11 August 2012

Why is Stunting Rising in Pakistan and what to do about it?

Call for Abstracts for IDS Bulletin on Accelerating Undernutrition Reduction in Pakistan

Lawrence Haddad, Institue of Development Studies, Sussex
Zulfiqar Bhutta, Aga Khan University, Karachi
Haris Gazdar, Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi

Pakistan recently released the results of the 2010-11 National Nutrition Survey.  This was the first national nutrition survey for 10 years. The 2001 survey estimated stunting of under 5’s at 41.5%.  This is slightly lower than the rates in India, but is still higher that most countries in sub-Saharan Africa.  Trend data are confused. The WHO Global Database on Child Growth and Development report the following trend on national surveys for stunting rates: 70.5% in 1977; 62.5% in 1985-87; 42.7% in 1990-94; 54.5% in1990-91; and 41.5% in 2001.  But there is no confusion about the recent past.  The 2010-11 survey tells us that stunting rates have risen in the past decade to 43.7%. 

Over the past 10 years, Pakistan’s economy has not grown as rapidly as India’s, moreover it has been affected by instability, unrest, floods, and general fragility. It is perhaps not surprising that Pakistan has not managed to reduce undernutrition in that context. Given the rates have increased, then we need to understand which regions and groups have fared the worst, and understand the ways in which undernutrition reduction efforts need to scale up, how different sectors need to contribute, the institutional arrangements that can underpin such efforts and how the political commitment can be built up to prioritise, sustain and evaluate these efforts. 

In the context of an IDS Bulletin, we aim to bring together a range of analysts, activists and policymakers from Pakistan to help raise the profile of nutrition within Pakistan and to identify actions that can be taken by various stakeholders to accelerate undernutrition reduction.  

The Call

We are inviting abstracts of up to 300 words for 12-16 short research and policy papers (3000-4000 words) on any of the following themes (please tell us which one of these questions your abstract addresses).
  1. The determinants of the increase in stunting in Pakistan
  2. The interventions and approaches that work in Pakistan, and why and how they do
  3. What can be done to raise the profile of nutrition within the Pakistan development agenda
  4. The policy and evidence priorities

We are particularly interested in submissions from those working in Pakistan. 

The deadline for submission of abstracts is September 15.  We will not consider any abstracts received after this date. 

Please send your abstracts to Lawrence Haddad at L.haddad@ids.ac.uk

The editors will select abstracts and invite authors to write full articles.    The editors will have the paper peer reviewed, with written comments supplied to authors on how to strengthen their papers.  Some papers might have to be dropped at this stage.   The final set of papers will be copyedited and typeset.   An overview paper will be prepared by the editors. A small honorarium will be given to successful authors. 

The IDS Bulletin will be published in May 2013 and launched in Pakistan and London. It is supported by UKAID. 

Please pass this call on to colleagues who you think might be interested in participating.  

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