Thanks to Purnima Menon at IFPRI for a shout out about a new paper by Ashley M. Fox, Yarlini Balarajan, Chloe Cheng and Michael R. Reich that develops a new tool (PCOM-RAT) on measuring political commitment for food and nutrition security.
A version of the paper also appears in the journal Health Policy Planning.
The paper has lots of links to the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) and the Lancet Paper 4, and focuses on primary data collection for 10 countries (curiously none from Africa).
It conflates food and nutrition security (a problem) but it is a nice theory based scoring system that also tries to identify opportunities for policy influence going forward.
It criticises HANCI for only being secondary data based (it isn't) but interestingly for the 5 countries that overlap both sets of scores, 4 of them (Guatemala, Philippines, Vietnam and Bangladesh) are ranked in the same order as the secondary data component of HANCI. Cambodia is the outlier, coming in 3rd out of these 5 countries in PCOM-RAT and 5th in HANCI.
It is great to see more and more interest building on how to assess end build commitment to nutrition, and as a final warning shot the paper quotes
Lancet Paper 4:
“political commitment can be developed in a short time, but commitment
must not be squandered—conversion to results needs a different set of strategies and skills.”