Ensuring Household Food and Nutrition Security in Asia
Elisa POZZI | SUN Civil Society Network (CSN) Steering Group| Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement
Since 2010, SUN Movement has grown into a worldwide movement whose strong impact in advancing global perspectives on nutrition effectively turned into political commitment and concrete nutrition plans in 53 countries. Those governments who commit to scaling up nutrition recognise the need to engage multiple stakeholders to jointly work on the development or strengthening of specific actions for nutrition and nutrition sensitive strategies.
Becoming a SUN country is therefore a political decision made at the government level and expression of the will to mainstream nutrition in national policy making. This strong commitment offers the opportunity to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to participate in national decision making, bringing push to policies based on their experience on the ground.
To support the multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and multi-level work underway in SUN Countries, a global network representing civil society (working alongside other stakeholders’ networks) was created to support CSOs to align their strategies, efforts and resources to help further country-led efforts within the SUN Framework whilst bring the grassroots voice to the table to ensure national efforts respond to priorities on the ground. At the country level, the organisation structure bringing together interested nutrition-focused CSOs in SUN countries is known as Civil Society Alliance (CSA).
In the context of Asia, where, despite advances in the economies in most of the region, hunger and malnutrition still exist, there are currently 12 SUN countries – Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan and Vietnam. The activities of civil society efforts in some of them (Bangladesh, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) are funded through the SUN Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), established by the participating UN Organizations and partners to be used for catalytic actions to develop SUN activities at country or regional level.
As the movement progresses, CSOs have an important role in strengthening the advocacy efforts of the SUN CSO network as well as to broaden the membership base of the SUN movement. The added value of strong CSOs networks is to be felt strongly at the country and regional level. While in SUN countries, CSOs with a strong nutrition focus can join existing Civil Society Alliances, CSOs in non-SUN countries may be instrumental in advocating for their government involvement and serve as building blocks to form country CSAs. Civil Society is increasingly accepted as a strong and legitimate partner actively supporting development, implementation, evaluation and coordination of efforts to scale up nutrition sustainably in countries.
Members of the Asian Alliance network wishing to learn more about the SUN Movement; the SUN CSO Network; how to join existing SUN Civil Society Alliances or joint advocacy opportunities, may refer to the links below: