Bridging barriers to advance multisector approaches to improve food security, nutrition and population health in Nepal: transdisciplinary perspectives

Santosh Gaihre, Janet Kyle, Sean Semple, Jo Smith, Debbi Marais, Madhu Subedi, Heather Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background
Understanding stakeholders’ perceptions is crucial to the development and implementation of any intervention. However, a structured approach to eliciting stakeholder insights into complex, multisector issues of food security, household environment and health is lacking in many low and middle-income countries. This qualitative, workshop-based participatory study explores stakeholders’ experiences of developing and implementing multisector interventions to provide transdisciplinary lessons for future developments in low and middle-income countries.

Methods
Participants were purposely selected based on their involvement in, or exposure to, the multisector intervention. Participants with interests in agriculture, nutrition, household air-quality, drinking water-quality and health from academic institutes, government and developmental organisations were brought together at a one-day workshop to participate in a series of discussions on issues relating to food security, nutrition, household environment and health in Nepal. All group discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed, and a thematic qualitative analysis performed to identify relevant themes.

Results
The government’s ongoing Multisector Nutrition Plan, stakeholders’ willingness to work together, availability of local infrastructure for cross-institutional inputs and increasing global movement towards transdisciplinary approaches were identified by the 33 workshop participants, representing 23 organisations as key factors determining success of transdisciplinary work. Fragmentation, lack of research-based and practice-based evidence, limited transdisciplinary knowledge amongst sectoral stakeholders, short-term funding and lack of knowledge-sharing mechanisms were identified as barriers, often creating systematic problems for successful implementation. Stakeholders suggested methods to bring about success included: improved knowledge, both amongst policy-makers and implementers, of food security and its linkage with nutrition, household environments, health and hygiene; investment in collaborative practice-based research and evidence-based practice; and strengthened transdisciplinary collaboration between multi-stakeholders, such as researchers, implementers and beneficiaries, throughout the intervention development and implementation process.

Conclusions
This study suggests that multisector approach needs to adapt to take into account the experiences and views of the stakeholders concerned. The paper offers recommendations for successful development and implementation of future multisector interventions in Nepal that can be extrapolated to other low and middle-income countries, and lays foundations for future transdisciplinary working to support realisation of the recommendations.
LanguageEnglish
Article number961
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume19
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2019

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Nepal
Food Supply
Evidence-Based Practice
Health
Education
Population
Organizations
Water Quality
Administrative Personnel
Agriculture
Hygiene
Research
Drinking Water
Air
Research Personnel

Keywords

  • Food security
  • Health
  • Intervention
  • Low and middle-income countries
  • Multisector
  • Nutrition
  • Transdisciplinary

Cite this

Gaihre, Santosh ; Kyle, Janet ; Semple, Sean ; Smith, Jo ; Marais, Debbi ; Subedi, Madhu ; Morgan, Heather . / Bridging barriers to advance multisector approaches to improve food security, nutrition and population health in Nepal: transdisciplinary perspectives. In: BMC Public Health. 2019 ; Vol. 19, No. 1.
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Bridging barriers to advance multisector approaches to improve food security, nutrition and population health in Nepal: transdisciplinary perspectives. / Gaihre, Santosh; Kyle, Janet; Semple, Sean; Smith, Jo; Marais, Debbi; Subedi, Madhu; Morgan, Heather .

In: BMC Public Health, Vol. 19, No. 1, 961, 18.07.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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