Launched in 2012, the Civil Society Alliance for SUN Bangladesh (CSA for SUN Bangladesh) provides a dynamic platform for civil society to scale up nutrition by advocating for the implementation of national nutrition policies and plans.
The CSA identified a number of challenges, such as inefficiencies in the implementation of government nutrition policies and plans, a need for stronger government commitment and entrenched inequalities.
The CSA for SUN Bangladesh had been severely underfunded since 2015, which prevented the platform from operating nationwide. In some cases, the most nutritionally marginalized areas could not be supported owing to a lack of funds.
The SUN Movement Pooled Fund grant enabled the CSA to make rapid and significant progress with different stakeholders, such as government institutions, SUN multi-sectoral networks and policy-makers. The CSA identified the need for more advocacy to achieve sustained political commitment towards nutrition action as one of the key drivers of change.
It highlighted the need to provide technical support and capacity-building to government departments tasked with delivering the national nutrition plan of Bangladesh (NPAN2). More clarity about the roles and responsibilities of each sector in a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder approach was also required.
Thanks to the Pooled Fund, the CSA was able to support the national nutrition plan by customizing eight key nutrition-sensitive actions at sub-national level. The CSA was well placed to work with the government to make its responses more tailored and equitable.
The CSA also contributed to government efforts to strengthen coordination at the sub-national level by establishing District Nutrition Coordination Committees (DNCCs).
In line with SUN Movement and Pooled Fund objectives, special focus was placed on gender mainstreaming and supporting people with special needs. This grant requirement enabled the CSA to be more systematic in tracking progress towards achieving results for women and marginalized groups. In its programme implementation, the CSA prioritized women-headed CSOs and integrated five such CSOs. When developing interventions, women and people with special needs were given priority to participate.
The CSA played a key role in reviewing the implementation progress of the national nutrition plan. It identified challenges and made recommendations to policy-makers and experts. The CSA was also able to accelerate accountability mechanisms around the effective implementation of NPAN2.
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