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Quarterly Update: UN Network for SUN Q3 2016

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This Quarterly Update shares the progress made by the UN Network for SUN from July to September 2016 in accelerating the scale-up of efforts to improve nutrition.

UN Network for SUN documents, communications & materials

  • The UN Network for SUN Strategy (2016-2020) has been finalized and will soon be disseminated. The strategy provides a guiding framework to increase harmonization, coordination and alignment of UN’s efforts behind country priorities and plans. It includes multiple annexes, which outline further information about the UN Network (e.g. roles and responsibilities, tools, UN Network results framework and assumptions, and positioning of REACH within the broader UN Network architecture).
  • The UN Network has facilitated discussions and led the development of a checklist of criteria to guide the formulation of quality nutrition plans in collaboration with the SUN Movement Secretariat. Additional inputs were sought from Regional Nutrition Advisers and SUN Executive Committee members. The finalization of the checklist is expected in October and there are plans to engage with countries for testing the checklist.
  • The UN Network for SUN/REACH Secretariat has been working in collaboration with UN agencies to finalize the Compendium of Actions for Nutrition (CAN). The CAN documents evidence on nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive actions, identifies factors contributing to an enabling environment for nutrition and includes a matrix of actions and sub-actions in five sections as well as a supporting introductory narrative and bibliography. The product is in the final stages of clearance and it is expected to be final by early December.
  • For the first time ever, the UN Network will report on its contribution to nutrition in SUN countries in 2016. A ToR to support the roll-out of the annual UN Network reporting exercise has been drafted and UN agency focal points have been appointed. Preliminary drafts of the data collection tools for the UN Network reporting exercise, including a concept note for the common financial tracking methodology, a questionnaire and mock-up global and country annual reports, have been prepared. The web-based platform for the UN Network Dashboard is also being developed and current plans foresee the launch of the exercise in January 2017.

UN Network key actions and supporting tools

  • The UN Network/REACH Secretariat continued to work at the development of an online version of the following tools: the Stakeholder and Nutrition Action Mapping (SUN PMT) tool, the UN Nutrition Inventory tool and the UN Network Dashboard in an effort to make them user-friendly and confer automated data analysis functions.
  • Guidance on how to facilitate the selection of the core nutrition actions (CNAs) for the REACH-supported mapping and Policy & Plan Overview is available on the REACH Knowledge Sharing Portal (KSP). These guidance slides are available in both English and French. The REACH Policy & Plan Overview template was further refined, which has been posted on the KSP.
  • In July 2016, the SUN PMT – multi-stakeholder mapping of core nutrition actions, coverage and delivery mechanisms – started in Mali and Tanzania, while the multi-sectoral nutrition analysis begun in Guinea and the policy and plan overview started in Burkina. To date, stakeholder mapping has been completed in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Lao PDR, Mozambique, Myanmar (urban mapping), Nepal Niger, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Senegal and Tanzania (first round of national mapping).
  • In August 2016, the Cost of Hunger (COH) study was launched in Mozambique to estimate the social and economic impact of children undernutrition. The study is on-going in Mali and under preparation in Chad.
  • In September 2016, the UN Nutrition Inventory was finalized by the UN Network team in Rwanda. To date, the UN Nutrition Inventory has been completed in Rwanda, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Ghana, the Philippines and Myanmar and remains on-going in Bangladesh, DRC, Senegal, Tanzania, Chad, Haiti, Guinea and Mali.
  • The UN Network held two-day workshops in Burkina Faso (12-13 July) and in Rwanda (30 August – 1 September) to foster further UN synergies in nutrition. Consideration to the country’s nutrition priorities, the comparative advantages of UN agencies and findings from the UN Nutrition Inventory informed the workshop discussions.
  • In Chad, UN agencies (FAO, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO) designed a UN joint programme for the local production of fortified complementary foods aiming at improving the nutritional status of children through the promotion of optimal infant and young child feeding practices – including access to a locally produced fortified complementary food.

Other key UN developments

  • The e-learning course on Programming for Infant and Young Child Feeding, developed by UNICEF and Cornell University, has been revised during the summer 2016. The original Units have been updated and two new topics on the “Essentials of Nutrition for Women” and “Monitoring to Strengthen IYCF Programmes” have been added. The 14-Unit online training course provides a Certificate of Completion for any single Unit completed or a Master Certificate for the entire training. More information can be found at: 
  • WHO, UNICEF and ENN convened a meeting on the “Implementation considerations on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and infant feeding in the context of emergencies” on 14-16 September to review operational experiences with HIV and infant feeding in the context of emergencies and to develop guidance to support the implementation of the Guideline: Updates on HIV and infant feeding in emergencies (2016).
  • On 20 September 2016, the UNICEF-WHO-The World Bank Group inter-agency team released new joint estimates of child stunting, overweight, underweight, wasting and severe wasting (2016 edition): UNICEF-WHO-The World Bank Group: Joint child malnutrition estimates – levels and trends. Key findings of the 2016 edition. The report outlines the progress made toward reducing all forms of malnutrition and indicates where gaps remain. Although stunting rates continue to decline, 156 million children under 5 around the world were still affected in 2015. In addition, there were 42 million overweight children and 50 million wasted children in the world in 2015. Africa and Asia are the regions with the highest burden of all forms of malnutrition.
  • WFP has issued a new programme guidance manual on Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) for Zero Hunger and Resilient Livelihoods, where a series of considerations are outlined for making FFA nutrition-sensitive.

UN participation at key meetings and events

  • A special event on “Sustainable food systems, biodiversity and health” was co-organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS), the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the Second Global Conference on Health and Climate in Paris on 7-8 July 2016. The event provided a forum to explore the co-benefits of the promotion of sustainable and healthy food systems to environment, biodiversity and health, and to showcase national and community strategies to promote sustainable food systems and diverse and healthy dietary patterns while protecting biodiversity. For more information click here.
  • On 19 July 2016, Ministers from around the world came together during the event: “Leaving no-one behind in the fight against malnutrition in all its forms”, hosted by the governments of Germany and Uganda, in collaboration with WHO and the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, on the sidelines of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York. The event marked the launch of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) and explored how governments around the world are working with their partners to improve nutrition. More information can be accessed here.
  • A 4-day workshop on Public Finance for Nutrition in Africa was jointly organized by the SUN Movement and UNICEF. The workshop was held in Nairobi on 22-25th August and attracted participation from 34 countries, fostering dialogue and alignment among sectors on public financing for nutrition among African countries, which are engaged in the SUN Movement.
  • In August 2016, UNICEF supported activities for the World Breastfeeding Week. Key messages centered on linking breastfeeding to the SDGs.
  • FAO and the EU organized a workshop on the Minimum Dietary Diversity Indicator for Women (MDD-W) on 5-6th September at FAO Headquarters in Rome, where stakeholders discussed how to promote the uptake of the indicator by countries, as a means to informing Governments’ decision-making on nutrition-sensitive programmes and policies.
  • The 3rd meeting of the WHO-UNICEF Technical Expert Advisory group on nutrition Monitoring (TEAM) was held on 15-16 September 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the progress since last meeting in February 2016, current status and next steps for the TEAM workplan activities. The technical sessions provided an opportunity to discuss development and validation of the four indicators (iron and folic acid supplementation, minimum acceptable diet, breastfeeding counselling, and trained nutrition professionals) of the Global Nutrition Monitoring Framework (GNMF) that have been deferred for reporting until 2018, prevalence level ranges for malnutrition (stunting, wasting and overweight), on and off track rules for the six global nutrition targets, anthropometry data quality, and operational guidance for GNMF indicators.
  • During the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, the 2016-2020 SUN Movement Strategy and Roadmap was launched. In addition to the new Strategy and Roadmap, the launch event on 21 September also publicly introduced the newly appointed SUN Movement Lead Group to the wider Movement which includes WFP Executive Director Cousin. The purpose of this event was to inspire an urgent acceleration of efforts to end malnutrition in all its forms. The Chair of the SUN Movement Lead Group, Mr. Anthony Lake, and the SUN Movement Coordinator, Gerda Verburg, summarized the key outcomes of the Lead Group meeting, and presented the ambitions for the 2016-2020 Strategy and Roadmap. Panelists emphasized the importance of trust among different stakeholders to build successful partnerships, including with the private sector and highlighted that while the SUN Movement model has been successful in countries with existing governance systems and structures, addressing the nutritional needs of the ones “furthest behind” will require a “new template” in fragile contexts.
    Photo credit: WHO

    Photo credit: WHO

  • On 20 September 2016, the “United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition: working together to implement the outcomes of the Second International Conference on Nutrition” event was held during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly. The gathering, jointly organized by WHO and FAO and co-hosted by Ecuador, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation and the UK focused on all forms of malnutrition, in all regions, for all people. The event was open to a wide range of high-nutrition leaders and attracted a strong audience of more than 130 and active participation by 10 Member States. The UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, under the frameworks of ICN2 and the SDGs, marks a new direction in global nutrition action towards the shared goal of ending malnutrition in all its forms, worldwide. The event can be watched here. A commentary by FAO’s and WHO’s Director of Nutrition was published and can be read here.
  • On 21 September, the Rome-based UN Agencies organized a high-level event on “Pathways to Zero Hunger”. The event showcased concrete transformations in food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture that directly contribute to the delivery of the 2030 Agenda and build on complementarities among development partners and synergies across the Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind. The event was organized by FAO, IFAD and WFP, in cooperation with the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact and with the support of the Government of Italy.

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