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Costing nutrition actions

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The global cost of nutrition interventions

Costing of individual nutrition investments is an essential step in the process of mobilising resources, whether external or internal to a country. A number of global level efforts to calculate the cost have been undertaken to advocate for increased and more effective investments in nutrition. These include the World Bank estimates released at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in 2015 which reveal that an additional USD $8.50 per child under 5 is needed to meet the global stunting targets by covering the scale up of high impact, proven interventions. This is equivalent to $49.6 billion additional over ten years which includes $42 billion for the 37 highest burden countries. Download the estimates: English

In April 2016, the first framework for investing in nutrition was launched by the World Bank, Results for Development Institute, and 1,000 Days in Washington D.C. The framework identifies that currently only $3.9 billion is spent on nutrition annually and that an additional $7 billion per year for the next 10 years is needed to reach four of the six global nutrition targets of the World Health Assembly (stunting, breastfeeding, anemia, and wasting targets).

Costing the nutrition actions of a CRF

Costing a Common Results Framework (CRF) is key to the process of prioritisating key actions, and in which sequence they need to occur. A costed CRF is not an end in itself: it is a tool in the process of conceptualising, planning, and initiating action. A 2014 Synthesis Report by the Institute of Development Studies (English | French | Spanish) analysed costed plans and helped SUN Countries and partners better assess and compare needs with existing resources.  As of 2016, Congo Brazzaville and Lao PDR are in the process of costing their CRF’s.

In June 2015, the Common Results Framework Planning Tool was launched to better understand costed nutrition actions in SUN Countries. The tool offers users an opportunity to standardise their conversations about nutrition planning and illustrates the multiple actions involved in organising and implementing a large scale nutrition initiative. Download guidance on how to use the tool: English.

Access the CRF Planning Tool

Background about costing nutrition actions

In 2013, SUN Countries began working with the SUN Movement Secretariat to analyse their national plans, including the costed component. As part of the exercise, each costed line item was analysed and classified using a set of three broad categories – Nutrition-Sensitive, Nutrition-Specific and Nutrition-Governance – to help government and partners better assess and compare needs with existing resources. The classification was done by MQSUN, a consortium of technical experts. This work has subsequently resulted in a number of new reports and developments in methodology.

About the categories:

  • SPECIFIC refers to the 13 high impact nutrition interventions as described in the Lancet nutrition series. Note that in the government plans these are sometimes referred to as ‘Direct’ interventions.
  • SENSITIVE activities refer to the underlying causes of malnutrition as set out in the UNICEF conceptual framework. These include activities from a range of sectors with an impact on nutrition outcomes including: health; agriculture; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion (WASH); education and social protection.
  • GOVERNANCE refers to any activity that impacts on the system and service provision more broadly. For example, governance would therefore cover activities such as information management, coordination, advocacy and communications.

Key background documents

Scaling Up Nutrition – What will it cost?

Horton, Shekar, McDonald, Mahal and Brooks, World Bank 2010

Estimating the cost of scaling up nutrition

Presented by Connolly and Horton, 2013

Synthesis Report: Costing the Common Results Framework (2014)

English |  French | Spanish

MQSUN Guidance Note ‘How to Estimate the Costs of Nutrition-Sensitive Actions in a Common Results Framework’


Additional reports

Country Profiles extracted from the Synthesis Report

Bangladesh (2012-2016) English

Benin (2012-2015) English

Burkina Faso (2010-2015) English | Français

Gambia (2011-2015) English

Guatemala (2012-2015) English

Haiti (2013-2017) English | Français

Indonesia (2011-2017) English

Kenya (2013-2017) English

Madagascar (2012-2015) English | Français

Malawi (2009-2011) English

Mozambique (2011-2015) English

Nepal (2013-2017) English

Niger (2012-2015) English | Français

Rwanda (2012) English

Peru (2012-2013) English

Senegal (2013-2017) English | Français

Sierra Leone (2013-2017) English

Tanzania (2012-2016) English

Uganda (2013-2016) English

Yemen (2012) English

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