Update on the 2015 Global Nutrition Report

As the 2015 Global Nutrition Report is being finalised for publication in September, we thought it would be a good time for the co-chairs of the Independent Expert Group to provide an update on the Report. Three questions on the 2015 Report keep on popping up from colleagues around the world, so here are some answers.

The Process

First, what process has been followed to produce the Report? Well, it’s been 9 months of hard work by 70+ authors, our Independent Expert Group, Stakeholder Group, our fantastic team of coordinators, data analysts and copy editors. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their amazing efforts. They have been truly engaged and kept us co-chairs on track. The Independent Expert Group decided on the content of the report and whom to commission; the contributing authors and co-chairs prepared chapters; the Stakeholder Group supported our efforts to reach out to wider communities and helped us stay focused on the strategic issues; our secretariat coordinator had to make sure processes were on time and at the right quality, our data analysts had the incredibly demanding job of analysing the data on nutritional status (and helping with much more besides), and our copy-editors have made the report readable for the outside world. Everyone got involved in reviewing drafts, three in total from the rough draft in April to the completed version containing 10 chapters we have now; many helped us get the details right through numerous email exchanges. We thank the Lancet for hosting a peer review of the Report to ensure it meets acceptable scientific standards.


Second, when will it be launched? We are very pleased to announce that the Report will be launched just before the UN Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda on September 22 in New York, with press briefings the week before.

Other events are being planned for Southern Africa (September/October), Milan EXPO and SUN Global Gathering (October), Bangladesh (November), Brazil (November), COP21 (December), India (December), Davos (January), Senegal (March) and Nigeria, Egypt and USA (dates to be determined).

We encourage others to organise a launch event. If you do, please let our communications lead, Sayeeda Afreen, know. She is at s.afreen@cgiar.org. We will provide reports, briefs, slides and social media support.

What’s going to be new and different in this year’s report?

Here are ten things:

1. We present new data on progress on attaining the WHA global nutrition targets tracked last year. There are a surprisingly large number of new data points available. For the first time we provide an assessment of progress in increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates.

2. For the first time we track progress of other forms of malnutrition: adult overweight, obesity and diabetes. These three indicators relate to the obesity/diabetes target in the WHO NCD Global Monitoring Framework. Overall the report does a more thorough job of reporting on progress in reducing malnutrition in all its forms.

3. We add some nuance to some of our assessments of progress on nutritional status. Rather than simply “on/off course” to meet global targets we add categories such as “off course but some progress” and “on course but at risk”.

4. We summarise new evidence on the economic benefits of improved nutrition.

5. We bring in new data from 30 SUN countries on budgetary allocations to nutrition. We also have some analysis of donor nutrition allocations by country.

6. We take a more comprehensive approach to tracking actions designed to reduce malnutrition in all its forms.

7. We dedicate one of the 10 chapters to business to highlight how business transparency, trust and enforcement can be built up to enable new opportunities to be identified and taken up. We introduce some new analysis of the ATNI (Access to Nutrition Index) 2013 data.

8. In this year of a potential breakthrough agreement on climate we add a chapter on climate and nutrition: what are the links between them and what are the common action and accountability agendas?

9. ICN2-inspired, we have a chapter on food systems and nutrition. How can food systems be assessed for their nutrition friendliness? What are some of the candidate metrics? We offer some ideas and make some recommendations.

10. Finally, we try to make our recommendations as specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time bound (SMART) as possible. We exhort other stakeholders to do this and we are not exempt from these messages ourselves. We also clarify at the start of each chapter what our key findings have been.

Another difference we are very pleased about is that we have a set of endorsements from a much broader set of influential individuals. Many come from outside of the nutrition world -- including one or two very surprising entries. Watch this space.