The focus: The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Strategy 2021–2025 (SUN 3.0) prioritises country leadership and focuses on supporting systemic change at the country level. It seeks to capture the ambition of SUN countries and guide the work of all actors at all levels – national and subnational, regional and global – aligning concerted action behind and responding to commonly agreed national priorities set out by governments in SUN countries. As part of these efforts, SUN 3.0 aims to contribute towards achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
SUN 3.0 is committed to fundamental, non-negotiable aspects of effective nutrition action, including equity and the principle of leaving no one behind. For its third phase, the SUN Movement will drive forward gender equality and enshrine youth leadership across the Movement.
SUN 3.0 will strengthen partnerships to achieve greater impact on nutrition through food systems, health systems, social protection systems, actions by the private sector and humanitarian and development actors, and through education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and climate change adaptation.
Even before COVID-19, very few countries were on track to meet the World Health Assembly (WHA) and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) nutrition targets. The pandemic is likely to roll back many years of progress, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, as strategies to reduce virus transmission are disrupting food and health systems and overloading social protection systems, with severe socio-economic impacts.
The combined effects of COVID-19 itself, as well as corresponding mitigation measures, have shown the need for largescale coordinated action and institutional reform.
Investing in nutrition remains a key element of building human capital and is essential to achieving the SDGs and fostering resilience against future pandemics. The challenges are greatest in conflict-affected and fragile contexts, requiring a stronger link between humanitarian and development efforts to reduce humanitarian needs through inclusive risk-informed development programming. An urgent, coordinated response and scaled up investments from governments, donors, the private sector, United Nations agencies and civil society (international, national and local) are now crucial. The pandemic has made clear that SUN 3.0 is needed now, more than ever, to keep nutrition on the global agenda, protect the most vulnerable, prioritise evidence-informed actions and make the case for investing in nutrition.
SUN 3.0 is designed to lead this call to action across all those working on the SDGs. This third phase of the Strategy will be judged a success if actors across the Movement can demonstrate that their individual and collective efforts contribute clearly to accelerating nutrition results through systemic change at the national and subnational levels and to saving lives and increasing resilience in countries affected by fragility and conflict (FCAS).
Indicators of success are described further in Section 8.
Key priorities: SUN 3.0 emphasises impact on nutrition at the country level and country leadership in addressing all formsof malnutrition. This includes supporting nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive actions through strengthened food, health and social protection systems, and with a focus on gender and economic equity.
The SUN Movement urges all stakeholders to adopt, own and deliver collectively developed strategic objectives as immediate priorities. All parts of the Movement – member governments, the four SUN networks, the SUN Movement Coordinator, the SUN Movement Secretariat, the SUN Movement Executive Committee and the SUN Movement Lead Group – are expected to step up in equal measure and intensify their efforts to accelerate the delivery of nutrition outcomes at scale, and to work together to align and focus those efforts on priorities within countries. Opportunities such as the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit offer an important chance for countries and donors to recommit to scaling up nutrition action and resources.
The SUN 3.0 Strategy sets out four strategic objectives as reflected in the SUN 3.0 strategy framework (theory of change):
1) Strengthen and sustain strong policy and advocacy environments at the subnational, national, regional and global levels to position nutrition outcomes as a key maker and marker of sustainable development.
2) Develop and align shared country priorities for action.
3) Build and strengthen country capacity to develop, prioritise, finance, implement and track country actions through strengthened technical assistance and knowledge management.
4) Ensure governance of SUN that promotes country leadership and responsibilities of government, aligns the resources of all Movement stakeholders behind country priorities, strengthens mutual accountability between Movement stakeholders and to those most at risk of malnutrition, with robust mechanisms to encourage and ensure such promotion, alignment and mutual accountability is realised.
In fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS), where the government may be unwilling or unable to lead,
SUN partners shall work together in collaboration with humanitarian actors and include them in any multistakeholder platforms.
Since the outset, the Movement has aspired to achieve an empowered and elevated nutrition coordination position and structure led by government and supported by a multi-stakeholder team in each country. In this Strategy, the term ‘country coordinator’ refers to the responsibility for and function of nutrition coordination in SUN member countries and the institutional arrangements to ensure empowered and adequate support. Countries may decide to adopt this title or to retain the title of focal point.
However, for the purposes of this Strategy, the position is generically referred to as country coordinator. SUN 3.0 encourages flexibility for countries in determining the appropriate shape and terminology that these roles and arrangements take in different country contexts.
The Strategy sets out the financing needs for countries to be able to scale up actions, accompanied by a call for enhancing the efficiency of current spending, and emphasising the need to leverage additional resources from domestic budgets, donor partners, private investors and innovative sources (i.e., ‘more money for nutrition’ and ‘more nutrition for the money’).
The Strategy also details the proposed governance approach and the need for clear accountability mechanisms. These will be developed in the operational planning phase, together with revised terms of reference, to support the shift from SUN 2.0 to SUN 3.0 and manage potential conflicts of interest across all duty bearers and stakeholders, including national and subnational governments, global partners, networks (Civil Society, United Nations, Business, Donors and potentially Academia), the Lead Group, the SUN Coordinator, the Executive Committee and the SUN Secretariat