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Challenges of inter-sector collaboration in public policies: the dilemma between nutritional supplementation and the promotion of healthy eating in schools

Abstract:

The study aimed to identify and analyze the development of inter-sector arrangements between the health and education sectors in the framework of the implementation of the NutriSUS strategy in a municipality (county) in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The study was conducted from March 2015 to March 2017 and used policy analysis as the analytical reference, with the following analytical dimensions: operational design; ideas on the nutritional supplementation; institutional context; and inter-sector collaboration. Semi-structured interviews were held with health professionals and administrators and schoolteachers and school system administrators at the three levels of government, in addition to document analysis. The NutriSUS strategy was implemented in five preschool units and required establishing agreements between health professionals and teachers that were affected by the following: the design based on the preventive approach to diseases with emphasis on action by the health sector; mechanisms of induction and convergence of interests between the federal and local governments; management mechanisms and institutional spaces including different stages in the implementation process, that is, the NutriSUS management centered in the health sector but operationalized in the school system; and the intersection between NutriSUS and the National School Food Program which increased the visibility of competing concepts concerning supplementation as a preventive strategy and different approaches to promote healthy eating. Thus, the factors identified by the study challenge the development of inter-sector collaboration oriented by shared processes in the entire chain of implementation of inter-sector programs for schools.

Keywords:
Supplementary Feeding; Healthy Diet; School Health Services; Health Promotion; Intersectoral Collaboration

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