The Future of Nutrition: Accountability towards 2030


Almost 10 years after the first Nutrition For Growth Summit, we are still nowhere near meeting the targets laid out for 2025. Rates of stunting, wasting and obesity are still on the rise, while fragile and conflict-affected famines have been forgotten. Add on to that a global pandemic and the exponential number of climate-related disasters, the future of nutrition has never been more important. 

But we know what to do, the future of nutrition in our hands and only by holding commitment makers to account and seeing promises become a reality, will we see a stronger, more nutritious future for all. 

Join the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Network as we, along with the International Coalition for Advocacy on Nutrition (ICAN) coalition, build off the Global Nutrition Report’s accountability framework and plan to create our own charter for accountability beyond the Nutrition for Growth Summit in December. 

What is the Nutrition for Growth Summit?

After being postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this December the Government of Japan is set to host the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) summit. This ‘global pledging moment’ aims to deliver much-needed action on policy and financing commitments to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2—Ending Hunger in All its Forms. 

A year later than hoped, the Nutrition for Growth Summit is more important than ever and it is crucial that we not only see new, bold, ambitious commitments from all stakeholders, but that pledge-makers uphold these commitments between now and 2030. 

Commitment making and what we hope to see at N4G

The Nutrition for Growth Summit has commitment making at its heart and we hope to see strong financial pledges when the final commitments are announced at the summit in December.

Stakeholders have been making commitments throughout the year in three core thematic areas: health and enshrining nutrition into Universal Health Coverage (UHC); food and building food systems that promote climate friendly healthy diets and nutrition; and resilience and effectively addressing malnutrition in fragile and conflict affected contexts.

Within these three thematic areas, there are certain things we would hope and expect to see as a civil society movement. Firstly, all stakeholders must ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all. This includes interventions which prioritise the nutritional needs of women and adolescent girls, scaling up access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) with a particular focus on low-income settings, and using agroecology to enhance nutrition through dietary diversity.

We also urge all stakeholders to make pledges which aim to shift to more sustainable and healthy consumption patterns. Rising rates of food and nutrition insecurity and the threats of climate change urge us to promote foods and diets that are both nutritious and have low environmental impacts. This may include promoting the fortification and biofortification of staple foods and crops with essential micronutrients, offering supplementation programmes, and providing education and healthcare services to optimise both child and maternal nutrition and health and promote breastfeeding, especially in low-resource settings.

Beyond Nutrition For Growth

As we end the nutrition year of action and are one year closer to the 2025 nutrition targets, we call on SUN Civil Society Network members to continue working with their governments  to maintain the momentum of N4G, uphold pledges made, and push for accountability from all parties making commitments. 

The Global Nutrition Report’s Nutrition Accountability Framework (NAF) creates the world’s first independent and comprehensive platform for registering SMART nutrition commitments and monitoring nutrition action. All the N4G commitments must be made through the NAF ensuring that they are publicly shared and ultimately upheld. This framework will guide civil society members in holding governments and pledge-holders to account. 

Going forward, and as part of the series of side events held in the run-up to N4G, The SUN Civil Society Network and the International Coalition for Advocacy on Nutrition (ICAN) plans to host an action planning session to further develop and discuss how, as a Civil Society Network, we can hold stakeholders to account beyond 2021. 

The objective of this session is to: 

  • demonstrate the critical role of governance and accountability towards ending malnutrition in line with the N4G principles of engagement and Nutrition Accountability Framework. 
  • ensure that momentum doesn’t stop at the N4G Summit and instead is used to inform accountability efforts at global and national levels 
  • use the experience of participants to inform a set of measurable guidelines from civil society to ensure the Nutrition Accountability Framework is used and that effective mechanisms are put in place to hold commitment-makers to account. 

The N4G summit is a hugely important moment for making bold financial commitments to invest more in nutrition interventions worldwide. It is a key step on the road to 2025 and to the 2030 sustainable development goals. With very little progress made towards beating malnutrition and a global pandemic that has only exacerbated the problem, we must ensure that commitments for nutrition are not only made, but that governments and commitment-makers are held to account to create effective, long lasting change for people and the planet in years to come.