Results from UN Network mapping published in scientific journal for first time

Results from UN Network mapping published in scientific journal for first time

The UN Network for Nutrition (UNN) and its intensive multi-sectoral Technical Assistance arm, REACH (Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger and undernutrition), worked closely with the Government of Burkina Faso and United Nations Country Team to conduct a mapping of nutrition interventions and stakeholders. Not only did the mapping bolster multi-stakeholder engagement, it informed multi-sectoral nutrition planning processes, including prioritisation efforts in the country. It also helped positively reinforce efforts to mainstream nutrition in the UNDAF and to address fragility in the longer term. The full mapping reports from Burkina Faso are available on the UN Network website and efforts to document the Burkina Faso experience did not end there.

A further analysis was conducted and published in an article in the Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 39, Issue 3. Its co-authorship by the Head of Nutrition within the Ministry of Health and former SUN Government Focal Point, REACH country facilitators and UN Network Secretariat staff is testament to joint ownership and utility of the exercise. The article highlights how the Excel-based mapping tool, developed by REACH in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group, was used to collect, store, and analyse data for 29 core nutrition actions – both nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive.

Burkina Faso Mapping Image

It looked at various dimensions from stakeholder engagement to the utilization of delivery mechanisms to access beneficiaries for each intervention. These efforts enabled context-specific, evidence-based analysis that identified gaps as well as opportunities for increased synergies. Overall, the results illustrated that while most of the prioritized nutrition interventions are implemented across regions in the country, only a small proportion reach the target population. Intrigued? The article also identified action-oriented trends. For example, geographic coverage was high for the majority of nutrition-specific interventions, yet population coverage variable, though generally above 50%. For nutrition-sensitive interventions, both geographic and population coverage tended to be lower.

Understanding the landscape of stakeholders and coverage of these interventions proved to be critical for discerning future action to better serve populations most in need. Some of the regions with the highest levels of stunting (Southwest, Cascades, Center-East, North, and East) reported low population coverage among the interventions mapped, suggesting that stunting would likely decline if people received more nutrition support. The mapping prompted strategic questions such as whether low coverage is due to funding limitations or other factors. These findings were timely as the exercise coincided with the beginning of nutrition planning processes, where strategies were considered for scaling-up interventions to better address the nutrition situation.

The Burkina Faso experience was instrumental to document key learnings, and in turn, refine UN Network mapping efforts. The Government of Burkina Faso found these results so compelling, it has incorporated the mapping into its nutrition Monitoring & Evaluation framework and has mandated that mapping be conducted every two years. This also positions the mapping as a vital tool for tracking progress over time and increasing accountability of governments and partners towards achieving nutrition targets.