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Publications

Analysis of stakeholders networks of infant and young child nutrition programmes in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan

Future Health Systems

Uddin S, Mahmood H, Senarath U, Zahiruddin Q, Karn S, Rasheed S and Dibley M (2017) Analysis of stakeholders networks of infant and young child nutrition programmes in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, BMC Public Health, 17(Suppl 2):405, DOI: 10.1186/s12889-017-4337-1

Abstract

Background: Effective public policies are needed to support appropriate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) to ensure adequate child growth and development, especially in low and middle income countries. The aim of this study was to: (i) capture stakeholder networks in relation to funding and technical support for IYCF policy across five countries in South Asia (i.e. Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan); and (ii) understand how stakeholder networks differed between countries, and identify common actors and their patterns in network engagement across the region.

Methods: The Net-Map method, which is an interview-based mapping technique to visualise and capture connections among different stakeholders that collaborate towards achieving a focused goal, has been used to map funding and technical support networks in all study sites. Our study was conducted at the national level in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, as well as in selected states or provinces in India and Pakistan during 2013–2014. We analysed the network data using a social network analysis software (NodeXL).

Results: The number of stakeholders identified as providing technical support was higher than the number of stakeholders providing funding support, across all study sites. India (New Delhi site – national level) site had the highest number of influential stakeholders for both funding (43) and technical support (86) activities. Among all nine study sites, India (New Delhi – national level) and Sri Lanka had the highest number of participating government stakeholders (22) in their respective funding networks. Sri Lanka also had the highest number of participating government stakeholders for technical support (34) among all the study sites. Government stakeholders are more engaged in technical support activities compared with their involvement in funding activities. The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were highly engaged stakeholders for both funding and technical support activities across all study sites.

Conclusion: International stakeholders were highly involved in both the funding and technical support activities related to IYCF practices across these nine study sites. Government stakeholders received more support for funding and technical support activities from other stakeholders compared with the support that they offered. Stakeholders were, in general, more engaged for technical support activities compared with the funding activities.