Local contextual factors of child stunting found via shared values of stakeholder groups: an exploratory case study in Kaffrine, Senegal

Juan Manuel Moreno*, Annabel J. Chapman, Chike C. Ebido, Ndèye Marième Sougou, Amadou H Diallo, Rahel Neh Tening, Fatou Binetou Dial, Jessica Massonnie, Mahsa Firoozmand, Cheikh El Hadji Abdoulaye Niang, Claire Heffernan, Marie Harder

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    Objective: This work aims to demonstrate an original approach to identify links between locally situated shared values and contextual factors of stunting. Stunting results from multi-factorial and multi-sectoral determinants, but interventions typically neglect locally situated lived experiences, which contributes to problematic designs that are not meaningful for those concerned and/or relatively ineffective.

    Design: This case study investigates relevant contextual factors in two steps: by first facilitating local stakeholder groups (n 11) to crystallise their shared-values-in-action using a specialised method from sustainability studies (WeValue_InSitu (WVIS)). Secondly, participants (n 44) have focus group discussions (FGD) about everyday practices around child feeding/food systems, education and/or family life. Because the first step strongly grounds participants in local shared values, the FGD can reveal deep links between contextual factors and potential influences on stunting.

    Setting: Kaffrine, Senegal, an ‘Action Against Stunting Hub’ site. December 2020.

    Participants: Eleven stakeholder groups of mothers, fathers, grandmothers, pre-school teachers, community health workers, farmers, market traders and public administrators.

    Results: Local contextual factors of stunting were identified, including traditional beliefs concerning eating and growing practices; fathers as decision-makers; health worker trust; financial non-autonomy for women; insufficient water for preferred crops; merchants’ non-access to quality produce; religious teachings and social structures affecting children’s food environment.

    Conclusions: Local contextual factors were identified. Pre-knowledge of these could significantly improve effectiveness of intervention designs locally, with possible applicability at other sites. The WVIS approach proved efficient and useful for making tangible contextual factors and their potential links to stunting, via a lens of local shared values, showing general promise for intervention research.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPublic Health Nutrition
    Early online date8 Jun 2023
    DOIs
    Publication statusEarly online - 8 Jun 2023

    Keywords

    • children
    • stunting
    • malnutrition
    • shared values
    • UKRI
    • MRC
    • MR/S01313X/1

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