Developing state capacity to prevent malnutrition in Sierra Leone: An analysis of development partner support

Lisa Denney, Mohammad Jalloh, Richard Mallett, Samuel Pratt and Melrose Tucker

Type: Research Reports, Sierra Leone

Country: Sierra Leone

Date: 07/03/2014

Full summary

Malnutrition remains a serious problem in Sierra Leone, with the country ranked among the five states with the highest global hunger index score in 2009. As Sierra Leone has moved away from the immediate post-conflict moment and become less fragile, nutrition policy has also shifted from a focus on treatment to prevention.


The international community is working together with the Government of Sierra Leone in an effort to build state capacity to better address malnutrition. This report, the first under the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium’s two-year Sierra Leone country programme, seeks to understand whether efforts to build government capacity to prevent malnutrition are ‘fit for purpose’, given the constraints faced and what is known about supporting capacity. It analyses the nature of current modes of capacity support with the intention of:


  1. understanding and questioning what is currently being done; and
  2. identifying what is being overlooked. The findings speak to the dominance of training and provision of resources as forms of capacity support and the need to diversify and build a more varied package of capacity development activities that engage with the less tangible and relational aspects of capacity.