As the post-MDG era approaches in 2016, reducing child undernutrition is gaining high priority on the international development agenda, both as a maker and marker of development. This research brief summarises a 2015 paper published in World Development, which used data from 1970-2012 for 116 countries to investigate the factors that have contributed to past reductions in child undernutrition and identify priorities for the future. The research finds that safe water and sanitation, women’s education, gender equity, and the quantity and quality of food available in countries have been key drivers of past reductions in stunting. Income growth and governance played essential facilitating roles. Complementary to nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programmes and policies, accelerating reductions in undernutrition in the future will require increased investment in these priority areas.
Anon. Research Brief: Reducing Child Undernutrition: Past Drivers and Priorities for the Post-MDG Era. Transform Nutrition, (2015) 2 pp.