Working Paper

IDS Working Paper;447

What are the Factors Enabling and Constraining Effective Leaders in Nutrition? A Four Country Study

Published on 30 June 2014

Leadership has been identified as a key factor in supporting action on nutrition in countries experiencing a high burden of childhood undernutrition.

This study of individuals identified as influential within nutrition in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya and India examines why particular individuals champion nutrition policy, and how they operate in the wider policy and political environments of their countries. Based on analysis of 89 interviews, we consider how individual (adult development) capacities, knowledge and motivations, and wider political economy considerations structure the ability of these leaders to think and act.

We argue that only by locating individuals within this wider political economy can we begin to appreciate the range of strategies and avenues for influence (or constraints to that influence) that individual leaders employ and face. We review the literature in this area and suggest a number of ways in which we may support, nurture and develop nutrition leadership in future.


Nicholas Nisbett

Research Fellow

Lawrence Haddad

Honorary Associate

Elise Wach

Research Advisor

Publication details

published by
Nisbett, N., Wach, E., Haddad, L., and Shams, E.L.
IDS Working Paper, issue 447
978 1 78118 186 7


About this publication

Related content