Keeping nutrition high

Enabling a multistakeholder multisectoral approach to nutrition at the country level

About the toolkit

Many countries across the world, including half of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Countries, are faced with the “triple burden” of malnutrition, i.e. scoring above thresholds for undernutrition, overweight & micronutrient deficiency simultaneously. Efficiently addressing this triple burden requires a multisectoral approach that ensures healthy diets, with enough food diversity ensuring the right balance of micronutrients, are not only available but...

The key sectors

Their role, what is expected from them, what is in it for them

In the context of nutrition, the term “sector” brings together a multiplicity of actors working in the public sphere, whose common feature is the public or not-for-profit nature of their activity. When we talk about a multisectoral approach to nutrition, we usually think of health, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, agriculture, social protection, employment & economic growth, gender equality & women’s empowerment and the environment, as well as cross-sectors such as budget, decentralisation, statistics and disaster risk reduction. 


The SUN Movement was launched in September 2010. It was jointly created by individuals from a range of governments, agencies and groups, who were concerned that rates of malnutrition in some countries were not decreasing despite economic growth. The food price crises of 2008 and publication of The Lancet first series on Maternal and Child Nutrition, added stimulus by highlighting the importance of good nutrition during the 1,000 days between pregnancy and two years, and providing strong evidence on how to effectively address malnutrition. By the end of 2010, four countries had indicated their intention to scale up nutrition. The number gradually rose to 65 countries and 4 Indian States in 2022 over the 3 phases of the Movement. 
Since the inception of the Movement, the process of planning and implementing effective interventions through a multisectoral approach has been a priority. One of the key successes of SUN countries has been bringing together different stakeholders around common actions through the multi-stakeholder platform, which include sectoral representatives from various ministries, civil society representatives, donors and United Nations agencies, businesses, and the research community. Over the years, multi-stakeholder platforms have contributed to nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions scale-up  by making  coordinated efforts to carry out the multisectoral planning process.

Overview: In this section, we will look into the various key sectors identified by the SUN Movement. These sectors have been established based on extensive feedback from SUN countries and various stakeholders involved in the Movement. The sectors we will be examining include:

For each sector, the SUN Movement has crafted specific messages to emphasize the importance of nutrition and encourage action from key stakeholders within these sectors.

However, it is crucial to recognize that this list of sectors is not exhaustive. The specific sectors that are of paramount importance may vary from country to country, depending on a wide array of factors. These factors can include the political context, the particular situation of each sector within the overall national development context, and other socio-economic and cultural determinants. Likewise, the key asks for each sector may also differ based on these contexts.

The objective of this section is not to present a one-size-fits-all solution, but to provide a foundation that you can adapt and tailor to your specific circumstances and requirements. Remember, the power of advocacy lies in its ability to resonate with the audience and their particular context. Let's begin exploring these sectors and their associated messages.