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GUIDANCE NOTE: Subnational Budget Analysis for Scaling Up Nutrition

The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement’s 2013 State of the SUN Movement Progress Report outlined the importance of resource availability for meeting nutrition goals and the challenges of tracking financing. Following the publication of this report, SUN countries committed to improving financial tracking of resources for nutrition. This has focused primarily on the national level; as of 2016, 47 countries have reported that they conducted some form of the budget analysis. However, there is growing interest in expanding budget analysis and financial tracking to the subnational level.

Many SUN countries have multiple tiers of government. Subnational governments are responsible not only for a significant proportion of total government expenditure but also for spending allocations for nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive service delivery. In addition, the prevailing trend in many SUN countries is towards further decentralisation of powers from the national to subnational level. This means that, to get a better understanding of nutrition financing, the SUN Movement increasingly will need to focus on the subnational level.

The purpose of these guidance notes is to provide countries with an approach to self-assess the role of subnational governments in financing nutrition in their country. Part 1 will aid in understanding: (1) the structure and processes of countries’ fiscal decentralisation and devolution of powers; (2) the extent of subnational financing overall and in regards to nutrition; and (3) data availability and quality. Part 2 describes a set of potential analytical approaches for tracking subnational nutrition expenditure, which are based on various countries’ experiences, and they are guided by the methodology for tracking nutrition at the national level.