SUN supports country-led efforts to improve nutrition and advocates for harmonized and aligned efforts at the country level.
Committed countries are at the core of the SUN Movement. Any country that is developing, updating or implementing policies, strategies and plans of action to scale up nutrition can participate in the SUN Movement. Countries that join the SUN Movement are committed to: (a) ensuring that programs in all sectors of government are sensitive to nutrition; and (b) increasing coverage of proven interventions that improve nutrition during the 1,000 day period between a mother’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday.
SUN countries apply the key principles of the SUN Movement. These include:
- Developing or revising national policies, strategies and plans of action to scale up nutrition that include both nutrition-specific interventions as well as nutrition-sensitive development strategies.
- Nominating a high-level national SUN Government Focal Point who is responsible for ensuring that the country’s efforts engage the whole of government and for coordinating external support. In some countries, the SUN Government Focal Point is supported by a facilitator from a development partner with technical expertise in nutrition. In several countries this role is being fulfilled through the UN REACH initiative.
- Nominating a SUN Donor Convener who works to bring the donor community together and encourage the alignment of financial and technical assistance to national plans.
- Forming or strengthening a multi-stakeholder platform that includes relevant line ministries – across agriculture, health, education, social welfare, women’s affairs and local government – and key partners including civil society, UN agencies, donors, the technical and research community and businesses. Often countries will have a steering committee and a working group.
- Undertaking regular stocktaking of in-country and partner capabilities in nutrition to clearly identify capacity gaps and set priorities for resource mobilization.
- Increasing numbers of SUN countries are carefully looking at the costing of specific nutrition interventions and nutrition sensitive strategies as the starting point resource mobilization.
Countries can signal their intention of scaling up nutrition and joining the SUN Movement by sending a letter of commitment from a High-Level Government official to Dr. David Nabarro, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Food Security and Nutrition, who is Coordinator of the SUN Movement.