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Will Groundbreaking Hunger and Nutrition Index Improve Accountability?

Last week, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) released a Global Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index, the first index to look at government commitment -- whether through policies, legal frameworks, or public spending -- to tackling hunger and under-nutrition.

By examining 45 countries, the report found sustained economic growth does not lead to an automatic interest in reducing hunger and under-nutrition. The report specifically examines 22 indicators of political commitment to reduce under-nutrition and ranked the countries based on their commitment.

The findings are surprising: Countries with high levels of economic growth -- such as India and Nigeria -- have not chosen to prioritize reducing hunger and under-nutrition, whereas low income countries -- such as Malawi and Madagascar -- have high levels of political commitment to reducing hunger and under-nutrition. 

To those of us in the ACTION network, this new index is particularly interesting because it has the potential to support grassroots advocacy by citizens of each country. For instance, it's now much easier for individuals in the global south to see what their government has promised on hunger and under-nutrition, and how that compares to other governments' promises.

The hope is that this report can be used by individuals and organizations to hold their governments to account and demand for better policies to tackle hunger and malnutrition.

To learn more, the final report can be found here: http://www.ids.ac.uk/news/poorest-countries-lead-the-fight-against-hunger-and-undernutrition/