Multisectoral nutrition action plan development

Developing a multisectoral national nutrition action plan is a multistep process, which varies by country based on whether sufficient nutrition policies, plans and strategies already exist. In many cases, this multisectoral planning process starts with a contextual or situational analysis, policy framework analysis or nutrition plan review and then the development of a common results framework (CRF). Similar to the CRF, the national nutrition action plan empowers countries to align sectors around common, agreed-upon nutrition goals, objectives and actions for maximum impact.

Once the CRF is completed and endorsed, Maximising the Quality of Scaling Up Nutrition Plus (MQSUN+) supports the process of developing the body of the multisectoral national nutrition action plan—taking into account the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) checklist on the criteria and characteristics of ‘good’ national nutrition plans. For the project, this primarily involves gathering relevant information by reviewing existing resources and documents and conducting stakeholder consultations.

Building on the components of the CRF, the development of the national nutrition action plan can include but is not limited to: elaborating detailed mechanisms for governance, accountability, management and coordination through discussions with the SUN Focal Points and key stakeholders; collaborating with different sectors to incorporate the CRF actions and targets into existing policies, plans and interventions; conducting an analysis of existing capacity and any future capacity strengthening needs at all levels for effective implementation across sectors; developing sub-national implementation plans for local management, coordination, financing and monitoring and evaluation arrangements; and costing the plan and defining a financial framework and potential funding mechanisms for nutrition actions.

Once the plan is fully costed, it can be used to prioritise country actions for nutrition and to advocate for increased government fiscal space and external funding for operationalisation and implementation.

MQSUN+ is providing technical assistance to several countries in developing national nutrition plans, including Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Togo. For example, in Tajikistan, MQSUN+ is working to operationalise their common results framework into a costed multisectoral plan of action through the elaboration of mechanisms for management, coordination, financing, capacity building, implementation and monitoring.