Budget analysis paves the way for more nutrition transparency in Pakistan
Throughout February and March of 2015, the Scaling up Nutrition multi-stakeholder platform for nutrition in Pakistan embarked on a country budget analysis exercise. Along with 30 other countries undertaking this investigation, Pakistan aims to accelerate its tracking of nutrition-relevant budget allocations and to share and learn from other SUN country experiences through a series of upcoming regional workshops.
Pakistan has made significant progress with the 3-step approach to budget analysis and will be presenting their findings to delegations from eight other SUN Countries at the Asia regional workshop in Bangkok on the 16th April 2015.
In an interview, the SUN Movement Focal Point for Pakistan and Chief of Nutrition, Planning Commission, Dr. Muhammad Aslam Shaheen said that the exercise has been incredibly useful as it has helped to shed light on the often neglected area of nutrition.
Dr. Aslam said “It is important to understand what each sector is allocating to nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions. Understanding the scope of cross-sector nutrition interventions will help to define future allocations and monitoring of nutrition activities across the nation. The exercise has helped to map development partner resources and has started to identify critical gaps in multi-sectoral engagement, particularly when reviewing performance across sectors”.
Throughout the preparation, Dr. Aslam was interested to discover the lack of visibility and accounting of investments, not just government departments but also the private sector and international development organisations. ”Without visibility, monitoring is unclear and limited thus compromising overall delivery of programmes”, said Dr. Aslam.
“Along with the multi-stakeholder platform, I envisage great advances in the area of tracking nutrition relevant allocations following the workshop. Plans are in place to share learnings and recommendations to all federal line ministries, provinces and development partners. This includes the important collaboration with two provincial units who have begun to decentralise the multi-sectoral national nutrition plan.”
Dr. Aslam also emphasized the importance of parliamentary and media engagement. He said “A parliamentarian from the biggest province in Pakistan will attend the workshop with me as we recognise the importance of budget advocacy for scaling up nutrition”.
Learn more about the SUN Country Budget Analysis Exercise