Technical assistance and strengthening capabilities
Since the beginning of the SUN Movement, SUN Countries have emphasized the core capabilities that are critical for effective multisectoral action. As they strive for progress, gaps in capacity emerge that act as roadblocks for implementing and scaling up effective nutrition actions. SUN Countries turn to the SUN Global Support System to request technical assistance on specific topics.
In many countries, solutions to capacity needs are addressed by stakeholders in the country such as via UN agencies, civil society, donors. In others, the number of partners able to assist is limited or there might be options for in-country support but a lack of alignment with identified priorities, creating the need for additional support.
Technical assistance is provided in many core areas, including:
- Establishing a multistakeholder network
- Developing a national nutrition plan
- Costing a nutrition plan
- Setting up a private sector network
- Advancing youth and nutrition actions
- Resource mobilization
- Advocacy and communications
- Developing monitoring and evaluation systems
- Nutrition stakeholder mapping
- Digitization of nutrition data systems
The Technical Assistance for Nutrition Programme
The Technical Assistance for Nutrition (TAN) programme was a 6.5-year (May 2015–November 2021), GBP 35.8 million Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)-funded initiative that provided support to the SUN Movement and FCDO staff. The Maximizing the Quality of Scaling Up Nutrition Plus (MQSUN+) programme was a Technical Assistance (TA) facility within the larger TAN programme which SUN countries could access from 2015 to 2020.
MQSUN+ was designed as a last-resort TA provider (i.e., where no other options or capacity for meeting TA needs were available at the country level) and received context-specific expertise requests from the SUN Focal Points through the SUN Movement Secretariat. This facility promoted a ‘demand-driven’ model, whereby technical support and expertise were available to overcome capacity gaps in the design and delivery of national multisector nutrition plans and other key elements of the government’s planning and implementation cycle.
Following the end of MQSUN+ in 2020, the Technical Assistance to Strengthen Capabilities (TASC) project was established as a follow-on TA facility with a similar approach, led by DAI with NutritionWorks and Development Initiatives as consortium partners.
In addition to MQSUN+, countries were able to access TA through Nutrition International’s Nutrition Technical Assistance Mechanism (NTEAM), under the TAN programme. Nutrition International provides longer-term in-country support, responding to direct requests from the SUN Focal Point and agreed through prioritization exercises with members of multi-stakeholder platforms.