Accountability is at the heart of what the SUN Movement Pooled Fund does and how it operates. It is also a crucial dimension of the SUN approach, it means holding each member and actor to account by others, and it is an important part of the SUN Movement’s MEAL system and one of its strategic objectives.
For the Pooled Fund, this is reflected in the way that grants are awarded and managed, in the way that grantees implement their projects and interact with other stakeholders, as well as being a core objective of each call for proposal.
Mutual accountability in the programme means that:
Accountability is incorporated into all stages of the process, from the design of the call for proposals and the awarding of a grant, to monitoring and evaluating the project, collecting and analysing data and reports, and carrying out an end-of-project review and providing feedback.
The SUN Movement Pooled Fund’s monitoring and evaluation specialist monitors the quality of projects by visiting grantees. In 2019, the monitoring and evaluation specialist visited 10 countries. During each visit, financial spot-checks and the verification of submitted reports were carried out with project teams.
Tailored support, monitoring and follow-up is key for the Pooled Fund and, to this end, three regional monitoring and quality assurance specialists and a monitoring and evaluation lead based in Geneva support countries to build their capacity in achieving financial and programmatic progress, and to develop methodology.
They closely monitor the progress of each project, taking into account the specific country context and challenges, and organize peer-to-peer learning exchanges in partnership with the various networks.
Grantees, for their part, commit to abide by the terms of the tender set out in the call for proposals. They also commit to working towards achieving the outcomes listed in the call. Accountability is ensured throughout the projects by the SUN Movement Pooled Fund Team and the SUN networks.
In addition to their commitments to the programme, grantees also have a role to play in promoting accountability through their activities. For instance, national Civil Society Alliances have engaged in high-level national review mechanisms, including meetings related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across several SUN countries. These meetings have provided an additional opportunity for Civil Society Alliances to ensure that nutrition is firmly placed in national strategic planning.
Like all governments, SUN country governments are ultimately accountable to their citizens. In addition, they are accountable to their representatives, members and investors and, through their membership of the SUN Movement, they are accountable to each other and to the Movement itself. This is in line with the SUN Movement’s philosophy and approach; in other words, members of the Movement uphold its vision and mission by being mutually accountable for their contributions.
When it comes to nutrition, their policies and actions are usually formulated through a national nutrition plan, the success of which depends partly on available resources, but also on the government’s commitment to implementing the plan.
Through relationships that they have established with SUN country parliamentarians and government officials, Civil Society Alliances and other networks hold members of the government to account for implementing any nutrition-related commitments that they make, for example, through a national nutrition plan or at an international conference.
Finally, donor countries are accountable to their citizens to ensure that donations to the Pooled Fund – effectively, public money generated by citizens – are spent appropriately. In addition to receiving regular reports and updates on the progress of the projects, accountability towards donors is provided through their membership of the Pooled Fund Consultative Group.
The Consultative Group provides direction on how the fund is used, ensuring that any proposals and subsequent projects contribute to the strategic objectives set out in the SUN Movement Strategy and Roadmap 2016–2020 in terms of their scope, content and parameters.
Following the decision by the SUN Pooled Fund Consultative Group an independent review was done of the SUN Pooled Fund in relation to its added value and a possible new fund in support of SUN 3.0. The review was endorsed by the SUN Pooled Fund Consultative Group (28 February 2022) and SUN Movement Executive Committee (28 March 2022).