Pakistan has experienced inconsistent advocacy and political ownership for multisectoral nutrition, which has resulted in a weak enabling environment. As well, challenges with decentralisation and low capacity of government staff have exacerbated the situation—making it even more complex to coordinate, manage and monitor the nutrition response within provinces. Maximising the Quality of Scaling Up Nutrition (MQSUN) provided a range of technical assistance to the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Pakistani government between 2012 and 2017 to address these challenges.
MQSUN provided strategic technical assistance by first producing 12 peer-reviewed papers by local researchers to raise the profile of undernutrition in Pakistan. To supplement this, support was provided to conduct an analysis of the political economy around the underlying and basic causes of undernutrition, titled Political Economy of Undernutrition in Pakistan. Additionally, MQSUN completed a scoping study to make recommendations on how to scale up mandatory and nonmandatory food fortification to reduce micronutrient deficiencies—which is especially important in a country like Pakistan, where staple foods are the primary diet. Lastly, MQSUN conducted a landscape analysis with key nutrition stakeholders and developed a theory of change for the scale up of the nutrition response. These efforts strengthened the ability of the national and provincial governments to plan for multisectoral nutrition interventions across sectors and provinces.