Preface: About this report on the GNR’s Nutrition Accountability Framework

Image by Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank

Poor diets and malnutrition in all its forms are among the greatest global social challenges of our time. The Nutrition Year of Action spotlighted the urgent need for more action whilst ensuring that all stakeholders are held accountable for their commitments. The 2022 Global Nutrition Report provides an analysis of commitments made across a large range of stakeholders at all levels, setting out where they have stepped up, highlighting potential gaps and making recommendations for where greater efforts or action is needed.

The structure and content of the report reflects the change in accountability required to support a change in action, highlighting the unique and synergistic role of each actor in the response. Chapter one introduces and showcases the value of the Nutrition Accountability Framework (NAF) developed by the GNR. Chapter two provides an overview of commitments made by all stakeholders under the NAF. Chapters three to seven take a deep dive into commitments made by each stakeholder group, ordered by the number of commitments made, including governments, donors, civil society organisations (CSO), businesses and international organisations; academia is not separately discussed, given the limited number of commitments made. Academia does not have its own chapter, given the limited number of commitments made, but it is discussed in Box 2.1 within chapter two.

Chapter one introduces the NAF and its critical role in monitoring nutrition action. It presents long-standing challenges in commitment-making for nutrition and how the NAF strengthens accountability, with a focus on the Tokyo N4G Summit. The chapter describes the NAF cycle, that is how the NAF works and leads to more action, including who can make commitments, what commitments are included, and how these are registered using the NAF platform, assessed and publicly shared. As part of the NAF, the GNR has developed and here presents the Nutrition Action Classification System, which accurately maps the type of nutrition commitments, thereby helping to identify gaps in action and future priorities. The chapter also introduces the Nutrition Action SMARTness Index, which defines and assesses the SMARTness of commitments, enabling stakeholders to make them SMARTer. Lessons learned, both in the implementation of the NAF and engagement with stakeholders, need to continue to inform the evolving and dynamic nature of this global framework.

Chapter two describes how stakeholders stepped up in the Nutrition Year of Action, by analysing commitments registered through the NAF. It provides an overview of commitments – and their goals – made by governments, donors, CSO, businesses, international organisations and academia. The chapter analyses and presents key traits and patterns in stakeholder representation, extent of commitment-making, geographic and population coverage, alignment with the global nutrition targets, and response to Covid-19. It analyses the type of nutrition commitments – using the Nutrition Action Classification System – and identifies gaps in action. Recognising that most commitments registered are N4G ones, observed patterns may not truly reflect the global nutrition landscape. The chapter further analyses the SMARTness of commitments made – using the Nutrition Action SMARTness Index – and identifies how stakeholders can continue to improve their commitments. The details of all commitments made are publicly shared through the interactive NAF Commitment Tracker. Next steps include verifying the self-reported data, reporting on progress made and committing to new action through the NAF.

Chapter three presents a detailed analysis of the types of the domestic commitments made by governments, highlighting their key role in tackling poor diets and malnutrition in all its forms. The chapter first analyses the commitment goals made and categorises them as enabling, policy or impact. It then explores in more detail the impact actions, their nature and focus. In the last section of the chapter, countries are grouped by income and burden of malnutrition to better understand the differences in the types of commitment goals made by countries with different economic and nutrition profiles.

Chapter four is concerned with the commitments made by CSOs, given their key role in advocating for and supporting greater nutrition action. The first section analyses the types of commitment goals grouped as enabling, policy or impact, while the second section takes a deep dive into characterising their SMARTness. The third section looks into the alignment of CSO commitments with the global nutrition targets.

Chapter five provides an assessment of the range and global scope of commitments made by private sector businesses, as well as their alignment with the global nutrition targets. In particular, it highlights the breadth of nutrition actions pledged by the private sector, with a focus on internal policies designed to improve nutrition. A description of the reach and geographical coverage of the nutrition actions follows to conclude with understanding the type and focus of these actions.

Chapter six highlights the key role donors have in mobilising financial resources, including in light of Covid-19, which has exacerbated the need for nutrition financing. In particular, it expands on the mobilisation of financial resources from donors and the role that they have beyond financial support. It concludes by reviewing the commitments donors made to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 on food and health systems.

Chapter seven highlights the global role of international, including multilateral, organisations in the fight against malnutrition. After presenting an overall picture of the type of commitments made by international organisations, the chapter focuses on the analysis of the SMARTness of commitments made – using the Nutrition Action SMARTness Index – and identifies areas for improvement. Finally, alignment with the global nutrition targets is presented with the aim of identifying areas that require further consideration and additional global efforts.

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