Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning – MEAL
The Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) system
The SUN Movement theory of change is based on the belief that when multiple stakeholders from multiple sectors and at multiple levels work together, in a country-led force, we will achieve results. Assessing progress towards the Movement’s objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals for a world without hunger and malnutrition, to this end, requires the alignment of globally agreed monitoring frameworks and initiatives. The MEAL system is the means for measuring the extent to which the SUN Movement is achieving results and impact.
Using data and expertise from across the movement
The MEAL system is made possible by contributions from all parts of the SUN Movement. It is guided by the MEAL Advisory Group, composed of experts in information systems for nutrition, monitoring and evaluation, and representatives of the SUN stakeholder networks. The MEAL System uses a set of 79 indicators to capture progress across the six steps of the SUN Movement Theory of Change. It relies on secondary data complemented by primary data collected by the SUN Movement Secretariat and SUN Networks. The secondary data is gathered from validated global datasets (e.g. WHO, UNICEF, DHS, MICS, FAO and others). Information on the enabling environment at country level is collected through SUN countries’ Joint Annual Assessments and budget analyses.
The SUN Movement Theory of Change
Today, there is a growing expectation that countries in the Movement can demonstrate how effective partnerships can lead to progress in spending and implementation and contribute to results and impact. The SUN Movement’s Theory of Change describes six steps whereby country level stakeholders, together with the Movement’s support system, can align their efforts to help governments scale up nutrition action and impact, thereby also accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Data definition and indicators
Under-5 stunting: Percentage of children 0-59 months who are below minus two (moderate and severe) and below minus three (severe) standard deviations from median height for age of the WHO Child Growth Standards.
Womens anaemia: Women of reproductive age (15-49 years)͕ both pregnant and non-pregnant͕ with hemoglobin levels below 12 g/ d> for women of reproductive age and below 11 g/d> for pregnant women.
Low birth weight: Percentage of live births that weighed less than 2500 grams at birth.
Under-5 overweight: Percentage of children 0-59 months who are above two (moderate and severe) standard deviations from median weight for age of the WHO Child Growth Standards.
0-5 months exclusive breastfeeding: Percentage of infants 0-5 months who are exclusively breasted.
Under-5 wasting: Percentage of children 0-59 months who are below minus two (moderate and severe) and below minus three (severe) standard deviations from median weight for height of the WHO Child Growth Standards.
Visit the World Health Organization for more information about the World Health Assembly targets
Adult diabetes: Age-standardized prevalence of raised blood glucose/diabetes among persons aged 18+ years (defined as fasting plasma glucose concentration ≥ 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) or on medication for raised blood glucose).
Adolescent overweight and obesity: Prevalence of overweight and obesity in adolescents (defined according to the WHO growth reference for school-aged children and adolescents, overweight – one standard deviation body mass index for age and sex, and obese – two standard deviations body mass index for age and sex).
Adult overweight and obesity: Age-standardized prevalence of overweight and obesity in persons aged 18+ years (defined as body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m² for overweight and body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m² for obesity).
Visit the World Health Organisation to learn more about the NCD Global Monitoring Framework
MEAL country dashboards are designed to support SUN Movement stakeholders at national, regional and global levels to assess progress, using a standard set of indicators that cover the eight domains of the Theory of Change. These dashboards aim to identify patterns in performance and inform strategic decisions towards no malnutrition in SUN countries. They are adaptable for use at the sub-national level and can be complemented by additional indicators – based on the availability of data.
- The Country Dashboard Guidance Note , which provides information on how to use the dashboards, can be found here.
- An all SUN Countries Dashboard compares all MEAL indicators for all countries, with an overview of the Performance by Country, can be found here.
- Details on the definition and data sources of MEAL indicators used in the country dashboards can be found here.
- The MEAL 2019 dataset includes all key indicators reported in the 2018 Country Dashboards (year of data, data point and performance classification), can be found here.