Why we need nutrition advocacy
Malnutrition is a universal issue and is holding back development across the world. At the same time, the opportunity to end malnutrition has never been greater. The UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016–2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide global and national impetus to address malnutrition.
Progress against malnutrition is possible, but it will require a concerted effort by all stakeholders – government, private sector, civil society and UN agencies – to turn the tide. Advocacy for increased resources, improved policies and better accountability is vital to create the change that is needed.
By collectively telling the stories of people affected by malnutrition and calling for enhanced political will, advocates are building a movement to end hunger and malnutrition once and for all.
We have an ambitious yet vital global target in the form of SDG2, and one that the 2020 Global Nutrition Report shows we are a long way from achieving. This may be partly because improving the world’s nutrition status isn’t one sector’s responsibility but instead cuts across most – including health, development, agriculture and water, sanitation and hygiene.
This means that advocating for better nutrition can be particularly challenging, and is why it is vital to have champions in every sector to ensure it is not overlooked by those who – sometimes unknowingly – have the power to improve nutrition outcomes.
The nutrition advocacy community
There is a strong community of nutrition advocates around the world, from people working in governments, to international NGOs, to civil society organisations at local level. These include the members of the Global Nutrition Report’s Stakeholder Group and Independent Expert Group. Several initiatives exist to strengthen the calls of these advocates and increase the impact of their work:
- The International Coalition for Advocacy on Nutrition is made up of organisations and advocates working to end malnutrition in all its forms by improving policies and scaling up investments for nutrition.
- The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement unites people across governments, civil society, the UN, business and research in a collective effort to improve nutrition. The SUN Movement encourages multisectoral and multi-stakeholder working to bring about an end to malnutrition in all its forms.
- The SDG2 Advocacy Hub brings together NGOs, advocacy groups, civil society, the private sector and UN agencies to share expertise and ideas, and to collaborate on campaigns to increase the overall impact of their work.
- Advocates who directly engage governments to address malnutrition in their own country are also key to driving progress. The SUN Civil Society Network encourages vibrant civil society alliances to form in each SUN country to strengthen national plans to tackle hunger and malnutrition.
As a cross-cutting issue, it is vital for nutrition advocacy to cut across sectors including health, development, agriculture and water, sanitation and hygiene. Global commitments on nutrition are made at different levels and in different forums throughout the year. Learn about upcoming events and key moments on our events page.
Nutrition advocacy and the Global Nutrition Report
The vision of the Global Nutrition Report is a world free from malnutrition in all its forms and the report aims to drive greater action to enable this to happen.
We encourage advocates for nutrition to use our analysis and findings to support their efforts in driving progress on ending malnutrition. As well as the report, we produce Country Nutrition Profiles for every country and region in the world to equip advocates and other stakeholders with a range of evidence on national and regional progress.
We want to work with the advocacy community to ensure that the Global Nutrition Report is as useful as possible in supporting advocacy efforts. If you’re an advocate for nutrition and would like to help inform the work we do to ensure it continues to provide the most useful evidence and information possible, please get in touch.
Photo credit: USAID