SUN Newsletter

SUN Civil Society Network

Home / SUN Supporters / SUN Civil Society Network

The SUN Civil Society Network (SUN CSN) is made up of national and international organisations working in various fields, including women’s empowerment, humanitarian-aid, trade unions and many others.

The SUN Civil Society Network (CSN) encourages the formation of vibrant civil society alliances, with such alliances existing in 39 SUN Countries today. The network represents over 3,000 organisations locally, nationally and internationally, spanning multiple sectors and backgrounds, including four regional coordination groups – two of which (covering Asia and East and Southern Africa) were set up in 2016-2017. The network, in 2016-2017, developed a theory of change to provide a shared framework within which national alliances and the global network can work – to inform the development of national and regional strategies and support implementation. The CSN Secretariat is hosted by Save the Children, in the United Kingdom, overseen by a global steering committee.

Read Other Articles
See More Country Cases

Latest progress

The primary purpose of the SUN Civil Society Network (SUN CSN) is to support the formation and effective and efficient operation of strong, credible and influential national Civil Society Alliances (CSAs) for the long-term. The SUN CSN has been actively supporting the CSAs as they become established, providing support for challenges and conflict resolution as well as facilitating the access of funding. In addition to financial resources received through the Multi-Partner Trust Fund grant, the CSN benefits from a number of in-kind support from its members and supporters to enable these provisions.

Civil society makes a unique contribution to the SUN movement. Here are just some of the ways that SUN CSN is supporting the fight against hunger and malnutrition:

• Advocating – through social mobilisation, advocacy and campaigning – to raise awareness of the impact of malnutrition and encouraging governments make fighting it a priority;

• Implementing – through programming we are reaching affected communities and delivering nutrition-sensitive and specific services;

• Monitoring – from a local to a global level we are tracking progress, by monitoring nutrition spending, collecting data to ensure no one is left behind and holding governments accountable for their promises.

View a Map of SUN Countries with Civil Society Alliances
Find out how to join the SUN Civil Society Network

The SUN CSN is guided by an elected steering group, under the leadership of a chair and vice chair, which meets electronically every month and face to face once a year. Chair, vice-chair and steering group member roles rotate every 2 years. The Steering Group appoints a representative and accountable SUN CSN Operational Oversight Committee (OOC) to oversee the day to day management of the SUN CSN’s operations. View the OOC  Terms of Reference.

The day-to-day work of the network is coordinated by the SUN CSN secretariat, currently hosted by Save the Children UK and receives financial support from the SUN Movement Multi-Partner Trust Fund, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the German government in addition to network members’ contributions. The SUN CSN Secretariat provides support to members of the SUN Civil Society Network. The Secretariat ensures effective coordination between national SUN civil society alliances, SUN movement networks and the wider nutrition community. The secretariat also collects the latest updates from national civil society alliances and identifies global opportunities to share learnings.

SUN Civil Society Secretariat

The SUN CSN represents over 2,000 national, regional and international organisations spanning multiple sectors, including; small-holder farmers, human rights defenders, women’s groups, humanitarian agencies, advocacy and research entities, consumer groups, trade unions and many others. The network includes national civil society alliances in 39 countries as well as 4 regional coordination groups.

• In February 2017, Philippines launched its SUN Civil Society Alliance;

• Three regional learning exchanges have been organised — bringing together 6 alliances in Asia for the first time in Indonesia, 9 alliances for a Learning Route in Rwanda and 14 alliances for a workshop in Senegal;

• A CSN theory of change has been created to inform the development of national and regional strategies;

• A new network website has been launched to increase access to and the sharing of knowledge across the network;

• Nutrition champions have been trained, including champions who have spoken at a series of high profile events and advocated for action on nutrition in the media;

• Communities affected by malnutrition have had their voices raised;

• Nutrition has been integrated into national Sustainable Development Goal plans. In Kyrgyzstan and Indonesia, for example, alliances have successfully lobbied for the inclusion of breastfeeding indicators in national plans;

• CSN has supported national progress in the implementation of the International Code on Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. In Myanmar and Cambodia CSAs have advocated for and supported the government in establishing monitoring mechanisms via the use of mobile phone apps, to ensure enforcement;

• The Network has undertaken budget analysis now being used to advocate for increased or improved domestic investment in nutrition. In Malawi, Zambia and Burkina Faso alliance members have made contact with finance ministers in order to brief them for the Early Child Development Summit at the World Bank;

• Bespoke technical support in fundraising and strategy development has been provided via the More Partnership and the development of a fundraising toolkit in English, French and Spanish.

• National launches of the Global Nutrition Report in East and West Africa have been held, to increase government accountability for existing nutrition commitments;

• The coverage of nutrition in the media has increased, by training journalists in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Award ceremonies recognising effective coverage of nutrition issues have been held in Tanzania and Ethiopia.

• The SUN CSN and national CSAs are facing significant fundraising challenges, meaning there is a considerable risk to the future of the network. Without the civil society network, the SUN Movement cannot be called a multistakeholder approach. Currently the SUN Civil Society Network Secretariat is funded until March 2017 and only five CSAs have funding that extends past 2017. For others, the future is less certain. The key priority for the next year will be securing funding to ensure the sustainability of the network and to enable the delivery of national plans;

• Build partnerships to deliver global campaigns and ensure civil society contributions to global and regional events;

• Develop case studies, policy briefs and a library of tools on key thematic areas;

• Support the development of a network of nutrition champions to ensure that the views of the most marginalised communities and women and girls, are considered in decision-making. The development of a network of parliamentary champions who will work closely with civil society to advocate for national progress;

• Produce analysis of global guidelines and frameworks to support their national implementation, especially on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes and national SDG reporting;

• Develop a SUN CSN communications strategy;

• Strengthen internal systems and processes to increase efficiency as a network;

• Continue to strengthen regional coordination groups and deliver joint advocacy and capacitybuilding;

• Strengthen national CSAs processes to manage risk and ensure good governance (e.g. addressing conflict of interest and enabling access legal advice);

• Deliver technical assistance to support the delivery of CSAs strategic plans;

• Develop a new learning exchange model to take forward the work started with the SUN CSN Learning Route.

SUN Civil Society websites

Visit the SUN Civil Society Network website for the latest updates, resources and information about the network.

Visit the SUN Civil Society Network website for the latest updates, resources and information about the network.

Visit the website

The Youth Leaders for Nutrition (YL4N): the programme aims to empower young people, primarily those from countries with high rates of malnutrition, with the skills they need to advocate for an end to malnutrition in their own communities and globally.

Youth Leaders for Nutrition

SUN Civil Society Network Infographic

Civil Society Infographic

Click on the image to enlarge

Key documents

See all documents

Network Facilitation


Anushree Rao
Concern Worldwide


Katherine Richards

SUN CSN Vice Chair
Head of Hunger and Nutrition, Save the Children


Cara Flowers
SUN CSN Coordinator


Megan Pennell

SUN CSN Country Support Adviser


Cecilia Ruberto

Learning Programmes Coordinator