Good governance for nutrition in the Philippines: elements, experiences, and lessons learned

Food Nutr Bull. 2006 Dec;27(4):343-52. doi: 10.1177/156482650602700409.


Malnutrition is a multifactorial problem that needs a multisectoral solution. This article reviews the role of good governance in nutrition programs, citing the Philippines as an example. In the Philippines, these efforts are reflected in the partnership between the public and private sectors in the establishment of the country's capability in research, policy-making, and program implementation. The establishment of the different public institutions engaged in research and policy-making is discussed, highlighting the role of political will through legislation. The evolving tasks of the nutrition program are discussed by citing the tasks in two eras. In the 1970s, the challenges were limited national nutrition data, man-power, tools, and health infrastructure. The public and private institutions were able to respond by legislating national nutrition surveys and dedicated nutrition workers in each village. The challenges in the current era are improved implementation of health programs, given the devolution of health services, and the gathering of an evidence base to further strengthen and refine the strategies of supplementation, fortification, breastfeeding, and food security. In responding to these challenges, multisectoral solutions and collaboration are critical in providing an evidence base to formulate policy. The role of the private sector, with the Nutrition Center of the Philippines used as an example, is that of a supportive and collaborative partner in good governance. Finally, the lessons learned from the past decades of implementing a national nutrition program, given changes in political and economic circumstances, are summarized.

Publication types

  • Lecture

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries
  • Food Supply
  • Health Planning
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Nutritional Sciences / education*
  • Philippines
  • Policy Making*
  • Politics
  • Poverty*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Public Policy
  • Research