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Nutrition is an investment in our collective future, in the potential of individuals, communities and nations

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The SUN Donor Network (SDN) seeks to ensure political commitment for nutrition and embrace the SUN Movement approach as an invaluable global movement. It advocates for country access to more and better financing for nutrition, at all levels. Further to increasing accountability and measuring progress in mobilising resources, the SDN is committed to continue tracking donor spending on nutrition. The SDN strives for better coordination and transparency of approaches to nutrition in support of countries and alignment with national nutrition plans. The SDN brings together global development partners in nutrition, including bilateral donors, foundations and development banks, in support of SUN Countries to develop and implement their own approach to scaling up nutrition.

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Latest progress

SUN governments endorse the appointment of a donor convener in each SUN country. The in-country SUN donor convener works with donor agencies to focus on increasing and coordinating financial support for national nutrition interventions. The primary roles of the Donor Convener are:

• Catalyse collective donor support for scaling up nutrition at the country level;
• Prioritise and harmonise investments to address identified gaps; and
• Represent the wider donor group in discussions with government.

The SUN Donor Network Resource Tracking Methodology

Donor Conveners list

The network is guided by a group of senior officials from donor partners. The SUN Donor Network Senior Officials Group undertook its first joint mission to a SUN country, Zambia, in December 2013. During the visit, the senior officials held a one-day retreat on how they can continue to best support SUN countries, undertook a number of field visits and met with the SUN networks and senior government officials. The senior officials agreed to make a sustained effort to increase the number of donor conveners in SUN countries, to coordinate on political opportunities to support nutrition in international processes, including the Post-2015 Development Agenda process and the Second International Conference on Nutrition.

• In a bid to increase, harmonise and align development partners’ support for government-led nutrition plans, 36 countries have an appointed donor convener – up from 28 in 2015-2016; There are SUN Donor Networks in 24 SUN Countries. 45 MSPs work with donors in 2016-2017;

• The Network has developed and provided high-level strategic messaging about the importance of nutrition;

• In the reporting period, the SDN has reviewed these structures at the country level and strives to increase learning and capacity strengthening – to promote multisectoral country efforts to end malnutrition;

• Identifying and filling data gaps has been a priority. A mapping of global nutrition data and accountability initiatives to support the understanding of data priorities has been implemented and shared with countries. Based on this, an assessment of SUN Country data priorities has been conducted and continues. A variety of global programmes, funded by several donors to strengthen the capacity to generate, analyse and use data at the country level, are yielding results;

• Overviews of available donor initiatives, programmes and funding sources have been collected, compiled and shared with SUN Countries, also looking at available funding mechanisms and
sources to SUN Countries, enabling countries to access those funds at the national level;

• The SUN Movement support structure has been strengthened through financial support including the development and design of the new ‘pooled fund’ in support of Civil Society Alliances in SUN Countries.

• Firming up coordination and delivery at the country level, through improved harmonisation of donor approaches to nutrition and alignment with nutrition strategies and CRFs;

• Strengthening the role of donor conveners and support systems, building further on the existing review of structures and responsibilities;

• Improving coordination mechanisms and structures among donors and with other SUN structures, by strengthening capacities, at national and regional levels;

• Supporting resource mobilisation for nutrition globally, and amplify this support at the country level, whilst identifying opportunities for new nutrition commitments and breaking them down to countries;

• Improving the understanding and transparency of multilateral and bilateral funding sources to improve accessibility for countries. The SDN aims at supporting a more effective governance structure;

• Strengthening the SDN’s communication and knowledge management, in particular on nutrition policy and strategy developments, investments, research and donor approaches as well as building on good practices in nutrition-sensitive programming as well as where donor harmonisation and alignment has contributed to scaling up nutrition;

• The SDN will also continue to strengthen coordination around global events and processes.

Donor Spending

Two categories of investments were reported on:

  • Nutrition-specific (DAC code 12240); and
  • Nutrition-sensitive (methodology applied).

Donor conveners

The donor convener should be agreed among the donors and the relevant government authorities. Candidate donors are those actively engaged in the country, with a country presence and involved in financially supporting nutrition specific and/or nutrition sensitive programmes.

See the list

Network Facilitation Team

Maren Lieberum – Lead Facilitator
Policy Advisor (GIZ), Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany

Anne M. Peniston – Co-Facilitator 
Chief, Nutrition Division, Bureau of Global Health United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States

Ben Siddle – Co-Facilitator 
Policy Lead – Nutrition, Resilience Policy team, Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade