Date Thesis Awarded

4-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Advisor

Scott Ickes

Committee Member

David Aday

Committee Member

Amy Quark

Abstract

A push for evidence-based decision making in the field of international

development –including maternal and child nutrition— has sparked a “data

revolution.” Researchers in the developed world have generated vast amounts of

open source data under the assumption that because of the breadth of Internet

access across the globe, anyone and everyone will utilize the data. And yet, in

developing countries, policy and practice remains largely uninformed by such

evidence. This gap between data supply and data demand is a market failure that

not only reflects systemic power dynamics, but also perpetuates under-informed

policy and practice. Through an in-depth survey with 42 nutrition

policymakers and practitioners involved in the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN)

movement in Uganda, this study examines the constraints and incentives that such

decision makers face to using evidence in their work. This paper seeks to mitigate

the effects of marginalization by increasing critical thought and action between

researchers and decision makers, a key prerequisite for social change. We present

recommendations for inclusive data dissemination strategies in the hopes of

improving evidence uptake across the developing world.