Chapter 02

Unpacking commitments made to the NAF in the Nutrition Year of Action

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Chapter 2 of 7
Contents
2.1 Share section

Key findings

  1. Stakeholders registered 433 commitments with 897 goals through the Nutrition Accountability Framework (NAF); of these, 416 (96%) were Nutrition 4 Growth (N4G) commitments. All stakeholder types made commitments, including 78 country governments (in a non-donor role),[1] 56 civil society organisations, 30 private sector businesses, 21 donors,[2] seven international organisations and seven academic or research institutions.
  2. Low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa were prioritised by all stakeholders, including by governments, of which only three of 78 were from a high-income setting. Goals targeted relatively equally children and women of reproductive age or the entire population.
  3. All stakeholders placed an emphasis on creating an enabling environment for nutrition action, registering a total of 408 (45%) enabling goals largely focused on strengthening ‘leadership and governance’ (184, 45% of enabling goals). Governments additionally prioritised impact actions and ‘undernutrition’ in particular; in contrast, ‘food and nutrition security’,[3] ‘diets’, ‘obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases’ were of low priority. The private sector focused on policy actions, mainly related to the ‘food supply chain’ and the ‘food environment’. Stakeholders pledged US$42.6 billion through financial commitments.[4]
  4. All stakeholders except the private sector committed to nutrition action in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A quarter (212, 24%) of all registered goals were developed to address nutrition impacts related to the pandemic, with a focus on enabling and impact actions, and US$12.9 billion[5] was committed across all stakeholders.
  5. Of the 897 goals, 214 (24%) were high in SMARTness, 143 (16%) were upper moderate, 274 (31%) were lower moderate and 266 (30%) were low. The NAF facilitated the development of SMART commitments, with less than a third (266, 30%) of goals being low in SMARTness and 374 (42%) being trackable. The NAF helps to identify key information that stakeholders can share to improve the ranking of their existing commitments, and through this learning improve the SMARTness of future ones.

If you would like to know more about any of the terms used in this chapter, you can visit the report glossary.

2.2 Share section

Introduction

The Nutrition Accountability Framework (NAF) was widely used by 198 stakeholders that registered 433 nutrition commitments with 897 goals in the Nutrition Year of Action. Almost all[6] (416, 96%) were Nutrition for growth (N4G) commitments; the largest number of N4G commitments ever made, signifying the Tokyo N4G Summit as the highlight of the year. The NAF accepts all nutrition commitments – going beyond N4G – and remains open for stakeholders to register commitments at any time.

This report focuses on analysing commitments registered via the online NAF Platform from 14 September 2021 (launch date) through to 15 March 2022. Most of these commitments were linked to the Tokyo N4G Summit, as the NAF is the official accountability mechanism of N4G commitments (see Chapter 1). Nutrition commitments pledged elsewhere (e.g. UN Food Systems Summit) are not captured, unless they were also registered through the NAF.

This chapter summarises how stakeholders stepped up in the Nutrition Year of Action. It presents high-level findings on how many commitments were made along with their key characteristics, such as geographical coverage and alignment with the global nutrition targets. The chapter also presents key findings on the type of commitments as assessed by the Nutrition Action Classification System and on the SMARTness of commitments as assessed by the Nutrition Action SMARTness Index. More in-depth stakeholder-specific analyses are presented in Chapters 3–7 of the report.

2.3 Share section

Commitments registered in the NAF

Commitments registered and analysis flow

Following the application of eligibility criteria (see Chapter 1, How the NAF works), 433 commitments with 897 goals registered by 198 stakeholders were included in this report.[7] The GNR collects self-reported information and performs analyses at the stakeholder, commitment and goal levels. Commitments may have multiple goals, which can vary in terms of their characteristics. Not all data provided through the online forms could be standardised and analysed given unclear or missing information (such as data on the indicator used to measure progress against the goal(s), costs associated with the delivery of the commitment, and whether financing is nutrition sensitive and/or specific).[8] For all registered commitments, the GNR assesses their action type and SMARTness. All data is also available online through the NAF Commitment Tracker.

Information and analyses included in the report

  • Data on 198 unique stakeholders
  • Data on 433 commitments.
  • Data on 897 goals.
Analyses at the stakeholder level:

Stakeholder type

Commitment-makers are grouped into governments (functioning in a non-donor capacity), civil society, private sector, donors (any stakeholder functioning in a donor capacity), international organisations and academia.

Stakeholder location

The country in which the commitment-maker is located.

Analyses at the commitment level:

Joint commitments

Whether commitments and their goals were registered on behalf of multiple stakeholders.

Link to events

Whether commitments and their goals are linked to specific events (e.g., 2021 Tokyo N4G Summit).

N4G thematic areas (for N4G commitments only)

Alignment with the N4G thematic areas (collected only for commitments linked to the 2021 Tokyo N4G Summit). The alignment is applicable to the commitment as a whole, as each goal may have a different theme.

Number of goals per commitment

The unique measurable goal(s) per commitment.

Alignment with global nutrition targets

The global nutrition targets the commitment aligns with. The alignment is applicable to the commitment as a whole, as each goal may have a different alignment.

Analyses at the goal level

Geographical coverage

The area targeted by the goal (global, multi-country, national, subnational, local).

Population coverage

The population (overall or specific groups) targeted by the goal.

Expected duration

The time-period within which the goal is expected to be achieved.

Goal type

The N4G terminology categorising goals as 'financial', 'programmatic', 'impact' or 'policy'.

Relation to Covid-19

Whether the goal was developed as a response to the pandemic.

The GNR has performed further independent assessment at the goal level:

Nutrition action area

The nutrition action category and sub-category of the goal. This was assessed by the GNR for each goal using the Nutrition Action Classification System and is based on self-reported data.

SMARTness

The SMARTness level of the goal. This was assessed by the GNR for each goal using the Nutrition Action SMARTness Index and is based on self-reported data.

Stakeholders that registered commitments

Overall, 198 stakeholders[9] from 84 countries (based on stakeholder location) made commitments aiming to improve nutrition. Half (223, 52%) of commitments were made by 78 country governments (in a non-donor role),[10] followed by 56 civil society organisations (CSOs) (92 commitments, 21%), 30 private sector businesses (50, 12%, from 23 food businesses and 12, 2.8%, from seven non-food businesses), 21 donors (29, 7%, from 14 donor governments[11] and 7, 1.6%, from seven donor organisations[12]) and seven international organisations (13, 3%). Academia was engaged late in the N4G process and was represented by seven stakeholders; given its low number of commitments (7, 1.6%), academia does not have its own chapter, but is discussed separately in Box 2.1.

Stakeholder location

Stakeholders were based in countries of different income levels: 87 (44%) stakeholders were in 17 high-income countries, 16 (8%) in 13 upper-middle-income ones, 66 (33%) in 34 lower-middle-income countries and 29 (15%) in 21 low-income countries. The stakeholders from high-income countries mainly represented the private sector, CSOs and donors. Notably, of the 78 governments, only three were from high-income countries, highlighting the need for further engagement of these stakeholders with regards to registering domestic commitments.

Joint commitments

Fewer than half (184, 42%) of the commitments were joint.[13] Most (153, 83%) joint commitments were made by governments. More than two-thirds (69%) of the government commitments were joint: 3 (23%) for international organisations, 17 (18%) for CSOs, 5 (14%) for donors, and 5 (8%) for the private sector. Joint commitments were mostly made by entities across stakeholder types, rather than within the same type. For example, of the 153 joint government commitments, 119 (78%) were made on behalf of multiple stakeholder types.

Thematic areas of N4G commitments

Of the 433 commitments, 416 (96%) were linked to the 2021 Tokyo N4G Summit and are considered N4G commitments. The summit organisers identified five thematic areas[14] critical to addressing malnutrition in all its forms. Two-thirds of the 416 N4G commitments were reported to be relevant to the ‘health’ (287, 69%) and ‘food’ (270, 65%) areas, 174 (42%) was relevant to ‘resilience’, and only a quarter (115, 28%) to the cross-cutting themes of ‘data’ and ‘financing’ (114, 27%).[15] This pattern was seen across all stakeholder types except for the private sector, which mainly focused on the ‘food’ area.

Number of goals per commitment

Across stakeholders, commitments had mostly a single goal (263, 61%). Relatively few had multiple goals: 59 (14%) had two, 42 (10%) had three, 26 (6%) had four, and 42 (10%) had five to 15 goals.

Geographical coverage of goals

Geographical coverage[16] ranged from global to local. Most goals had national coverage (525, 59%), followed by global (195, 22%), multi-country (111, 12%), subnational (49, 5%), local (15, 1.7%) and for two goals (0.2%) this information was missing. Notably, most government goals had national coverage (430, 91%), with only few targeting specific country regions or locations, highlighting that governments aim to improve nutrition at the national level. In contrast, the goals made by other stakeholder types, including CSOs, the private sector, donors and international organisations, had in general global or multi-country coverage.

Separating out goals that specified a targeted country, we find that these concentrate in the regions of Africa and South and Southeast Asia (Figure 2.1), primarily aimed at low- and lower-income countries (Figure 2.2).

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Figure 2.1 Commitment goals mostly targeted countries in South Asia and Africa

Geographical coverage of commitment goals registered in the NAF

Figure 2.1 Commitment goals mostly targeted countries in South Asia and Africa
Geographical coverage of commitment goals registered in the NAF
Country Total
(commitment goals per country)
Total
(commitment goals per country)
Number of
countries
Afghanistan 2 0 110
Albania 0 1-4 35
Algeria 0 5-10 21
Andorra 0 11-20 23
Angola 0 21-49 5
Antigua and
Barbuda
0
Argentina 2
Armenia 0
Australia 0
Austria 0
Azerbaijan 0
Bahamas 0
Bahrain 0
Bangladesh 18
Barbados 0
Belarus 0
Belgium 0
Belize 0
Benin 16
Bhutan 0
Bolivia 1
Bosnia and
Herzegovina
0
Botswana 0
Brazil 0
Brunei 0
Bulgaria 0
Burkina Faso 18
Burundi 20
Cambodia 15
Cameroon 11
Canada 1
Cape Verde 0
Central
African Republic
1
Chad 6
Chile 0
China 0
Colombia 1
Comoros 4
Congo 3
Costa Rica 5
Croatia 0
Cuba 0
Cyprus 0
Czech Republic 0
Democratic
Republic of the Congo
8
Denmark 1
Djibouti 0
Dominica 0
Dominican
Republic
3
Ecuador 3
Egypt 13
El Salvador 11
Equatorial
Guinea
0
Eritrea 0
Estonia 0
Eswatini 1
Ethiopia 21
Federated
States of Micronesia
0
Fiji 0
Finland 0
France 2
Gabon 2
Gambia 9
Georgia 0
Germany 1
Ghana 11
Greece 0
Grenada 0
Guatemala 1
Guinea 13
Guinea-Bissau 0
Guyana 0
Haiti 6
Honduras 7
Hungary 0
Iceland 0
India 6
Indonesia 17
Iran 0
Iraq 0
Ireland 1
Israel 0
Italy 0
Ivory Coast 7
Jamaica 0
Japan 42
Jordan 3
Kazakhstan 0
Kenya 31
Kiribati 0
Kuwait 0
Kyrgyzstan 14
Laos 7
Latvia 0
Lebanon 3
Lesotho 0
Liberia 0
Libya 0
Liechtenstein 0
Lithuania 0
Luxembourg 0
Madagascar 11
Malawi 13
Malaysia 1
Maldives 0
Mali 8
Malta 0
Marshall
Islands
0
Mauritania 1
Mauritius 0
Mexico 3
Moldova 0
Monaco 0
Mongolia 5
Montenegro 0
Morocco 0
Mozambique 6
Myanmar 1
Namibia 18
Nauru 0
Nepal 20
Netherlands 1
New Zealand 0
Nicaragua 0
Niger 6
Nigeria 15
North Korea 0
Norway 0
Oman 0
Pakistan 18
Palau 0
Palestinian
National Authority
3
Panama 0
Papua New
Guinea
1
Paraguay 0
Peru 4
Philippines 49
Poland 0
Portugal 0
Qatar 0
Republic of
North Macedonia
0
Romania 0
Russia 0
Rwanda 3
Saint Kitts
and Nevis
0
Saint Lucia 0
Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines
0
Samoa 0
San Marino 0
São Tomé and
Príncipe
7
Saudi Arabia 0
Senegal 12
Serbia 0
Seychelles 0
Sierra Leone 3
Singapore 0
Slovakia 0
Slovenia 0
Solomon
Islands
0
Somalia 13
South Africa 0
South Korea 0
South Sudan 4
Spain 1
Sri Lanka 5
Sudan 28
Suriname 0
Sweden 0
Switzerland 0
Syria 3
Tajikistan 9
Tanzania 8
Thailand 3
Timor-Leste 2
Togo 7
Tonga 0
Trinidad and
Tobago
0
Tunisia 0
Turkey 0
Turkmenistan 0
Tuvalu 0
Uganda 11
Ukraine 0
United Arab
Emirates
0
United Kingdom 4
United States 8
Uruguay 0
Uzbekistan 0
Vanuatu 0
Venezuela 0
Vietnam 14
Yemen 13
Zambia 8
Zimbabwe 9

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the report annex.

Notes: In total 84 countries were targeted by goals with national (525), subnational (49), local (15) and specified multi-country (26) coverage; for two goals, this information was missing. The 195 goals with global coverage and the 85 goals with multi-country coverage for which the targeted countries were not specified were not included in this figure.

This is largely driven by government representation, which was almost all (75, 96%) based in low (21) or middle-income (54) countries. As such, the primary focus of stakeholders was to address undernutrition (see Nutrition action categories of commitments), which is generally a priority in such contexts. In contrast, high-income countries, such as those in Europe and North America, and Japan, were mainly targeted as part of goals with global coverage, not with a unique country focus.

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Figure 2.2 Commitment goals mostly targeted low- and middle-income countries

Countries targeted by commitment goals across income levels

Figure 2.2 Commitment goals mostly targeted low- and middle-income countries
Countries targeted by commitment goals across income levels
Target
country income level
Number of goals Number of
countries targeted by goals
High 62 10
Upper middle 52 14
Lower middle 386 37
Low 227 23

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the report annex.

Notes: In total 84 countries were targeted by goals with national (525), subnational (49), local (15) and specified multi-country (26) coverage; for two goals, this information was missing. The 195 goals with global coverage and the 85 goals with multi-country coverage for which the targeted countries were not specified were not included in this figure. The World Bank classifies the world’s economies into four income groups: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high-income countries. They update this data each year, based on GNI per capita in current US$ (using the Atlas method exchange rates) of the previous year. This report uses the classifications from 2021. You can find out more at: World Bank Country and Lending Groups.[17]

Population coverage of goals

For coverage, 391 (44%) goals targeted the entire population, 389 (43%) a specific population group (usually women of reproductive age and/or children up to five years of age) and 115 (13%) indicated no target population. The information was missing for two (0.2%) goals. More than half (117, 60%) of goals with global coverage targeted the whole population, whereas half (254, 49%) of those with national coverage targeted specific population groups, followed by the overall population (198, 38%).

Expected duration for achieving goals

The median reported time period for achieving goals was similar across stakeholders: six years for governments and the private sector, five years for donors and CSOs, and four years for international organisations. Across action categories, goals categorised as impact had the higher expected duration (eight years), followed by policy (six years) and enabling (five years). Goal start dates and end dates varied amongst commitment-makers.[18]

Alignment of commitments with the global nutrition targets

Stakeholders self-reported the global nutrition targets[19] that aligned with their commitments. Most commitments were aligned with the maternal, infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN) global targets (Figure 2.3). Specifically, of the 433 commitments, 253 (58%) aligned with childhood stunting, 236 (55%) with childhood wasting, 201 (46%) with anaemia, 190 (44%) with low birth weight, 187 (43%) with exclusive breastfeeding, and 175 (40%) with childhood overweight.[20] In contrast, a third of commitments or fewer were reported to be aligned with any of the diet-related NCD targets, with 163 (38%) aligned with adult obesity, 133 (31%) with adult diabetes, 119 (27%) with raised blood pressure and 119 (27%) with salt intake. Sixty-one (14%) commitments were aligned with all targets. The stakeholders of 79 (18%) commitments indicated that their commitment did not align with any of the global targets.

This pattern was generally observed across stakeholder groups. For example, donors made comparatively fewer commitments that aligned with any of the diet-related NCD targets (6, 17%), while 31 (86%) commitments aligned with any of the six MIYCN targets. For governments, 178 (80%) of their commitments were aligned with any of the six MIYCN targets, and 86 (39%) with any of the diet-related NCD ones. The only exception was the private sector, which aligned most (37, 60%) of its commitments with any of the diet-related NCD targets – with a relative equal focus across all related NCD targets – with only few (17, 27%) commitments aligning with any of the MIYCN targets.

On aggregate, just 33 (8%) commitments were reported to be aligned only with diet-related NCD targets (76% of which were made by the private sector), as opposed to 177 (41%) commitments that aligned only with MIYCN targets. A third (33%) of the commitments aligned with both MIYCN and diet-related NCD targets, while 79 commitments (18%) were not aligned with any of the global targets. The focus on MIYCN targets is in line with such malnutrition burdens being prominent in low- and lower-middle income settings, with more and more countries experiencing the double burden of malnutrition.[21]

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Figure 2.3 Stakeholders prioritised the maternal, infant and young child nutrition targets over diet-related NCD targets

Stakeholders’ alignment of commitments with the global nutrition targets

Figure 2.3 Stakeholders prioritised the maternal, infant and young child nutrition targets over diet-related NCD targets
Stakeholders’ alignment of commitments with the global nutrition targets
Global
target
Governments Civil Society Private sector Donors International
organisations
Academia
Under-5 stunting 145 63 6 29 7 3
Anaemia 107 50 8 24 7 5
Low birth
weight
108 44 6 23 6 3
Under-5
overweight
106 39 8 10 7 5
Exclusive
breastfeeding
103 49 6 21 6 2
Under-5
wasting
131 59 7 28 9 2
Salt intake 56 26 27 3 2 5
Adult raised
blood pressure
56 25 26 3 4 5
Adult obesity 81 30 35 6 6 5
Adult diabetes 65 27 29 3 4 5

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the report annex.

Notes: Stakeholders self-reported the global nutrition targets that aligned with their commitments. Adult obesity and diabetes were separated out rather than being listed as a single target. The numbers in squares indicate the number of commitments that aligned with the global targets, as reported. A commitment may align with one or more global targets (or none); as a result the sum of the numbers in the squares does not total the 433 commitments registered in the NAF.

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Box 2.1 The contribution of academia

Authors: Dimitra Karageorgou and Renata Micha

Academia was a new stakeholder group approached as part of the Tokyo N4G Summit. It was represented by seven stakeholders: five from high-income countries, one from a lower-middle-income country, and one from an upper-middle-income county. Each stakeholder registered one commitment, resulting in seven commitments with 18 goals. Only one commitment was joint and registered on behalf of multiple entities. Five commitments had multiple goals (ranging from two to six), with a median duration of 8.2 years. Commitments had a relatively equal focus across all global nutrition targets (Figure 2.3).

The geographical coverage of the goals was mostly multi-country or global (14, 78%), targeting mainly low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia. Over half (10, 56%) of academia goals targeted the overall population, and a quarter (5, 28%) targeted children. Four goals were developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost half (8, 44%) of the goals ranked high in SMARTness, 3 (17%) upper moderate, 2 (11%) lower moderate and 5 (28%) low.

Academia goals were primarily categorised as enabling (11, 61%), followed by policy (6, 33%), while only one (6%) as impact (Figure 2.4).

Most enabling goals were sub-categorised as ‘operational’ (7, 64%), to improve the training and education of registered dietitians and professionals working in nutrition-related fields. A third (3, 27%) were ‘research, monitoring and data’, to perform research for food-based dietary guideline proposals and to evaluate wellbeing programmes. Only one (9%) was ‘leadership and governance’, which was relevant to the organisation’s structure.

Policy goals were mostly ‘consumer knowledge’ (5, 83%). They delivered wellbeing programmes, for example, through which the public is educated on dietary habits and malnutrition outcomes. Only one (17%) was ‘food environment’, and this was related to the establishment of a self-sustaining school lunch system.

The only impact goal was ‘diet’, and it aimed to improve the population’s nutritional status and diet quality.

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Figure 2.4 Academia prioritised creating an enabling environment for nutrition action, mostly through ‘operational’ actions

Types of commitment goals registered by academia

Figure 2.4 Academia prioritised creating an enabling environment for nutrition action, mostly through ‘operational’ actions
Types of commitment goals registered by academia
Academia
Total number
of goals
18
Enabling goals total 11
Enabling
sub-category: Leadership and governance
1
Enabling
sub-category: Financial
0
Enabling
sub-category: Operational
7
Enabling
sub-category: Research monitoring and data
3
Policy goals total 6
Policy
sub-category: Food supply chain
0
Policy
sub-category: Food environment
1
Policy
sub-category: Consumer knowledge
5
Policy
sub-category: Nutrition care services
0
Impact goals total 1
Impact
sub-category: Diet
1
Impact
sub-category: Food and nutrition security
0
Impact
sub-category: Undernutrition
0
Impact
sub-category: Obesity and diet-related NCDs
0

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the report annex.

Note: The Nutrition Action Classification System was developed by the GNR as part of the NAF and is available online.

2.4 Share section

Nutrition action categories of commitments

Categories of nutrition commitments

The GNR developed the Nutrition Action Classification System (see Chapter 1, How the GNR maps nutrition actions) to improve the mapping and understanding of the type of commitments being made (Box 2.2). Of the 897 goals, almost half (408, 45%) were categorised as enabling, followed by a roughly equal split between policy (260, 29%) and impact (229, 26%) (Figure 2.5). Notable differences were observed across stakeholder types. For example, governments focused equally on enabling (196 goals, 42%) and impact actions (183, 39% of goals). They registered half (196, 48%) of all enabling goals submitted by all stakeholders, and most (183, 80%) impact ones. Donors focused on enabling actions (52 goals, 85%). The private sector prioritised policy actions (85, 79%), which corresponded to a third (85, 33%) of all policy goals submitted by stakeholders. There was substantial stakeholder mobilisation to address nutrition impacts related to Covid-19 (Box 2.3).

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Figure 2.5 Stakeholders committed to diverse enabling, policy and enabling actions, mostly ‘leadership and governance’ and ‘undernutrition’

Overview of commitment goal types

Figure 2.5 Stakeholders committed to diverse enabling, policy and enabling actions, mostly ‘leadership and governance’ and ‘undernutrition’
Overview of commitment goal types
Nutrition
action category
Nutrition
action sub-category
Number of goals
Enabling 408
Enabling Leadership and
governance
184
Enabling Financial 77
Enabling Operational 69
Enabling Research, monitoring
and data
78
Policy 260
Policy Food supply chain 71
Policy Food environment 63
Policy Consumer knowledge 37
Policy Nutrition care
services
81
Policy Missing 8
Impact 229
Impact Diet 58
Impact Food & nutrition
security
14
Impact Undernutrition 133
Impact Obesity and
diet-related NCDs
23
Impact Missing 1

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the report annex.

Notes: The inner circle presents the number of goals per nutrition action category and the outer circle the goals per nutrition action sub-category. Nine of the 897 goals could not be assigned to an action sub-category (indicated above as missing); one was an impact action aiming to increase physical activity and eight were policy actions relevant to broad social protection measures that were unclear if they focused on nutrition. Such missing data will be clarified during the verification process.

Sub-categories of nutrition commitments

‘Leadership and governance’ (an enabling sub-category) was the most prominent type, with one-fifth of all reported goals (184, 21%) committing to such efforts. This was followed by ‘undernutrition’ (an impact sub-category) (133, 15%) (Figure 2.5). Each of the remaining sub-categories contributed to less than 10% of all goals, with fewest actions being committed to for ‘diet’ (58, 6%), ‘consumer knowledge’ (37, 4.1%), ‘obesity and diet-related NCD’s’ (23, 2.6%) and ‘food and nutrition security’ (14, 1.6%).

Almost half (184, 45%) of all 408 enabling goals were ‘leadership and governance’, followed by ‘research, monitoring and data’ (78, 19%), ‘financial’ (77, 19%) and ‘operational’ (69, 17%) (Figure 2.6). Looking across stakeholders, governments contributed the most to ‘leadership and governance’ (87, 47% of all such goals), ‘financial’[22] (43, 56%) and ‘research, monitoring and data’ (40, 51%) goals. Stakeholders committed more than US$42.6 billion:[23] donors committed US$26.3 billion, governments US$13.3 billion, international organisations US$2.4 billion, CSOs US$567 million and the private sector US$54 million.

A third (81, 31%) of all 260 policy goals were ‘nutrition care services’, yet these were still relatively low (9% of all goals). Governments made the largest contribution to ‘nutrition care services’ (43, 53% of all such goals), followed by CSOs (27, 33%). Though international organisations made few policy goals overall (10), the majority (7, 70%) focused on ‘nutrition care services’. Food systems – represented by the sub-categories of ‘food supply chain’ and ‘food environment’ – were less of a priority for all stakeholders, at least for commitments registered through the NAF.[24] The private sector was the notable exception in this pattern, contributing the most to goals related to ‘food supply chain’ (43, 61% of all such goals), ‘food environment’ (28, 44%) and ‘consumer knowledge’ (13, 35%).

In line with observations for past N4G commitments,[25] more than half (133, 58%) of the 229 impact goals were related to ‘undernutrition’. This was largely driven by governments, whose 107 (23%) ‘undernutrition’ goals corresponded to 80% of all such actions committed by stakeholders. Of the 229 impact goals, 58 (25%) were ‘diet’ ones, only 23 (10%) were ‘obesity and diet-related NCDs’ and just 14 (6%) were ‘food and nutrition security’. Most ‘diet’ actions were committed by governments (45, 78% of all such goals) – still a low number, and with minimal contribution from other stakeholders. Notably, only governments and CSOs committed to ‘obesity and diet-related NCDs’ and ‘food and nutrition security’ actions, highlighting the low priority these issues, including ‘diet’, have in stakeholder agendas.

The areas of committed nutrition action for each stakeholder type, along with notable patterns observed, are discussed in Chapters 3–7.

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Figure 2.6 Stakeholders prioritised governance and undernutrition, but paid little attention to poor diets, obesity and diet-related NCDs or food and nutrition security

Commitment goals by action type and stakeholder group

Figure 2.6 Stakeholders prioritised governance and undernutrition, but paid little attention to poor diets, obesity and diet-related NCDs or food and nutrition security
Commitment goals by action type and stakeholder group
Governments Civil Society Private Sector Donors International
organisations
Academic
Total number
of goals
470 207 107 61 34 18
Enabling goals total 196 109 21 52 19 11
Enabling
sub-category: Leadership and governance
87 54 5 22 15 15
Enabling
sub-category: Financial
43 9 4 18 3 3
Enabling
sub-category: Operational
26 26 8 2 0 0
Enabling
sub-category: Research monitoring and data
40 20 4 10 1 1
Enabling sub-category: Missing 0 0 0 0 0 0
Policy goals total 91 62 85 6 10 6
Policy
sub-category: Food supply chain
12 12 43 2 2 0
Policy
sub-category: Food environment
25 7 28 1 1 1
Policy
sub-category: Consumer knowledge
7 12 13 0 0 5
Policy
sub-category: Nutrition care services
43 27 1 3 7 0
Policy sub-category: Missing 4 4 0 0 0 0
Impact goals total 183 36 1 3 5 1
Impact
sub-category: Diet
45 10 0 1 1 1
Impact
sub-category: Food and nutrition security
9 5 0 0 0 0
Impact
sub-category: Undernutrition
107 19 1 2 4 0
Impact
sub-category: Obesity and diet-related NCDs
21 2 0 0 0 0
Impact sub-category: Missing 1 0 0 0 0 0

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the report annex.

Note: Nine of the 897 goals could not be classified in an action sub-category as it was unclear if they were nutrition focused; these will be clarified in the verification process. In Government commitments, there are four goals with missing sub-category data in ‘policy’ and one goal with missing sub-category data in ‘impact’. In Civil society commitments, there are four goals with missing subcategory data in ‘policy’.

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Box 2.2 How the Nutrition Action Classification System improves the mapping of commitments

Authors: Dimitra Karageorgou and Renata Micha

One of the key challenges in mapping nutrition commitments was the lack of a comprehensive classification system to identify and characterise the scope of nutrition efforts. This was addressed by the NAF through the development of the Nutrition Action Classification System, which provides a thorough characterisation of nutrition action into categories and sub-categories in a hierarchical manner (See Chapter 1, How the GNR maps nutrition actions).

Nutrition commitment goals were self-categorised under the four types using the N4G terminology: ‘financial’, ‘policy’, ‘programmatic’ and ‘impact’.[26] Of the 897 goals registered in the NAF, almost half (406, 45%) were self-reported as ‘programmatic’, 226 (25%) as ‘impact’, 183 (20%) as ‘policy’ and 82 (9%) as ‘financial’.

This self-reported classification was verified against the Nutrition Action Classification System. ‘Financial’ goals were the most well characterised (61, 74% alignment with the relevant action category) (Figure 2.7). The ‘impact’ and ‘programmatic’ commitment types were less well captured, as only 128 (57%) and 171 (42%), respectively, were identified as such. The largest issue was seen with ‘policy’ commitments, as only a quarter (46, 25%) were classified as such.

Our analysis highlights that the NAF’s consistent set of standards and definitions adds value by improving the identification of nutrition action being committed to. It enables a more refined breakdown and understanding of the type of action and its focus across diverse stakeholder groups, which is expanded as new commitments are made. The previously used limited set of commitment types is not sufficient to capture the breadth of nutrition commitments and the areas of action they cover, and this can lead to reporting errors.

Based on these findings, the GNR recommends the use of the Nutrition Action Classification System to improve our understanding of nutrition actions being taken.

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Figure 2.7 The Nutrition Action Classification System substantially improves the characterisation and mapping of nutrition commitments

Alignment of N4G commitment type terminology with the Nutrition Action Classification System

Figure 2.7 The Nutrition Action Classification System substantially improves the characterisation and mapping of nutrition commitments
Alignment of N4G commitment type terminology with the Nutrition Action Classification System
Commitment
type (old N4G terminology)
Correctly
categorised as financial
Miscategorised
as ‘Enabling, Non-finance’
Miscategorised
as ‘Policy’
Miscategorised
as ‘Impact’
Financial
goals
74% 16% 6% 3.7%
Commitment
type (old N4G terminology)
Correctly categorised
as Policy
Miscategorised as
‘Enabling, Finance’
Miscategorised as
‘Enabling, Non-finance’
Miscategorised as
‘Impact’
Policy goals 25% 0.5% 62% 12%
Commitment
type (old N4G terminology)
Correctly categorised
as Programme
Miscategorised as
‘Enabling, Finance’
Miscategorised as
‘Policy’
Miscategorised as
‘Impact’
Programmatic
goals
42% 3.0% 36% 19%
Commitment
type (old N4G terminology)
Correctly categorised
as Impact
Miscategorised as
‘Enabling, Finance’
Miscategorised as
‘Enabling, Non-finance’
Miscategorised as
‘Policy’
Impact goals 57% 1.3% 15% 27%

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the downloadable data in the report annex. For more information about the N4G commitment making guide, see https://nutritionforgrowth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/CommitmentGuide_4.27.21.pdf.

Notes: For a detailed description of the Nutrition Action Classification System please see here. When registering commitments, stakeholders were asked to self-assign each of their goals to one of the four commitment types (N4G terminology). Post-registration, the GNR team assigned each goal, based on its description, to the relevant nutrition action category and sub-category of the Nutrition Action Classification System. ‘Financial’ goals (N4G terminology) were considered as correctly categorised by stakeholders if the GNR assigned them to the enabling sub-category ‘financial’. ‘Policy’ goals (N4G terminology) were considered as correctly categorised if the GNR assigned them to any of the four policy sub-categories. ‘Programmatic’ goals (N4G terminology) were considered as correctly categorised if the GNR assigned them to any of the following three enabling sub-categories: ‘leadership and governance’, ‘operational, or ‘research, monitoring, and data’. ‘Impact’ goals (N4G terminology) were considered as correctly categorised if the GNR assigned them to any of the impact sub-categories.

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Box 2.3 How stakeholders committed to addressing nutrition impacts related to Covid-19

Authors: Dimitra Karageorgou and Renata Micha

For almost all goals (837, 93%), stakeholders self-reported whether or not they were developed in response to Covid-19.[27] The answer was ‘yes’ for a quarter (212, 24%) of all goals (Figure 2.8) across all stakeholder types except for the private sector, which registered no goals in response to Covid-19. Governments led the way, making over half (128, 60%) of the Covid-19-related goals, followed by CSOs (53, 25%). Stakeholders committed to US$12.9 billion to address the impact of the pandemic, corresponding to about a third of all committed financial investments.

Almost half (91, 43%) of Covid-19-related goals were categorised as enabling, followed by impact (75, 35%) and policy (46, 22%), with notable variation across stakeholders and type of commitment (Figure 2.8).

A quarter (51, 26%) of enabling goals committed by governments were Covid-19 related; the same was observed for each of the four enabling sub-categories. Examples of such government actions are to increase the national budget allocated to nutrition and develop nutrition action plans. On the other hand, for CSOs less than half (10, 38%) of the ‘operational’ goals were Covid-19 related, recognising that such commitments were limited overall. Examples of such actions are to increase the capacity of nutrition professionals and to train farmers on sustainable production practices.

CSOs developed a third (4, 33%) of their few policy goals as ‘consumer knowledge’ in response to the pandemic, such as having public campaigns and awareness workshops on nutrition. Half (4, 57%) of the ‘nutrition care services’ goals committed by international organisations were developed due to Covid-19, including those to improve malnutrition treatment services.

Almost a third (55, 30%) of all government impact goals were developed in response to the pandemic, contributing to 73% of all Covid-19 impact goals and 26% of all Covid-19 goals. Most of these goals were ‘undernutrition’ (36) and diet (15). Notably, both (2, 100%) ‘obesity and diet-related NCDs’ actions and more than half (11, 58%) of ‘undernutrition’ actions committed by CSOs were Covid-19 related.

These findings suggest that all stakeholders recognised the severe impacts of the pandemic to the food and health systems and nutritional status of the population, and that they committed to take action.

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Figure 2.8 Stakeholders committed to take action in response to the pandemic

Nutrition commitment goals in response to Covid-19 by stakeholder group

Figure 2.8 Stakeholders committed to take action in response to the pandemic
Nutrition commitment goals in response to Covid-19 by stakeholder group
Organisation
type
Category Total goals Goals
responding to Covid-19
Government Total commitment goals 449 128
Government Enabling goals 182 51
Government Policy goals 88 22
Government Impact goals 179 55
Civil society Total commitment
goals
184 53
Civil society Enabling goals 98 22
Civil society Policy goals 56 15
Civil society Impact goals 30 16
Donors Total commitment
goals
55 13
Donors Enabling goals 47 11
Donors Policy goals 6 2
Donors Impact goals 2 0
Private sector Total commitment
goals
101 0
Private sector Enabling goals 21 0
Private sector Policy goals 80 0
Private sector Impact goals 0 0
International
organisations
Total commitment
goals
30 14
International organisations Enabling goals 15 5
International organisations Policy goals 10 5
International organisations Impact goals 5 4
Academia Total commitment
goals
18 4
Academia Enabling goals 11 2
Academia Policy goals 6 2
Academia Impact goals 1 0

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the report annex.

Notes: Goals have been excluded from the chart if no data was provided regarding their development in response to Covid-19.

2.5 Share section

The SMARTness of nutrition commitments

As introduced in Chapter 1, one of the key challenges to strengthening accountability for nutrition was the lack of clear criteria for SMART commitment-making. The GNR addressed this challenge by developing a comprehensive online platform to support the registration of SMART commitments and the Nutrition Action SMARTness Index to rigorously assess the extent of that SMARTness (see Chapter 1, How the GNR assesses the SMARTness of commitments). This measure assesses the completeness and coherence of each commitment goal against predefined SMART criteria (it does not account for the potential importance, scale or impact of the commitment). In doing so, it supports stakeholders to make commitments that are as SMART, and thus as trackable, as possible. The SMARTness of all registered commitments is publicly shared through the NAF Commitment Tracker.[28]

High SMARTness

A quarter (214, 24%) of all 897 goals ranked high in SMARTness (Figure 2.9). This means that they received an overall SMARTness score that was greater or equal to 4.5 (average 4.7, ranging from 4.5 to 4.9), they were trackable and required minor clarifications (for up to five ingredients) (Figure 2.10). Of these 214, 18 (8%) received a perfect SMARTness score of 5, being trackable and requiring no clarifications.

Upper-moderate SMARTness

Less than a fifth (143, 16%) of goals were of upper-moderate SMARTness. Goals in this level had an average SMARTness score of 4.2 (ranging from 3.8 to 4.5), they were trackable and required minor clarifications (for two to five ingredients).

Lower-moderate SMARTness

A third (274, 31%) of goals were of lower-moderate SMARTness. The average SMARTness score was 4.4 (ranging from 3.5 to 4.9). Despite the relatively high average score, most (257, 94%) goals were not trackable with minor clarifications required (for one to five ingredients); only 17 goals were trackable but required major clarifications (for six to nine ingredients).

Low SMARTness

Less than a third (266, 30%) of goals were of low SMARTness. The overall average SMARTness score was 3.8 (ranging from 2.9 to 4.5), all goals were not trackable, and all required extensive clarifications (for six to 11 ingredients), but one (for five ingredients).

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Figure 2.9 A quarter of all commitment goals were of high SMARTness

SMARTness of commitment goals

Figure 2.9 A quarter of all commitment goals were of high SMARTness
SMARTness of commitment goals
Smartness
level
Number of goals
Low 266
Lower-moderate 274
Upper-moderate 143
High 214
Total 897

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the report annex.

Note: The Nutrition Action SMARTness Index was developed by the GNR as part of the NAF and is available online.

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Figure 2.10 Commitment goals were largely trackable and required minor clarifications

Breakdown of the SMARTness of commitment goals

Figure 2.10 Commitment goals were largely trackable and required minor clarifications
Breakdown of the SMARTness of commitment goals
SMARTness score of 4.5 and above SMARTness score
of 4.5 and above
SMARTness score
of 3.5 up to 4.5
SMARTness score
of 3.5 up to 4.5
SMARTness score
below 3.5
SMARTness score
below 3.5
Trackable Minor clarifications Number of goals Percentage Number of goals Percentage Number of goals Percentage
Yes Yes 214 24% 143 16% Not possible Not possible
Yes No 0 0% 17 2% 0 0%
No Yes 127 14% 130 15% 1 0%
No No 0 0% 220 25% 45 5%

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the report annex.

These SMARTness scores were largely driven by governments that registered over half of all goals, which were generally observed across all three major nutrition action categories (Figure 2.11). On the other hand, for CSOs only a fifth (42, 20%) of goals were of high SMARTness, whereas 41% (84) were of low SMARTness. This is largely attributed to their impact and policy goals, the majority of which were of low SMARTness (26 of 36 impact goals and 32 of 62 policy goals). Relatively similar patterns in scores were seen for donors and international organisations. The private sector had only 14 (13%) low SMARTness goals – all categorised as policy – and half (11, 52%) of their enabling goals had high SMARTness.

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Figure 2.11 The NAF Platform was successful in enabling stakeholders formulate and register SMART commitments

SMARTness of commitment goals by stakeholder group and action category

Figure 2.11 The NAF Platform was successful in enabling stakeholders formulate and register SMART commitments
SMARTness of commitment goals by stakeholder group and action category
Organisation
type
Goal action
category
Low SMARTness Lower moderate
SMARTness
Upper Moderate
SMARTness
High SMARTness Total number of
goals
Governments All goals 122 151 81 116 470
Governments Enabling goals 59 70 26 41 196
Governments Policy goals 18 27 17 29 91
Governments Impact goals 45 54 38 46 183
Civil society All goals 84 58 23 42 207
Civil society Enabling goals 26 38 14 31 109
Civil society Policy goals 32 15 6 9 62
Civil society Impact goals 26 5 3 2 36
Private sector All goals 14 43 21 29 107
Private sector Enabling goals 0 7 3 11 21
Private sector Policy goals 14 35 18 18 85
Private sector Impact goals 0 1 0 0 1
Donors All goals 28 17 3 13 61
Donors Enabling goals 23 15 2 12 52
Donors Policy goals 3 1 1 1 6
Donors Impact goals 2 1 0 0 3
International
organisations
All goals 13 3 12 6 34
International
organisations
Enabling goals 5 2 8 4 19
International
organisations
Policy goals 4 1 4 1 10
International
organisations
Impact goals 4 0 0 1 5
Academia All goals 5 2 3 8 18
Academia Enabling goals 3 2 1 5 11
Academia Policy goals 1 0 2 3 6
Academia Impact goals 1 0 0 0 1

Source: Global Nutrition Report: Nutrition Accountability Framework Commitment Tracker. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/tracker. For the dataset used in this analysis, please see the report annex.

SMARTness dimensions

As described in Chapter 1, the SMARTness score captured and scored ingredients (information) across each of the five SMART dimensions. The Specific (average 0.96 of 1), Relevant (average 0.93 of 1) and Time-bound (average 0.98 of 1) dimensions scored high across stakeholders and action areas. This is largely attributed to the standardised fields of the online forms through which this information was collected when stakeholders used the NAF Platform.[29] Stakeholders should provide all required information rather than, for example, indicating ‘unknown’.

Receiving a lower SMARTness rank was largely attributed to the Measurable (average 0.81 of 1) and Achievable (average 0.6 of 1) dimensions getting lower scores. The Measurable dimension includes fields related to the indicator used to measure progress against the goal.[30] The main issues observed had to do with not specifying the name and unit of the indicator (e.g. annual US$ disbursement), its baseline and targeted value; this data is key to ensuring the goal can be tracked and reported on.

Interestingly, there was substantial variation in the selection of indicators across stakeholders and for similar goals, highlighting the lack of consensus – and the need for guidance – in how to best measure progress across various outcomes. The Achievable dimension included the information relevant to the cost and the funding of the commitment (of course, such information may not be readily available at registration as it takes time to accurately estimate). The low score of this dimension was mainly due to two-thirds of the commitments not having the costs associated with their delivery reported, either because this had not been estimated (245 commitments, 57%) or estimated but not willing to disclose (48, 11%).

Overall, the NAF facilitated the formulation of SMART commitments, with less than a third of goals being low in SMARTness. Across all goals, 374 (42%) were trackable and 615 (69%) required minor clarifications (Figure 2.10). This approach identifies key information that can be provided by stakeholders to improve the ranking of their existing commitments, and through this learning process the SMARTness of future ones. The GNR works with commitment-makers, through the verification process, to refine goals and improve their SMARTness so they can be subsequently updated in the NAF Commitment Tracker.[31]

2.6 Share section

Conclusion

The need to prioritise and invest in nutrition has never been greater, and data presented in this report is fuel for reflection and further action. The Nutrition Year of Action mobilised 198 commitment-makers across diverse stakeholder groups that committed to taking SMART action to address malnutrition in all its forms. Stakeholders were largely governments from low and middle-income countries that focused on undernutrition. And though the Tokyo N4G Summit was the highlight of the Nutrition Year of Action – paving the way for N4G summits to follow – renewed emphasis on engaging all stakeholders across various contexts and prioritising nutritious, equitable and sustainable food systems is critical.

In the Nutrition Year of Action, 198 commitment-makers representing multiple stakeholder groups registered 433 commitments with 897 goals through the NAF. Most stakeholders mobilised were governments from low- and middle-income countries that made almost half of all commitments, followed by CSOs and the private sector. Given that the private sector should be held accountable for healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems, there is merit in increasing their engagement. There is also a clear need for high-income countries to step up efforts both in their own countries and in the form of donations to help improve global equity. The participation of donors was relatively low, and mainly from high income governments, suggesting that philanthropies should have a far greater role in such pledging moments for financial investments in nutrition. Still, financial commitments by donors were the largest pledged to date, totalling more than US$26.3 billion.

For the first time, through the Nutrition Action Classification System, all commitments across all stakeholder groups were consistently classified, presenting a clear overview of the type of action being committed to. Stakeholders largely focused on creating an enabling environment for nutrition action. Governments further targeted impact outcomes, primarily aiming to improve undernutrition in their population. In contrast, not as many policy actions were committed to, such as to improve the food and health systems, which are critical for achieving final intended impacts (that is improvements in nutrition outcomes). Also for the first time, there were clear criteria for SMART commitment-making and a comprehensive approach for assessing the SMARTness of commitments. Less than a third of commitments made were of low SMARTness, facilitated by the standardised online forms that addressed significant and long-recognised challenges in formulating SMART commitments. Commitments were also largely trackable, which will allow future reporting against progress and measuring progress.

Undernutrition remained high in the stakeholder agenda as opposed to poor diets, obesity and diet-related NCDs. Food and nutrition security was not prioritised, despite the current climate of urgency, and neither was the need to embrace nutrition security (quality of food) alongside food security (access to quantity of food).[32] Since most of the commitments registered are N4G ones, this may not be a true representation of global nutrition commitments made. This observed undernutrition focus is in line with the targeted areas being mainly low- and middle-income countries, which are mostly burdened by undernutrition yet are not restricted to this form of malnutrition. The pandemic mobilised stakeholders to step up and take action to respond to the unprecedented challenge of Covid-19 and create an enabling environment for managing the nutrition-related impacts on nutrition. Coupled with the fact that many commitments were joint and across sectors, it is evident that the only way forward is to work together and not in isolation, holding each other to account.

2.7 Share section

Key recommendations

  1. All stakeholders should step up and make more, stronger commitments to improve nutrition worldwide. The central role of governments – both donor and non-donor – has been reaffirmed in the Nutrition Year of Action. Civil society’s presence was also strong. Though very positive, this is not enough. To achieve the shared vision of a word free of malnutrition in all its forms other key stakeholder groups should be mobilised to register their commitments, including high-income governments, donor organisations, businesses and international organisations.
  2. Nutrition action should be strengthened and go beyond low-income settings and undernutrition. Traditionally N4G has attracted commitments for undernutrition in low-income settings (primarily Africa and Asia), a pattern that is still observed in registered commitments (which are largely N4G). Food and nutrition security, as well as diets and diet-related NCDs actions were largely not present, despite being a major issue in these settings, and less than a handful of high-income countries registered domestic commitments. A joint focus on nutrition security alongside food security would accelerate improvements in hunger and diet-related NCDs, particularly for the most vulnerable. Equally, prioritising healthy and sustainable diets will lead to improvements in all forms of malnutrition, while preserving the health of our planet. In light of the global nutrition crisis, the need for more action to comprehensively tackle malnutrition in all its forms has never been more urgent.
  3. Stakeholders should commit to more money for nutrition and more policies within the food and health system. Stakeholders prioritised creating an enabling environment for relevant policy measures. This also includes external and domestic financing for nutrition that must be sustained and increased if we are to support effective policy measures and meet the global nutrition targets. Less attention was paid to policy action, highlighting the need for more work across the food and health systems to cost-effectively address the depth and breadth of malnutrition burdens and ensure that no one is left behind. Transforming our health systems through impactful policies that enable equitable access to healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food is urgently needed, with governments and the private sector having a critical role to play. Similarly, preventive nutrition care services need to be prioritised and become integrated in the health system to save lives and cut healthcare costs. For all such efforts, including financial investments, there is a clear need for consensus-based guidance on how to best measure progress that will allow for more impact to be generated.
  4. Readiness to address nutrition-related impacts in periods of crises should be prioritised. Nutrition actions taken as a response to Covid-19 were not an explicit N4G priority, yet stakeholders stepped up and developed about a quarter of their commitments in response to the pandemic. The pandemic, and the recent war in Ukraine, exposed the vulnerability of our food and health systems and stressed the need to preserve the nutritional resilience of populations. Preventive measures that pay attention to food, nutrition, health and social protection to safeguard the most vulnerable are urgently needed.
  5. SMART commitment-making should be further supported and strengthened. The Tokyo N4G Summit required that commitments were registered through the NAF to ensure these were SMART and accounted for. Stakeholders embraced this effort and largely made well-formulated commitments, as supported by the present findings. It’s important that stakeholders remain engaged in the NAF processes to ensure critical information needed to improve the SMARTness, and as such the tracking of commitments, including progress made towards those commitments, is publicly shared. The NAF is a tool that supports stakeholders come together and ensure their promises translate to measurable action, leading to more and strengthened action over time.

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Executive summary - 2022 Global Nutrition Report

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Footnotes

  1. NAF data for ‘governments’ captures commitments made by any government body at any administrative level. This report shows data from 78 government bodies across 65 countries.

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  2. A donor is any stakeholder making a commitment outside their own national boundaries, entity or workforce, for example a government contributing financial and non-financial resources to another country (i.e., acting as a donor government).

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  3. The 2022 Global Nutrition Report refers to food and nutrition security to draw explicit focus to quality of food, since it is often overlooked in food security policies and interventions that pay greater attention to access to quantity of food.

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  4. Based on the data submitted. Amounts were converted to US$ based on the 2021 yearly official exchange rate (local currency units relative to the US$) set by the International Monetary Fund.

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  5. This is included in the overall amount of US$42.6 billion committed by donors.

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  6. Recognising that most commitments registered are N4G ones (linked to the Tokyo N4G Summit), observed patterns may not truly reflect the global nutrition landscape.

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  7. The report presents findings on commitments and their goals registered through the NAF Platform from 14 September 2021 (date of platform launch) up to 15 March 2022, 23:59 GMT. Self-reported, unverified data have been used for the present analyses that have subsequently been cleaned and standardised. The verification process of these commitments started in November 2022, and as such data presented herein may be subject to change.

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  8. Such missing or unclear data is obtained through the verification process, which generates a complete and standardised dataset and, as such, enables additional and more comprehensive analyses to be performed.

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  9. The classification of commitment-making entities into stakeholder types was based on self-reporting and will be confirmed as appropriate through the verification process. In select cases, all related to governments and donors, the GNR has reclassified to account for obvious errors. Given potential misclassification in the stakeholder type (for both primary and additional entities), joint commitments and their goals (i.e. commitments made by multiple stakeholders representing the same or multiple stakeholder types) are currently presented under the primary reporting organisation only. The primary reporting organisation, as per the registration form, is responsible for registering the commitment and is accountable for its reporting. In future iterations of the NAF Commitment Tracker, after the self-reported data is verified, commitments will be displayed under all relevant stakeholder types.

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  10. One government has been counted both as a non-donor and a donor because they made one commitment in each capacity. Based on self-reporting, there were initially 66 non-donor governments. Eleven donor governments and one donor organisation were reclassified to non-donor governments. All goals of these stakeholders were indicated to be at the national level, and their description confirmed that these goals referred to domestic actions (within their country).

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  11. Based on self-reporting, there were initially 24 donor governments, of which 10 were reclassified to non-donor governments and one retained a dual stakeholder type and is also included in the count of non-donor governments (see previous footnote).

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  12. Based on self-reporting, there were initially six donor organisations, of which one was reclassified to government.

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  13. As joint, we consider a commitment that, although registered by one entity, was reported as submitted on behalf of multiple entities. The entity that registers the commitment is considered the primary one, which is responsible for providing clarifications for the commitment and reporting on its progress.

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  14. Commitment-Making Guide. Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021, 2021. Available at: https://nutritionforgrowth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/CommitmentGuide_4.27.21.pdf.

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  15. A commitment may align with one or more thematic area; as a result, the percentages do not total 100.

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  16. A goal may cover the whole world (global geographical coverage), multiple countries (multi-country coverage), the whole country the stakeholder is based in (national coverage), specific regions or states within a country (subnational coverage) or a specific location within a country, such as a city (local coverage).

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  17. World Bank Country and Lending Groups. The World Bank. https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups/. Accessed 14 November 2022.

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  18. All commitments analysed in this report are newly registered in the NAF Platform. In future reporting, we will consider separately exploring commitments based on their timing (start and end date).

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  19. Global nutrition targets to improve maternal, infant and young child nutrition. World Health Organization. www.who.int/teams/nutrition-and-food-safety/global-targets-2025. Accessed 24 October 2022; Set of nine voluntary global NCD targets for 2025. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/multi-media/details/set-of-nine-voluntary-global-ncd-targets-for-2025. Accessed 24 October 2022.

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  20. A commitment may align with one or more global targets (or none); as a result, the percentages do not total 100.

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  21. Seferidi P, Hone T, Duran AC, et al. Global inequalities in the double burden of malnutrition and associations with globalisation: a multilevel analysis of Demographic and Health Surveys from 55 low-income and middle-income countries, 1992–2018. 2022. The Lancet Global Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(21)00594-5.

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  22. The financial commitments made by governments were primarily related to domestic financing, such as specifying or increasing the national budget allocated to nutrition. See Chapter 3 for more details.

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  23. All financial goals registered were linked to the Tokyo N4G Summit. This is the sum of the committed amounts as reported by stakeholders; all currencies were converted to US$ using the World Bank annual average exchange rate for 2021. Total amounts may underestimate the full magnitude of financial investments, as amounts were not reported for all financial goals. The amounts committed for nutrition-specific versus nutrition-sensitive projects could not be separated, hence the amounts reported include all.

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  24. The commitments registered as part of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit are not included in the analysis unless stakeholders also registered these through the NAF. Overall, 131 (30.3%) of the registered commitments chose to be linked to the UN Food Systems Summit (only 8 of the 131 were not also linked to the Tokyo summit), recognising that additional commitments related to food systems may have been pledged elsewhere but not registered through the NAF.

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  25. Global Nutrition Report. 2021 Global Nutrition Report: The state of global nutrition. Bristol, UK: Development Initiatives. Available at: https://globalnutritionreport.org/reports/2021-global-nutrition-report/

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  26. Commitment-Making Guide. Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021, 2021. Available at: https://nutritionforgrowth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/CommitmentGuide_4.27.21.pdf.

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  27. The question that was relevant to Covid-19 was optional in the commitment registration form.

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  28. SMARTness reported is based on unverified data that has been cleaned and standardised. Through the verification process, which commenced November 2022, stakeholders can provide clarifications that can lead to improvements in the SMARTness of their commitment goals; the pre- and post- verification SMARTness will be made available on the NAF Commitment Tracker.

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  29. The Nutrition Accountability Framework: Developing the NAF Platform's Commitment Registration Form. Global Nutrition Report. 2021. https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/naf/developing-registration-form/.

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  30. The indicator is the stakeholder-reported measure that is used to report on and assess progress against the measurable goals (e.g. if the goal is to decrease stunting in children, the indicator is ‘prevalence (%) of children with stunting’).

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  31. Improving the SMARTness might not be feasible for all goals, for example, due to stakeholder unresponsiveness or unwillingness to share specific information, such as total costs.

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  32. Mozaffarian D, Fleischhacker S, Andrés JR. Prioritizing Nutrition Security in the US. JAMA 2021; 325(16): 1605–6.

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