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Strengthening Systems Resource Review

The Strengthening Systems Resource Review is a selection of materials that will help you keep on top of research and developments related to strengthening systems for better nutrition. To see materials from earlier editions, or to view resources from across SPRING's technical areas, visit the Resource Review.

Research Articles
Recent findings from academic and peer-reviewed journals

Rockström, J., Stordalen, G., Horton, R. The Lancet (June, 2016). Vol. 387.

Currently, no universal synthesis exists on how to implement sustainable healthy consumption and production eating patterns. The EAT – Lancet Commission is a new commission that will document the complex mechanics of the food system, and investigate the connections between diet, human health, and the state of the planet to provide a basis for new, evidence-based integrated policies. The commission will assess if it’s possible to deliver healthy diets to a growing world population from sustainable food systems, and what implications it might have for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. The results of this assessment are expected in 2017 and will provide the foundation for an evidence-based roadmap that links policy, behavioral change, business practices, and technology out to 2050.

Alderman, H., Bundy, D. Oxford University Press (2012).

School feeding programs are politically popular interventions yet it is difficult to assess their effectiveness since their impact is partially on education and partially on school health. They are a means to augment consumption by vulnerable populations. The authors review new evidence and argue that while these programs can have an impact on education and, to a lesser degree, augment nutrition for the families of beneficiaries, they are best viewed as transfer programs that provide a social safety net and promote human capital investments.

Food and Nutrition Bulletin (December 2016). Vol. 37. Supplement 4.

Policy actions and effective governance are necessary for good nutrition in low-income countries. This supplement of the Food and Nutrition bulletin features a range of articles that highlight research around applying a systems lens to policy, effective governance for nutrition program implementation, progress of the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan, SPRING’s “Pathway to Better Nutrition” case studies, and the types of evidence needed to render the nutrition policy cycle useful for decision making.

Reports, Tools, and Other Related Materials
A diverse collection of programmatic materials and news

Results for Development, July 2016.

Organizations that link the public and private sectors can benefit individual patients and health systems. These "intermediary" organizations have the ability to perform key health systems functions that individual private providers typically cannot do on their own. The “six key elements of an effective intermediary” are based on research on “mixed market” health systems. While the majority of the studies were on organizations operating in Nigeria, the findings are generalized in a way that is applicable for various stakeholders interested in developing stronger intermediaries that effectively address the key challenges of fragmentation in health systems.

Politics and Ideas, July 2016.

Policymakers, researchers, and capacity building experts can all use this framework as a practical resource to understand how the context at the level of government institutions affects the use of knowledge in policy. The contents of this paper has been put into an interactive setting for ease of use:

Pan American Health Organization, 2016.

The key recommendations for action on Health in All Policies are summarized and then followed by an outline of concrete actions that should be taken in the Latin American region, the expected time frame for action, and identification of the entities responsible for ensuring that the actions are carried out. The outline follows the format laid out in the Plan of Action on Health in All Policies, based on the six strategic lines of action and their specific objectives, with approved indicators for monitoring and evaluation. Many of these recommendations overlap with recommendations for multisectoral nutrition action.

Science Direct, February 2017.

The multidisciplinary and multisectoral capacity to tackle hunger and malnutrition problems remains a major stumbling block in setting the nutrition policy agenda, analyzing policy options, designing intervention programs, implementing interventions, monitoring and evaluation of the programs’ costs and benefits, and the evidence-to-action process. While there is a large body of literature on the economic and public policy analysis related to nutritional challenges, this information is not synthesized, and is certainly not accessible in a single collection. This book is a modest attempt to fill this gap.