Workshop brings SUN Focal Points together ahead of 2019 SUN Global Gathering

SUN Focal Points engaging during round-table discussion.

SUN Focal Points engaging during round table discussion.

Kathmandu, NEPAL — On the eve of the opening of the 2019 Scaling Up Nutrition Global Gathering in Kathmandu, Monday, November 4th 2019, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Secretariat convened a workshop for SUN Focal Points from around the world. The workshop was very well attended by focal points from all SUN countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The purpose of the workshop was to share information and improve coordination across the movement regarding:

  • Country and regional nutrition priorities for the next year(s)
  • Challenges currently faced by countries to accelerate progress
  • Needs of countries for support from the SUN Global Support System
  • Countries’ interest in developing commitments for Nutrition for Growth 2020

Nutrition International supported the event in various ways. Nutrition International contributed to the design of the event and availed several of its staff that helped to facilitate the session and group discussions. SUN Focal Points of countries supported by Nutrition International’s Technical Assistance for Nutrition (TAN) project, funded with UK aid from the UK government, shared their experiences which was appreciated by others, and projected Nutrition International as a valuable TA provision partner.

The half day workshop centred around small group discussions that resulted in engaging, in-depth conversations and some important takeaways, including:

  • Nutrition policy should be overseen by the highest levels of government, to obtain more influence and get stronger commitments
  • SUN Focal Points should be senior within government and be formally appointed, but care must be taken to ensure they have the time to dedicate to the role
  • Closer collaboration is needed to reduce the gap between the SUN Secretariat in Geneva and SUN country teams
  • Domestic resource mobilization constitutes a priority area of focus for countries. More donors should engage in countries currently receiving little attention, and countries want technical support for organizing donor round tables
  • Countries increasingly aspire to combine national and sub-national nutrition responses
  • Capacity building of focal points in nutrition-sensitive sectors is needed

Highlight – learning from Mozambique’s good practices

Under the auspices of Mozambique’s Multi-sectoral Action Plan for the Reduction of Chronic Malnutrition (Plano de Acção Multissectorial para a Redução da Desnutrição Crónica em Moçambique-PAMRDC) developed with Nutrition International support through the TAN project, the government systematically and periodically presents progress and plans. As a result, Mozambique is able to target support and resource allocation to priority areas designated in the national nutrition plan. Additional success factors include:

  1. Technical working groups are active at both national and provincial levels
  2. The country would now like to be more active at the district level, because when district plans are aligned with provincial and national nutrition plans then resource allocation is better coordinated, and both results and resource allocation can be better monitored

Highlight – interest and support for developing commitments for Nutrition for Growth 2020

While actors at the global level appear very familiar with the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) commitment process, country representatives at the workshop appeared less familiar and were therefore not always conversant in how to engage in this process.

In terms of TA, many countries are aware of what TA is available to them under the TAN programme. It is seen as a valuable mechanism to address many of the points raised in the SUN Focal Points workshop. Several countries indicated that they would like technical assistance support to continue, including TA during the N4G process, and for it to be supported by donors. Countries would also like greater clarity around the different channels for accessing technical assistance. A brief recently developed jointly by the Emergency Nutrition Network, Nutrition International and MQSUN+ aims to clarify this.

For more information and media coverage please visit the SUN Movement GG 2019 page