Drivers of Micronutrient Policy Change in Zambia: An Application of the Kaleidoscope Model

Steven Haggblade, Suresh Babu, Jody Harris, Elizabeth Mkandawire, Dorothy Nthani and Sheryl L. Hendriks. 2016. Drivers of Micronutrient Policy Change in Zambia: An Application of the Kaleidoscope Model. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Paper 14. East Lansing: Michigan State University

This review of the micro-nutrient policy process in Zambia serves as a companion piece to two parallel studies in Malawi and South Africa. All three studies employ the Kaleidoscope Model of policy change to trace the causal forces leading to key micro-nutrient policy decisions in each of the three countries. After outlining the overall micro-nutrient policy process in Zambia, the study focuses on policy decisions affecting three micro-nutrients – iodine, iron and Vitamin A. Although iodine deficiency has dropped precipitously as a result of Zambia’s salt iodization mandate, progress in combatting iron and Vitamin A deficiencies has proven more difficult. As a result, micro-nutrient policies have changed over time, in an effort to find effective tools for combatting these lingering micro-nutrient deficiencies and the considerable health risks they impose. The analysis in this paper traces the evolution of policies adopted through multiple iterations beginning in 1978 and running through to the present time. To supplement the voluminous published and grey literature on micro-nutrient status and policies in Zambia, the research team conducted semi-structured interviews with several dozen policy stakeholders in Zambia in June and July 2015 using a standardized interview guide.

Together, these data permitted the team to formally assess 16 Kaleidoscope hypotheses about factors driving policy change at each of five key stages in the policy process: agenda setting, design, decision making, implementation and monitoring and reform.

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