Transform Nutrition’s work on leaders in nutrition explores how effective leaders understand the systems which both shape and constrain their action; and are able to translate this understanding into action which spans the boundaries of sectors and disciplinary knowledge.
Researchers within the Transform Nutrition consortium carried out a study of 89 individuals or representatives of organisations who had been identified as national level leaders within the field of nutrition in four countries: India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Ethiopia. Leaders here came from diverse backgrounds but were able to adapt strategically to the political landscape; spanning boundaries between sectors and disciplines and bring others along as their understanding of nutrition’smulti-sectoral nature developed.
As what leaders do is more important that who leaders are, the researchers suggest a number of way in which leadership can be supported and built. A more structured effort is called for to build a cadre of leaders up to the challenge of working effectively to tackle undernutrition as a pressing global issue.