Research question 1: Are development partner approaches to capacity building appropriate to the challenges the nutrition sector is facing? Is the model of capacity building being used fit for purpose?
- What is the nature of development partners’ approaches to capacity building?
- How does capacity building support play out at the district and community levels?
- What are the gaps?
The second and third research questions – which were further developed and refined as the programme progressed– focused broadly on the following thematic areas:
Research question 2: What are the blockages to preventing malnutrition at the district and community levels?
Research question 3: How can broader stakeholders, beyond the immediate nutrition sector, be engaged to develop a more comprehensive approach to preventing malnutrition?
- Who are the broader stakeholders necessary for a comprehensive approach to addressing malnutrition?
- How can they be brought on board so that their activities are coordinated and nutrition-sensitive
Please do get in touch with the team (details below) if you would like further information about the SLRC Sierra Leone programme or if you are working on similar issues.
The malnutrition research was conducted by ODI researcher Lisa Denney and SLRC researcher, Richard Mallett, and our Sierra Leone partners, Focus1000.
Politics and Governance
Overseas Development Institute
203 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NJ
Tel: +44 (0)20 7922 0440