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Re: The contribution of the private sector and civil society to improve nutrition

UG2014 Group 8 University of Guyana, Guyana

“Often we are too slow to recognize how much and in what ways we can assist each other through sharing such expertise and knowledge.” – Owen Arthur

Knowledge is powerful tool. When yielded correctly it can have many positive effects for society. However when not shared properly or miscommunicated it can have adverse effects on society or society may lose out from a potentially advantageous situation. In this comment we intend to follow up on the policy issues part of this discussion, we started earlier, in particular the second question.

·         What are the knowledge gaps?

Based on the project glossary for a Canadian Water Project, “knowledge gap is defined as a lack of referenced materials or expertise to assess certain characteristics that can be adequately described without data.”[1] According to Investopedia the private sector is, “the part of the economy that is not state controlled, and is run by individuals and companies for profit.”[2] Based on an article by BBC World Service, “a civil society is a public space between the state, the market and the ordinary household, in which people can debate and tackle action.”[3] In other words, civil society encompasses all non-governmental organisations that are not for profit such as religious organisations, charities, etc.

The private sector may have more materials and better skills to help draft policies or to put issues forward in a more logical manner to policy makers. Civil society however is more in tune to the issues the average citizen is faced with. The private sector may deem the civil society as less important in policy designs but through its influences to the public, it has transformed itself to an important and equal partner in the directing of social and economic development.

In terms of nutrition and food security, civil society may notice the rise or malnutrition among citizens in a particular area but may not be able to approach policy makers with a plan to correct this. The private sector may not notice the said situation but if alerted by civil society they may be able to figure out the cause of the said situation and approach policy makers with a relevant plan. Hand in hand civil society and the private sector can pool their resources (knowledge) to improve the nutritional situation of any given economy.

Suraiya Ramkissoon
Jamilya Morian
Veronica Sukhai
Alexander Defreitas
Ricardo Deokie


(I) Investopedia. Private Sector Definition | Investopedia. 2013. (accessed September 16, 2013).

Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Region. Drinking Source Water Protection - Glossary. 2013. (accessed September 16, 2013).

British Broadcasting Corporation. What is Civil Society | BBC World Service. July 5, 2001. (accessed September 16, 2013).

[1] (Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Region 2013)

[2] ((I) Investopedia 2013)

[3] (British Broadcasting Corporation 2001)