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Public Health Nutr. 2009 Aug;12(8):1031-8. doi: 10.1017/S1368980008003078. Epub 2008 Oct 22.

A capacity-building conceptual framework for public health nutrition practice.

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  • 1School of Health and Sports Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, 4558 Queensland, Australia.



To describe a conceptual framework to assist in the application of capacity-building principles to public health nutrition practice.


A review of the literature and consideration of the determinants of effective public health nutrition practice has been used to inform the development of a conceptual framework for capacity building in the context of public health nutrition practice.


The limited literature supports a greater integration and application of capacity-building strategies and principles in public health nutrition practice, and that this application should be overt and strategic. A framework is proposed that identifies a number of determinants of capacity for effective public health nutrition action. The framework represents the key foundations for building capacity including leadership, resourcing and intelligence. Five key strategic domains supported by these foundation elements, including partnerships, organisational development, project management quality, workforce development and community development, are proposed. This framework can be used to assist the systematic assessment, development and evaluation of capacity-building activity within public health nutrition practice.


Capacity building is a strategy within public health nutrition practice that needs to be central to public health nutrition intervention management. The present paper defines, contextualises and outlines a framework for integrating and making explicit the importance of capacity building within public health nutrition practice at many levels.

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