The obligation of stakeholders to answer for their actions and to accept responsibility for them. Accountability ensures that actions, decisions, programmes and policies of stakeholders are implemented, meet their stated objectives and respond to the communities they aim to benefit.
Independent mechanism for accountability developed to set standards and requirements for reporting based on well-established principles and methods. Accountability mechanisms are central to safeguarding reporting compliance and to holding those responsible for acting to account, through active engagement, interaction and verification and tracking of reported information. Such mechanisms provide opportunities to collaborate, discuss, learn, share best practices and experiences and encourage further action.
Civil society organisation (CSO)
A civil society organisation (CSO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group that is organised on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, CSOs provide services and perform humanitarian functions, bring citizens’ concerns to governments, monitor policies and encourage political participation at the community level.
The consumer’s understanding and knowledge on nutrition, diet and food products and their characteristics. This information is used by consumers in decisions about which foods to buy and eat.
Direct nutrition action
An actor providing financial or in-kind (non-financial) support or donations to a country or organisation.
Double burden of malnutrition
Coexistence of undernutrition with overweight, obesity or diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs), within individuals, households and populations, and across the life-course.
Enabling nutrition actions
The first of the three broad categories of the nutrition action classification system, identifying actions to establish an enabling environment for effective nutrition action across all sectors (including multisectoral actions). They are designed to improve the contextual – social, economic, political, cultural or environmental – conditions within which effective and sustained action aiming to improve nutrition outcomes is taken. They reflect the willingness to act on nutrition and ensure readiness for political commitment, capacity and coordination across different administrative levels and among decision-makers in nutrition and all other involved sectors.
The processes and systems by which foods are moved from one place to another for the purposes of immediate or future processing, sale and/or consumption.
The underlying conditions, such as the availability, accessibility and desirability of food, that shape dietary patterns and nutritional status. As well as the physical environment, this encompasses the economic, political, social and cultural contexts in which people and their dietary options and choices are situated.
Food and nutrition security
Having consistent access to affordable foods and beverages that promote well-being, while preventing and treating disease. This encompasses the quantity, safety and nutritional content of foods and their economic and physical accessibility.
Transformation of raw ingredients into products intended for human consumption, with the purpose of improving digestibility, bio-availability of nutrients and energy, taste, appearance, safety, storability and distribution.
The production of raw agricultural, livestock, fisheries and forestry products for subsequent processing and/or consumption.
Assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is produced, processed, stored, prepared and/or is eaten according to its intended use.
The infrastructure and processes through which raw and cooked food is stored for future consumption.
Food supply chain
The activities and actors that take food from production to consumption and to the disposal of its waste, including production, storage, distribution, processing, packaging, retailing and marketing.
The interlinked systems, settings, processes, infrastructures and people involved in producing, processing, transporting and consuming food.
Impact nutrition actions
The third of the three broad categories of the nutrition action classification system, identifying commitments designed to directly improve poor diets and reduce malnutrition manifestations, related to both food insecurity and undernutrition and obesity and diet-related NCDs. The nutrition actions falling under this category use as 'tools’ the policies (policy actions) already in place in an enabling environment (enabling actions) to improve the population’s nutritional status.
Indirect nutrition action
Inadequate and/or excessive intake of energy and/or nutrients. This includes both ‘undernutrition’ and ‘overnutrition’. Although undernutrition is an appropriate term for caloric and nutrient deficiency (including stunting, wasting, underweight and micronutrient deficiencies), overnutrition fails to capture the complexity of poor diets that cause obesity and diet-related NCDs. Therefore, the Global Nutrition Report does not use the term overnutrition, but refers instead to ‘overweight, obesity and diet-related NCDs’.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
NCDs are non-infectious chronic diseases that last a long time, progress slowly, and are caused by a combination of modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors, including lifestyle/behavioural, environmental, physiological and genetic factors. There are four main types of NCDs: cardiovascular disease (e.g., coronary heart disease, stroke), diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory disease. Obesity is both a chronic disease and a risk factor for other NCDs. We refer to NCDs related to diet (or nutrition) as ‘diet-related NCDs’. These are mostly obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and specific cancer types.
Non-governmental organisation (NGO)
A non-profit organisation, group or institution that is independent of government.
Any strategy, policy, intervention, programme or investment intended to tackle poor diets and malnutrition in all its forms.
Nutrition action classification system
A classification system, developed by the Global Nutrition Report, that defines and classifies nutrition actions – effectively, a taxonomy to name, define and categorise nutrition actions based on common principles and shared characteristics. This classification system groups nutrition actions into major action categories, which are further divided into action sub-categories. The aim of the classification system is to help stakeholders identify and commit to taking transformational nutrition actions. It also provides a foundation for efficient tracking and standardised reporting of nutrition commitments.
Nutrition care services
Processes, interventions and policies in public or private health systems aimed at preventing or improving nutrition and health outcomes within and outside the health system (e.g. community interventions).
The intent and pledge to address poor diets and malnutrition in all its forms through SMART nutrition actions.
Nutrition commitment qualification system
Methods and criteria to assess the eligibility of commitments submitted to the Nutrition Accountability Framework. To qualify, a commitment must be SMART and report progress annually to the Global Nutrition Report.
Nutrition for Growth (N4G)
A government, civil society and private industry initiative to support action on malnutrition. It aims to generate, guide and coordinate nutrition commitments and actions.
Actions or policies that target the underlying factors, systems and institutions that affect nutrition status and outcomes, such as education, agriculture, social protection, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), infectious disease control and reproductive health. Nutrition-sensitive actions do not have improved nutrition as the primary objective but can reduce the causes and manifestations of malnutrition and increase the scale and effectiveness of nutrition-specific interventions. To be considered nutrition-sensitive, actions must include specific references to nutrition outcomes or activities.
Actions or policies specifically designed to resolve or prevent defined nutrition issues. These aim to address the more immediate determinants of nutrition and health, such as improving infant and young child feeding practices, food and nutrient intakes, and nutrition-related health outcomes.
Policy nutrition actions
The second of the three broad categories of the nutrition action classification system, referring to strategies, policies, interventions or programmes that aim to improve nutrition outcomes both directly and indirectly. Having built an enabling environment for nutrition, this category reflects the scaling up of nutrition efforts through committing to nutrition policy actions. Such actions are generally population-based strategies with a broad reach that are crucial complements to individual-based efforts.
Private sector (also ‘private industry’, ‘for-profit sector’ or ‘business sector’)
An organisation that is not owned or operated by the government and is constituted for profit. This includes any individuals, institutions, organisations, associations, coalitions and corporate philanthropic foundations which represent private sector interests, even if any commercial activity is not directly connected.
Scaling up Nutrition (SUN)
The SUN Movement, led by countries, is devoted to support members’ commitments and accountability around action on malnutrition.
The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)
Inter-governmental meeting between government, civil society and private industry representatives, held in November 2014 and organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Two outcome documents (the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and the Framework for Action) outline major nutrition challenges and identify priorities for enhanced international cooperation on nutrition.
SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound
SMART criteria are used to develop specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound commitments. SMARTness refers to the extent to which commitments meet SMART criteria.
Persons and organisations with a vested interest in the policy being promoted, or affected by a common action and decision. They are typically defined as a group based on type (e.g. civil society organisations, governments, private sector) and/or interest (e.g. agricultural producers, financing bodies, consumers).
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
A set of integrated goals, targets and indicators, agreed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, for the achievement of socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development.
Undernutrition is a diet-related condition resulting from insufficient food intake to meet needs for energy and nutrients. It includes being underweight, too short (stunted) or too thin (wasted) for age or height, or deficient in vitamins and minerals (micronutrients). Being undernourished means suffering from undernutrition.
Last updated: 14 September 2021.